When Man Discovered Fire

It was nighttime. The darkness would hide what Denela was about to do. She brought the bucket outside and dumped its contents into a corner of the yard. There were several plastic containers from soft drinks, empty foil and plastic sachets from shampoo, vinegar and soy sauce, sardine and corned beef tins, plastic bags and paper. She squatted in the dark and in a few seconds, a small burst of light. There was no wind, so the light was unwavering and it grew bigger and bigger. The contents of the bucket burned. Black smoke billowed out of it. She quickly walked away, back into the house and placed the bucket back into its place just outside the kitchen for refilling.

A banana and cassava grove lay between her house and the automotive shop. Someone turned off the lights. It was after dinner. In the empty space behind the shop there was a scuffle. Then a small burst of light that grew bigger and bigger. It was bigger than what Denela had in her yard. The smoke billowed not because of the wind but because of it’s own intensity. There was no wind, not even a light breeze. The fire consumed rubber, brake fluid containers, disposable paint cups, fluorescent lamps, rags, clothing, and pieces of electronics.

Fifty years ago, Victor discovered a great way of catching chickens in the night. They were perched high up in the trees. What Victor did was take an old vinyl record. He went into the woods. Under a tree where there were chickens perched, he squatted. There was a small burst of light that quickly became bigger. He walked a short distance away and watched the black smoke climb into the trees. In a few minutes, five chickens fell to the ground.

Fatima Lasay, San Roque
Monday, August 26, 2019

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