Appetite For Destruction

Submitted into Contest #97 in response to: Write a story in which a window is broken or found broken.... view prompt

8 comments

Coming of Age Fiction Romance

How does anyone really know who they are? With all the pressures of society, family, and peers, it’s hard to weed out what things would genuinely be there without all the chatter. 

People would describe me as polite, nice, traditional, trustworthy, goody two shoes, prude, clean-cut, boring, and any similar type of words. I was the stereotypical good girl. It’s not a bad way to be. The thing is, inside I didn’t feel that way. Inside I felt a roaring fire tearing down everything in its path. 

I played my part though. Got good grades and put on this show of prim and proper. My path laid out before me and I didn’t veer. Until I met Trevor. Now, it should be said that Trevor isn’t a “bad boy.” He just isn’t exactly a “good boy.” Trevor is a live off the land, rebel against society kind of boy. My mom’s worst nightmare, since she finds glamping in a fully applianced high end camper to be too wild. My dad, like in most things, didn’t pay enough attention to me to notice or care. 

I didn’t think Trevor would notice me, didn’t think he’d like me, and certainly didn’t think he’d love me. Yet here we are sitting on a park bench planning our secret future. Planning our escape from the grid. 

“What is something people always get wrong about you?” I ask.

He thinks for a moment while tying a piece of grass into a knot. “A lot of people assume I’m a stoner for some reason. I’ve never smoked anything. What about you?” 

“People think I’m calm, collected, and content all the time. Inside, I just want to smash and break everything. I imagine screaming, throwing things, and setting things on fire. Sometimes I think I could destroy the whole world.” 

He grins. “Really? Hmm...I have an idea of how we could make that happen.”

We get in his hybrid car and he drives without telling me where we are going. My heart pounds so fast I want to start sprinting so the feeling makes sense. I feel like I might shatter into a million pieces, burst apart by tension. Trevor takes my hand in his and squeezes. I wonder what that mischievous smile on his face means. The car pulls into a dirt pull out. We’re in the middle of nowhere. We walk through the woods. I’m calmer here. 

The smell of pine soothes my nostrils and tugs a smile onto my face. Small flying insects are drawn to my sweat soaked forehead like it's a bug light. I long to feel cool water on my skin. I wonder what it would be like to make love under a waterfall. Obviously not a gushing, forceful one, but a reasonable one. My heart swells with gratitude for the future I see with Trevor. 

The trees open up and a large brick building looms before us. The windows are either boarded up, broken, or so dirty it’s impossible to see through them. It’s easy to see no one has been here for years. 

“What are we doing?” I ask. 

“Destroying it,” he says. 

“Isn’t that illegal?” 

“Probably, but no one will care.” 

I grab a large stick. I walk to a first floor window that’s still intact. I use my hand to wipe off some of the dirt. I can see my face in the window. Not as clearly as a mirror, but clear enough. My long blonde hair that never falls out of place. My pink sundress. I can’t see my eyes. I stare at my reflection and really take it in. The fire burns through me. I pull back the stick and bash it into the window. I watch my body shatter into small pieces of glass on the rocky ground. The empty void inside my body fills and I feel an irresistible temptation that reminds me of love. 

I walk to the next window. I don’t need to clean it. I see the reflection in my mind. I smash it and delight in imagining my perfectly manufactured image shattering again and again. The fire has spread throughout my body and burns hot through my cheeks. We step inside. Vines grow up the staircase railing and plants have found a way to spring up through the cracks in the floor.  We throw glass beer bottles from someone’s party into windows or against walls. We rip up floor boards. We break through the stairs. We yell until our throats hurt. We dance around. We shatter glass. We chip away at the already crumbling concrete foundation with rocks. Feeling complete exhaustion, we build a fire on the floor in the middle of the house. Once the fire gets going, we light pieces of wood and fling them all around. 

We step out of the house covered in soot and soaked in sweat. My dress is almost entirely brown and black like the earth around my now bare feet. We distance ourselves enough to be safe, and sit down on a log to watch. It takes a while. Longer than I’d expect. Finally the flames flicker through the windows. Then they dance up the sides. At first I’m stunned. I’m in complete awe of the beauty of it. The vibrant reds, oranges, yellows, and blues of the fire mesmerize me. Falling into a frenzied fit of laughter, I feel so free. I feel so whole. More free than I know what to do with. So free that it’s a little terrifying actually. My lips tremble. A tear slides down my cheek. Then another. Soon I’m sobbing. 

What will stop the fire from taking down this whole forest? Were there animals that called that building home? What about those beer bottles? Were they from kids who hung out here? Kids who needed some sort of escape and I took it from them? There are consequences to everything. Consequences to being me and consequences to not being me.  

Trevor puts an arm around my shoulder and pulls me in close. He doesn’t believe in using any deodorants or colognes. He smells completely of him and it’s a dizzyingly lovely smell. A smell that blurs my thoughts and leaves me unable to think straight. I suck in deep breaths of his smell and bask in his warmth.

"I love you, Daisy." He kisses my forehead softly. 

"I love you too." This is the one and only thing I’m totally sure of. 

With him, I feel safe to be anything. While I may not know who I am yet, I know what I’m not and I know what I want. I want to be in these arms forever. 

I also want to call 9-1-1 because this fire is so out of control.

June 11, 2021 14:20

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8 comments

Graham Kinross
06:36 Dec 21, 2021

Seeing the title I thought this was going to be the prompt about a musical influence. Do you know the Guns N Roses album? Did the name come from something else? “A lot of people assume I’m a stoner for some reason” I used to get that! It’s the most annoying thing to be told by random people. I’m imagining they’re still very young even though he has a car? Again, this is far too easy to imagine. Fun fact, some inks burn with a green flame…

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Annalisa D.
06:56 Dec 21, 2021

I don't really know where the title came from. Sometimes I think I have unique ideas but wonder if they are from somewhere else I'm not remembering. I may have heard something like that and kept it with me. I'm not familiar with it though. It is annoying to have random people assume things like that. I think people tend to think of laid back, calm people like that. Maybe it's something else. That is cool. I love when things make different color flames. I've seen some from people throwing things into campfires. It's always nice.

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Graham Kinross
07:34 Dec 21, 2021

Pyromania is a beautiful way to get in trouble.

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Eric D.
04:41 Jun 12, 2021

Really high adrenaline and thrilling story, it was an exciting and intense read.

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Annalisa D.
18:19 Jun 12, 2021

Thanks!

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Aoi Yamato
09:12 Aug 10, 2023

well written.

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Annalisa D.
13:38 Aug 10, 2023

Thank you!

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Aoi Yamato
00:41 Aug 14, 2023

welcome.

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