Birthday candles were the inspiration; adolescent psychosis provided the motivation.
“It’s so pretty, Mister,” Freddy explained to the fire fighter after torching the neighbor’s doghouse. (He’d made sure Duke was at the groomer’s, first). “I like the fire,” he continued. “The blue is like Mommy’s [saffer] ring. And the orange is for Halloween and pumpkins.”
That was at the tender age of seven.
Fast-forward thirty-three fires:
“… wanted to feel th’ sapphire, Dude,” a whisper throbbed through a shroud of morphine, gauze and bandages.
The detective struggled to make out the gasps.
“And how did it feel, son?”
“Like…bein’ inside fireworks…watchin’ myself sizzle…,” he managed. “Like a birthday ca—”