At seven, Jacob hated his little sister and her pink hair ribbons. His Mother waited for the day he’d have a change of heart.
Little boys like to melt things. When I was a much younger version of myself, we burned our garbage in an open-topped oil drum in the back yard and dozens of plastic action figures met their demise above the flaming pit. Some stranded atop the burning heap and others strapped to a rod, secured by wire, as their bodies dripped away.
Jacob never burned his toys. When he slept-over at a friend’s, he’d steal something to burn. He’d once stolen from the Christmas box at the mall and melted it with its packaging. His sister had only started getting toys suitable for burning.
Jacob carried the Barbie doll outside after snatching his Mom’s culinary torch. He’d never understood why she burned pudding but the fire it made – oh, the fire. On his belly in the grass, he went to work and breathed-in Barbie’s plastic screams.
Fixated eyes barely registered the flash of pink before he started choking. Weight on his back and a small foot against the back of his head turned hate into fear.