Here is a sample chapter of my upcoming horror novel, Harbinger, soon to be released through Hobbes End Publishing. Like it on Facebook for continual updates and special contests! https://www.facebook.com/harbingerdavebright
Andrew Murphy was a pyromaniac. There was no way to smooth it over,to sweeten it up, or to avoid the fact in any way.
Of course, Andrew had never looked at his “problem” in the way everyone else had. He never felt there was something wrong with his appreciation for the almighty flame. On the contrary, he viewed himself as the only true appreciator of such a fine art.
Short, frail, red headed, blue eyed, and freckle covered, Andrew wasn’t an imposing form. He didn’t strike those he met as threatening or even capable of being threatening.
But they did not understand what lied beneath.
Andrew had started playing with fire when he was five years old. He took his father’s matchbook and within a handful of minutes most of his toys were up in a blaze in the middle of his bedroom. The fire subsequently spread to his carpet, and then the curtains—if it hadn’t been for the quick actions of his father, armed with a fire extinguisher, the whole house would have ended up in flames
Glorious, glorious flames.
There had been a number of incidents in the eight years since, most of which went unnoticed or were covered up by Andrew’s parents.
The Murphys couldn’t have a child with problems. After all, Janice Murphy’s sister had children who were prodigies, one an all-state gymnast, and the other who had taken up three instruments by the age of eight. Janice Murphy couldn’t be known as having a freak for a son.
So the solution for the Murphys was not to acknowledge any problem. Andrew was curious, as many little boys were, and he liked fire, but with all the explosions in the movies now-a-days, what little boy didn’t?
The Murphys would slap Andrew on the hand when necessary, but for the sake of their own image they never made a scene about any one of Andrew’s spats and, fortunately for them, he had never done anything big enough to attract attention to the family.
That, however, was quickly going to change. For despite what his family knew about his condition, there was still a great deal they did not know about Andrew Michael Murphy.
He was also a sociopath.
Andrew had never been an expressive boy, but the Murphys figured that was because he was shy, or perhaps a bit socially awkward. They never suspected Andrew didn’t care whether they approved of him or loved him. They were unaware he didn’t fully understand these concepts. Andrew had no grasp of love, fear, or hate. Andrew only knew what Andrew knew, and what Andrew often knew was impulse.
There were things that felt good, and things that felt bad. Do things that feel good. Avoid things that feel bad.
And for Andrew, there was only one thing in the entire world that really made him smile inside. There was only one thing that could light up his blue eyes and fill him up with a warm, legitimate delight.
Fire. Glorious fire.
Andrew had found fire had become even more fun since he hit puberty. It had always allured him, entranced him like a temptress, but as he had grown older it began to have a physical effect on him.
Fire made him erect. Fire stimulated his libido like nothing else.
He would lock himself away in his room for hours on end, lighter in one hand, penis in other, and the world was his oyster—there was absolutely no limit to the joy he could experience.
The warmth of the flame, its power, and its delicious essence was right before him and he could touch himself. He could feel the tingling sensations building up within him; he could feel his excitement rise to levels he never thought possible.
All because of fire, all because of his maiden.
If Andrew Murphy was capable of loving something, he would be considered in love with fire, but what he truly shared with the element was more so desire; a gripping need for it.
Without the exhilaration fire gave him, Andrew wouldn’t have found a point in living. Life was about doing things that felt good, and avoiding things that felt bad. Without fire life would be bleak and miserable. It would lack substance, and Andrew was convinced he would kill himself if fire was ever taken away from him.
But it was there. It would always be there.
Andrew flicked his lighter on and off in his hand, drooling as he stared at the flame in a mesmerized fashion. He was home alone, his parents had left early for work and would not be back until much later, though for some odd reason Andrew felt they would never be back at all. To most children this would be a daunting feeling, but to Andrew it was no considerable matter. If they did not come back, they did not come back; it was as simple as that.
I’d still have fire, he thought longingly.
Then he heard something that jolted him from his thoughts, something able to pull his intent gaze away from the flame.
“Annnndrewwww, Annnndrewww.” The voice sounded like a whisper, but if it was possible, a deafening whisper, and it wasn’t just one voice, it was a few, or more, or thousands.
At first Andrew was confused. He was fairly certain he had not physically heard the voice but more so thought it.
“Burnnnnn, Andrew. Burn it all. Burn it to the ground.” The whisper was sweet now, having the same alluring qualities as his beloved flame. Andrew looked out the window—the voice was coming from the fog.
“Don’t be scared, Andrew. Come out and burn it all. No one will stop you. Burnnnn it all.”
Andrew was curious. His curiosity hinged on suspicion, but Andrew was not in the least bit frightened—he was incapable of fear.
What he was not incapable of was desire.
Andrew felt stiffness in his pants as his erection pushed against the firm confinement of his blue jeans. He wanted to listen to the voice.
“The fog will turn a beautiful orange, lit up by the power and majesty of the fire. The glorious fire!” His parents were gone, they were not coming back. Somehow he knew this. With so much fog, no one would be able to see, no police officer would be able to track him down, and he had a strong feeling something was going on that was distracting the whole town. If Andrew had emotions, he would have acknowledged that it was something awful, something terrible—but that was not the case, and such things were no concern to Andrew.
Do what feels good. Avoid what feels bad.
Andrew knew what would feel good. Andrew knew the voices were right.
It only took a few moments for Andrew to gather the containers of gasoline his father kept hidden in the storage closet within the garage. There were three full containers, along with a half full can of kerosene. Andrew wasn’t quite sure what he could do with this amount of fluid, but he was in an adventurous enough mood to go and find out.
There was a gleam in his eyes, stronger than any gleam there had ever been before.
Andrew Murphy was a pyromaniac.
He was also a sociopath.