Morning Pages: 10/28/19

Douglas loved to watch things burn.
…that’s how all this started. He’d done for a bunch of them any nobody’d got hurt.
He sat at the edge of his motel bed. The floor was stained off white. Maybe somebody’d spilled their coffee years ago. The bed cover and blankets weren’t much better. The bright of the TV reflected in his eyes. A warm and flickering blur.
Douglas breathed in an unsteady breath. He clenched his hands and felt the sweat between his fingers. He wetted his lips with his tongue.
Somewhere, someone was burning.
***
He’d come to his calling late in life. It was probably for the best, otherwise he’d might have hurt somebody. Like last night; there would have been more incidents like last night.
Douglas checked out of his room early. Left the key in the dropbox near the office. His suitcase was packed and he’d return to London. He never did his work at home. He did it abroad. That was another thing. He was. . . smarter now that he had been as a boy.
As he climbed into his Lift, he loosened the neck of his tie. October could be warm when the sun was out, like now, and he couldn’t help but shake a feeling. Like something in his stomach making him sweat.
“Airport?” asked the driver.
“It’s what I put on the app, right?”
“Yeah,” said the driver, a white man in a sweatshirt, his head was balding. “I just like to make sure.”
“Yes. That’s correct.”
The driver grunted and pulled out into traffic.
***
The night before, Douglas had gone to the industrial district. Or, that is, it had once been in the industrial district. Jobs and moved on since those days. Now all that could be found in those wear houses were forgotten scraps of metal and cars and manufacturing memories. There wasn’t nothing left of worth there. That’s why Douglas picked the spot.
***
“Bit of a delay,” said the driver.
“Huh?” Douglas asked.
“I said, bit of delay.”
Douglas looked out the side window. They were in a residential neighborhood, but as it was a Tuesday there weren’t many people about. All on their way work, likely. Some of the houses were worn and old and shuttered tight with plywood.
“Things been like this for a while?” he asked the driver.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean with the empty houses.”
“Never been here before, have you?”
“No,” said Douglas.
“This has been happening for years now. Years and years. Everybody wants to move closer to the city center. You know?”
“No,” said Douglas.
“Oh, yeah.” said the driver. “People are hot for it.”
“What’d you mean?”
“People just want that high life. Hang on, they’ve got us on detour.”
The driver followed a bright orange traffic sign that turned them onto a different right.
“Just crazy, yeah know?” said the driver.
“What is?”
“The fire.”
The fire.
“What fire?” asked Douglas, trying to sound curious without being knowledgable.

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