Burn. Burn Just For Me….

 

 


Fire. The power of the conflagration as it consumes everything before it. Dominant. Unwavering. Merciless. The roar of the air as it is sucked into that vortex as the flames billow, the twisting colours that perform that mesmerising dance. Oh such glorious power embodied in the flames of yellow, amber, gold, orange, rust, copper and tangerine. The crackling, the popping, the groaning of the wood as it succumbs to that irresistible force. The hissing of a liquid, perhaps sap in a branch or the bubbling of melting plastic. Nothing halts the advance of this mighty wall of flame. A blaze of indomitable might that devours everything that it touches. The wood blackens and ignites, the dancing flames engulfing it, surrounding it. Rubber slowly melts, the blackened, acrid smoke spilling from it, paint peels and blisters before bubbling into the ether. Paper, so pathetic, it ignites without the touch of the flame, such is the heat that surrounds it as it folds and the flames burst upon it like a flower blossoming. Such a powerful force, such a destructive inferno that consumes and leaves only ash, blackened metal and the stench of consumption behind. Fire does not discriminate, it conquers and subdues. Nothing stands in its way. Fabric, wood, plastic, glass, vegetation – whatever it might be, it will be consumed by the marching troopers of flame, the army which becomes stronger and stronger as it advances. The more it consumes, the more it destroys and the more powerful it becomes. Fuel the fire, give it the fuel, keep it fuelled, watch it want more and more fuel and as it receive that fuel, see how it becomes even more dangerous, how it moves at such a pace to outstrip a running human, watch it demolish, devour and destroy. Fire.

Fire has always been a fascination for me. I find a beauty in its form and power. I would always volunteer to light the candles at dinner, striking the match and smelling that sulphurous scent as the match sparked and took light. I would watch the flame for a moment, observing this new form of life as it spluttered and guttered into existence. The flickering flame would eventually steady, like a foal finding its feet and then with the flame established I would introduce it to each wick of the four candles that always were presented for lighting. Those candles were never used twice. Dependent on how long dinner lasted, what remained of the candles would be thrown away and new ones placed upon the table. I always sought to light all four from one match, carefully moving the flaming match from one to the second, to the next and to the last. The gentle embrace of the yellow flame transferring from match to wick and then a new flame, a new offspring appearing. One, two, three and four.

Once complete and with still burning match I would turn and look for something else to ignite. How about father´s newspaper? How about the table cloth? How about my sister´s hair? The thoughts would come fast as I waited with my flaming wand, revelling in the prospect of bringing mayhem and response through the application of flame. Such immediate plans were thwarted as another member of the family would enter and distracted the flame would burn to my fingers causing me to mutter and then extinguish the match. The box of matches would be taken from me, although of course I had already secreted three or four in my pocket for use elsewhere. I knew that the match could be struck on the zip of my trousers and once again I would hold the power of fire in my hand.

What should I burn? Anything? Everything? I would take my brother´s comic and lift the lit match to the corner as I held it over the bath. I would watch as the flames began to grow as I held it as long as I could, seeing the oranges and yellows rise and devour the faces, the characters and the words in the speech bubbles. Look at how complete the fire is. See how it eradicates the artistry, obliterates the words, erases the very existence of everything in this comic book. Wipes them from the face of the earth. I would allow the blackened and still burning comic to fall into the bath and stare until it was entirely black.

“HG! What is that smell?” called a voice (sometimes) from the other side of the door.

“I think a neighbour is burning rubbish on a bonfire,” I would answer easily without hesitation or delay as I turned and opened the window to release the smoke.

“What are you doing?”

“What do you think I am doing in the bathroom, go away!” I would order.

There would be a pause and then the voice would instruct.

“Hurry up.”

I would ignore the injunction and instead turn on the tap to turn the brittle blackened paper into fragmented, sodden blobs which would wash away down the plughole. I would find a bottle or canister and spray it to mask the scent of smoke before sitting on the toilet and hold the remaining matches in my hand as I contemplated what would be done with them. Where would I lead my fire to next?

Thus my sister would find occasional dolls kidnapped and consigned to a funeral pyre made in the garden. I would stack the twigs and small branches, the newspaper twisted between them, before placing Cindy or Barbie on top and then with a solemnity not amiss at a religious ceremony, I would strike the match and recite the doll´s sins which necessitated her purification through fire. Trees would be scorched in the garden as I sought to turn their bark ablaze. Photographs would be plucked from albums and then placed carefully on an already burning fire to watch the flames delete the people contained therein. My abusers found their images particularly sought after and removed from albums not just at my home, but at mu uncle’s home also. Let them burn what they have done and what they do. Burn.

I found the clinical precision of flame matched me. Incessant, unforgiving, relentless. It dispensed oblivion without concern, hesitation of demurring. Just in the way that I did.

So much I found to burn, so many scenarios and materials that came to perish by my obsession with the application of flame as I experimented and learned and with everything about me, I required larger, more satisfying and more memorable outcomes.

During part of my childhood, my friends and I would devise games in the darkness cloaked garden during Autumn and Winter. We would fashion swords, shields, armours, mace, flails and much more as we created adventure upon adventure. Invariably, we would set a fire behind one of the outbuildings in the expansive gardens. This fire would serve as a campfire which we would gather around, our young faces illuminated by the flames as we discussed which orc encampment we would raid or whether the red dragon would fly down from its lair and seek us out after we had stolen part of its treasure hoard. One of my friends was called David and there came an occasion where my father, David´s father, David and me were all sat in my father´s car as he drove us to some place on a Saturday afternoon.

“Dad, may I play at HG´s house tonight?” asked David.

His father, a dour man who thought himself far brighter than he was ( a plodding bean counter at some government institution) twisted in the passenger seat and addressed his son.

“Yes, you may,” he then turned his gaze on me “but don’t come back stinking of that bloody smoke. It is every time you play with him.” he added.

Him? Him? Him!

I felt my own flames burst into life within me. Who did he think he was referring to me as him.

I looked towards the rear view mirror and my father´s eyes rested on me as he tilted his head, entreating me to offer confirmation. Weak as always father.

“Oh, no, David will not smell of smoke, there won’t be a fire at my house tonight,” I replied. I returned David´s father´s gaze. He did not scare me.

He looked at me for a moment and then nodded in satisfaction before turning back to face forward and engaging my father in some no doubt tedious observation about double entry book keeping or such like.

In keeping with my word, when David and my other friends joined me at my house, along with my brother, we did not build a fire. I explained that this would invariably attract those (in the game) who were hunting us and thus the garden remained cloaked in  relative darkness. My friends were engaged in the collection of various ingredients from the garden to add to our collection of potions which were concocted and stored in an old stone outhouse. Whilst they attended to the gathering of mushrooms, fallen fruit, strips of bark, leaves and herbs from the herb garden, I slipped away from the group and shrouded in the near darkness made my way to a section of the garden where various logs were stored under cover against a shed. My prize lay three rows across and four columns up. My hand slipped inside and touched upon the top of the bottle secreted there. I pulled it free. It was an empty lemonade bottle which would ordinarily be returned to the store for a small payment, but this time it had a much more important repayment to make.

I slipped the bottle inside my coat and scurried along the old wall of the garden right to the end. I clambered neatly over the fence at the end and landed in the bushes behind it which meant I was now in another garden, which belonged to a neighbour. I knew precisely where I was going (I had done this many times before as a convenient short cut) as I made my way through the bushes, stepping through a fence, along the back of another garden, slipping over a low wall, along another garden and then over another stone wall to find myself in the garden that belonged to David´s family.

I crouched down feeling that familiar sensation of power starting to rise within me.

“Him?” I hissed quietly.

I saw ahead the garden shed at the rear of the garden and advanced towards it. I crouched down low and looked upwards. The lawn was long, narrower than that at my house and rose to the house where I could see the outline of light around the curtains framing various windows. The moon offered a little light and I waited as I ensured nobody happened to be gazing from a window into the ink black garden. Satisfied I was unseen, I reached inside my coat and pulled from the pocket the lemonade bottle. I twisted off the cap and placed it in another pocket. The heady smell of petrol wafted upwards. Ah, such a delightful scent. Smells like power. I had stolen the petrol earlier that day from the jerry can kept in the garage. Some had slopped onto the stone floor of the garage and I had been tempted to light it and watch the flames do their dance until the petrol burned out but I resisted. I knew there would be a far superior display to enjoy.

I poured the petrol along the wood of the shed, letting the potent liquid coat the lower section as on my haunches I moved backwards and continued to pour ensuring that I soaked a patch of earth and autumnal leaves at the north-western edge of the shed, until the bottle was empty. I then replaced the cap and secured the now empty bottle back into my inside coat pocket. I reached to a different pocket and unzipped it, removing the box of matches as I moved back further, retreating into the bushes at the end of the garden.

“Him?” I repeated.

I took a match and struck it against the box. It flared up and I cupped the flame with my hand allowing it to become established. I looked up and then said “Burn. Burn just for me.” I threw the match a small distance so it landed on the soaked patch and the flames immediately caught. There was the satisfying noise of “wumph” as the flames erupted and then that marvellous moment as the flames streamed along the petrol embraced edge of the shed. The blue and yellow flames soared as the petrol burned and then the colours shifted to orange and yellow as the wood of the shed came under assault from the growing fire. I watched and backed away. I stared at the increasing fire, the first sounds of cracking emanating as the dry wood starting to succumb to its assailant. I continued to back away until I felt the stone wall against my back and there, tucked away in the bushes, I stared through them at the gathering inferno. The flames rose higher, long tongues of orange reaching upwards, the wood groaning and popping, cracking and crackling as the flames continued to grow. Up they climbed and I watched. I saw as they began to lick underneath the glass window, I watched as they coiled about the other sides of the shed, I watched as they made their way up to the roof, an orange ivy climbing and engulfing. There was the first sharp crack as a window pane shattered the glass broken but still remaining in the pane for a moment before it shattered again and slipped from its pane onto the floor. Now the flames could, like some burglar, encroach within, the long limbs of orange flame stealing within to seek out whatever lay within. Garden tools, fertiliser, chemicals, toys, paint, bicycles – whatever it might be was now being consumed.

“Jesus! Call the fire brigade!” cried a voice from the house. I could see someone stood at the top of the stone steps which led down into the garden. They were frozen, unsure as to whether to advance or to perhaps run and grab the garden hose to start some rudimentary fire fighting. I felt another surge within me as I heard this reaction to my fire-starting.

I waited another moment, savouring the scene of the conflagration as the shed was almost now entirely engulfed. It was old, dry wood which stood no chance under the accelerant assisted inferno. Such satisfaction at seeing those flames and knowing that the smell of smoke was indeed not coming from my garden, just as I promised and instead I had brought the smell of smoke here instead along with my good and able friend fire.

It was time to go and I clambered over the stone wall, slipping into the neighbours and quickly running back to my own house.

I had made it burn. I had showed him.

This was just a start.

Burn. Burn just for me……

82 thoughts on “Burn. Burn Just For Me….

  1. Chihuahuamum says:

    I could never understand pyromania. I think it must stem from psychopathy a lot like hurting animals. It’s a form of sadism. A pleasure from destruction and pain.
    I think those with pyromania get a feeling of being powerful from something so consuming, but the fire isn’t burning for you it’s just burning.
    Beauty can come from fire too. The woods will burn and new growth will start. Just like a victim of narcissism we can grow from it’s destruction.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Pyromania is nothing to do with psychopathy, it is entirely different and actually very rare.

      1. Chihuahuamum says:

        Hi HG… It has sadistic elements to it i would think in the destruction and loss of life it causes? Also the thrill of getting away with it like shoplifting etc.
        I got thinking about the power fire has and in a reverse way it’s lack of power even if you are the one who set the fire. The fire is in control nobody else not even the one who set it or the narcissist.

  2. Leigh says:

    You really have a way with words, Mr. Tudor. So articulate and expressive. I really felt like I was there.

    There were a couple of things that stood out to me. Firstly, you talked about how the match burned your fingers and you muttered. You didn’t indicate if you felt pain from the burning match. . Im curious, did you feel any pain from it.

    Secondly, you were so patient, even as a child. Even though David’s father challenged you, you waited to get your revenge. Also, when the petrol spilled on the stone floor, you could have lit it but you waited because you knew there would be a bigger prize. Children and many adults need instant gratification. Not you, though. You had your eye on the prize the whole time. Part of me is impressed and the other part of me thinks it’s a little scary.

    Lastly, you said “Oh, no, David will not smell of smoke, there won’t be a fire at MY house tonight,” and then you honored your word and there was no fire at your house. I will often omit or change a word so that I can be true to my word as well.

    Brilliant article. Thank you for sharing.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

      No transgression is ever left unaddressed.

      1. Whitney says:

        That is good and scary HG

  3. WiserNow says:

    HG,

    This is an amazing post. I’m still considering different aspects about it, after reading it several days ago. My thoughts:

    1. The writing and story-telling is brilliant. The richly descriptive detail ‘ignited’ (lol) my thoughts and ‘fired up’ my imagination 🔥 (sorry, I couldn’t resist). While reading, it felt like I was right there with you, in the bathroom as the flames slowly enveloped the comic book, as you stealthily ran along the fences, and watching the flames rise higher as the shed burned. It was a joy to read. Thank you for the beautiful story-telling.

    2. I felt a sickening sense of alarm and disgust at the damage and destruction you willfully caused simply because David’s father referred to you as ‘him’. It was rude and arrogant of him to say that when you were right there listening. However, it did not warrant your reaction. The ‘imbalance’ in relation to the ’cause and effect’ was startling. I must admit, while reading, I found it difficult to ‘understand’ even though I know what was driving your behaviour. It seemed so out of proportion.

    3. Focusing only on the conversation in the car (thanks to your detailed description):
    a) David’s father referred to you rudely as ‘him’. That caused indignation and anger in you.
    b) You looked towards your father and saw his eyes in the rear-view mirror, expecting you to disregard the rude comment and offer confirmation. You regarded your father as “weak as always”.
    c) Rather than show an emotional reaction, you stayed in ‘control’, only to unleash your ‘revenge’ later.
    This small snapshot took hardly a few seconds, however, it caused a huge cold ‘emotional’ reaction. I can relate to the ‘rage’ after your father failed to protect you ‘yet again’. When my father did the same, I would feel a sinking feeling of despair or I would lash out in anger. Instead of despair, you felt cold deadly fury. You were insulted (or threatened); then your father (protector) failed to protect you; and your resulting ‘angst’ manifested in a forceful and unfettered retaliation.

    4. Fire is an element, along with air, water and earth. All of the elements have a dual symbolic nature, like yin and yang, or ‘good’ and ‘bad’. The ‘good’ aspects of fire are that it’s warming, inspiring, creative, shielding, energetic. The ‘bad’ aspects are that it’s aggressive, destructive, dangerous, painful. I find it interesting to think of these aspects in relation to your fascination with fire.

    Thank you for this honest and very interesting glimpse into your childhood.

  4. Mercy says:

    Your fascination makes me think pyromania but I don’t get the sense that you can’t control your desire to set fires . Revenge suggest arson but this story seems behavioral rather than criminal.  You say when he called you “Him” (👈 hmm) you complied and withdrew which was a form of control at that moment, but not the type of control you would have preferred. “I will get him”, your preferred control, would be revenge. Ugh your behavior is not fitting neatly into either box. Once again you’ve got my wheels turning. 

    I really enjoyed this story HG. I also got a chance to listen to Shade on YouTube. LOVED IT! I’m obsessed with Shade.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you for your observations. It is not pyromania because I lack the mania element. Pyromania is actually very rare. My need to fire start is linked to both my narcissism and psychopathy but is driven most by my psychopathy. I will be revealing more of my activity with fire in due course.

      1. Mercy says:

        Thank you HG, I’m looking forward to it.

          1. Mercy says:

            Z, I didn’t see that. I’m heading there now.

      2. Asp Emp says:

        So you don’t lack the ‘pyro’ then, HG? 😉

    2. Truthseeker6157 says:

      Mercy,

      I was wondering similar. Taking HG out of it and just brainstorming ideas.

      Narcissism makes an individual hypersensitive to control. Paranoid from our perspective.

      Psychopaths tend to experience paranoia also.

      If a psychopath has no fear and is drawn to the power aspect of fire then there is little to regulate instances where fire is seen as an option to control a person or situation.

      Torches are often psychopaths. Paid to fire start. They enjoy fire and have no empathy for the people affected.

      A business owner that burns down his business for an insurance claim also would likely be a psychopath. No attachment to the business itself or those affected.

      If an individual has power over the fire in terms of starting it, then it’s conceivable that the power and destructive element transfers from the fire itself to the individual. At least from their perspective.

      There is no ego with a psychopath only the Id. Without empathy and with reduced impulse control, there must be no way to distinguish between hitting a guy in the face because he insulted you and burning his house down. There’s no proportionate response. The only means to moderate behaviour is therefore the threat of being caught, being incarcerated or similar.

      Starting a fire is a secretive act. There’s no playing to a crowd or bragging about it afterwards. There’s planning involved. This sounds more like a psychopath than a narcissist.

      There is limited fuel involved other than thought fuel. (Pardon the pun) Surely the narcissist would want everyone to know that it was he who started the fire?

      The psychopath is objective driven. The result of the house being burned down / damaged is probably enough to demonstrate his omnipotence.

      Seeing the fear, upset and financial cost to the victim might offer fuel to the narcissism. Being shouted at or questioned if suspected I suppose might also offer proximate fuel from a secondary source, / sources therefore would be quite potent.

      Overall I can see why this is psychopathic but struggle to incorporate the narcissism into it.

      That’s as far as I got!

      1. Mercy says:

        TS, I’m a little stuck on the link to his narcissism too. He says that the need is linked to both but mainly his psycopathy. I had forgotten about thought fuel. Thank you for reminding me. He is young in this story and we know that he was aware of his narcissism at an early age ( just not having a name for it yet) He talks of purification of sins, burning photos of his abusers “let them burn for what they have done and what they do”

        “I found the clinical precision of flame matched me. Incessant, unforgiving, relentless. It dispensed oblivion without concern, hesitation of demurring. Just in the way that I did. Burn”

        He sees himself as the flame. I think the link to his narcissism has something to do with becoming aware of who he is. I don’t know, I may be reaching here.

        1. A Victor says:

          Hi Mercy, I am struck by HG’s use of the word ‘need’ here. I take from this that the narcissism plays a role in the painting black part, the desire for getting even, and something would certainly happen even without the psychopathy, but I think it’s the psychopathy that takes it to the level of absolute destruction, the psychopathy that connects with that level of destruction, and the power that’s bringing it, so perfectly.

          1. Mercy says:

            AV,

            I caught that too. A ‘need’ would suggest a desire or compulsion to set fires. His narcissism demands control, his school of narcissism cannot be satisfied by the weak control given in the car (control to suit the environment with his father in the car). Pairing that with his psycopathy, absolute destruction is necessary (need).

          2. Truthseeker6157 says:

            AV

            Evil

            “I cannot distinguish between want and need”

            Psychopathy driven I think. Linked to impulse control.

            Xx

        2. A Victor says:

          Sorry, I see a possible confusion there. The first sentence should have been separated from the remainder, it was an observation.

          And one other thought that I’ve had is that the narcissism feels like a naughty child in it’s behaviors, the psychopathy feels like a much more mature and serious naughty older child, much more dangerous in an actual life threatening way. A step or 10 beyond the narcissism, which as we know is already dangerous in itself.

          1. Eternity says:

            I suppose being an Arsonist can be similar. I have family members that actually got hurt during forest fires that happened in Greece. So sad . The fire spread so quickly because of the heat and perhaps arson. Insane ! Thank God it rained .
            The song Burning Down The House by Talking Heads reminds me of this article.

        3. Truthseeker6157 says:

          Hey Mercy,

          I think the shock factor muddies the waters. It’s tough for us to interpret because it feels so extreme. The fact this is little HG adds to that I think.

          I re read a few more times. When David’s father comes out and shouts, the narcissism gets fuel from that. Panic in the tone of voice, shocked expression etc. HG is still watching and is taking on fuel here. The father’s body language and indecisive movements as he considers going for the hose etc. It’s proximate fuel but without it being a direct interaction. Similarly the event will be talked about after. Who did it, damage caused, possible interrogations etc. The opportunity to demonstrate mastery and control through denial and deception. Fuel again. Actions and results caused by HG. Thought fuel as fire services arrive etc etc. So reading again I can see benefits for the narcissism as a result of the driver that is the psychopathy. This might be how the two elements sit together. More of a psychopathic driver but an additional desire for / receipt of fuel that is the narcissism.

          Psychopaths enjoy the game. I think this is an early indication of game play and enjoyment. Setting the shed on fire was no different to burning Barbie in terms of conscience, but it established superiority and control when control was threatened by the original comment.

          It’s really very interesting.

          Xx

      2. Violetta says:

        In HG’s case, the other guy’s father criticized him. No narcissist will tolerate that.

  5. Joa says:

    I love such detailed descriptions. Every shade. Nuance. Precisely. I like to read slowly and turn around… and turn back. A palette of feelings and colors. You can almost touch with the other mind.

    Fire and water (deep water) are equally fascinating. It is as terrible as it is useful. But fire is certainly more effective.

    ——————————-

    I smiled over the passage about lighting candles. The biggest quarrels over matches between me and my sister were always in the cemetery. All Saints’ Day (Day of the Dead) is one of my favorite holidays. Life and death. Melancholy. Reverie. Internal conversation with those who were. Fire. The smell of milions wick smoke everywhere, which I like so much. A wonderful glow spreading high over cemeteries. Flickering of flames and their reflections on the walls of lamps, muffled light around. Darkness.

    I’m not religious. I’ve never been. At the age of 9, I refused to go to church. It was hell at home! 😊 It was probably my first serious shot at the family facade, the first crack, like a chick in an shell, heh. For several years they forced me to attend religion lessons, but with my whole attitude I showed what I thought about it. Nothing was right for me there. Nothing stuck together. I quickly realized that it was just another whip to keep in check.

    But Day of the Dead, All Souls Day – I like it. Like a metaphorical intertwining point of the world of the living and the past. Without religious indoctrination and facade (who will buy a better wreath, who will decorate the grave better, who will light it up brighter, and the others have not even cleaned up, funny bustle – this is my mother in all its glory).

    I don’t like Halloween. Pointless joy. A smile wearing a candy wrapper. Costume parade made of artificial materials. Spend. I do not understand this.

    ——————————–

    Burning sheets of paper in the bathtub or sink is also familiar to me 😊 Fire and water – fun. Holding my hand over the flame, right over the wick – I always won over my sister. I was the originator of very stupid games. Stupid enough that at the age of 8-10, my parents and teachers debated how to influence me and separated me from my best friend (“they have a bad influence on each other”). Despite the change of classes, and then schools, they still failed. Forbidden was even more exciting. Our friendship flourished for many years to come.

    Smoking dolls and pictures of real people – oh no! Sadness. Annihilation. I’m like the archivist of the past. Someone Retires – What can I do about some things? Bring Joa office. Someone from the family died – it’s a pity to throw away photos and dusty documents, but why litter your house with it – call Joa. He will take and give this paper a meaning, dig it up and put together interesting stories. It irritates me sometimes. I am learning to annihilate. I have to. I store in my memory and ready I give the hard drives around me 😊

    The smell of gasoline. Yes, I like to take a puff. Contrary to appearances, many people like him.

    The excitement and realization of the idea of burning the shed must have been great. I would immediately think of a family of mice that may live under the floor. No sense in burnt ladybugs, spiders, my imagination would tell me thousands of options in the direction of – NO.

    ———————–

    Fire is fascinating. Spectacular. Quick. Colorful. It sizzles and rustles. I would definitely be looking at him if I had been there.

    But I would be even more focused on the boy’s face, larynx and hands.

    1. Asp Emp says:

      Joa, it was great to read what you had to say here. Thank you, I thoroughly enjoyed it 🙂

      1. Joa says:

        My pleasure 🙂

  6. BC30 says:

    Haha I got a real kick imagining the tiny funerals, little twig pyres. IRL burning Barbie hair really 😷 stinks tho.

    1. Sweetest Perfection says:

      Burning human hair does too and it goes off at an incredibly fast speed!

      1. BC30 says:

        Every time I see you new avi I think, “You sure ax-o-lotl quesions.” (I’ll see myself out. 👈)

        1. Truthseeker6157 says:

          Hahaha! That tickled me.

          Xx

        2. Sweetest Perfection says:

          Hahaha silly rabbit!

  7. lickemtomorrow says:

    Oh my … the darkness within.

    It reminds me of two terrifying stories from childhood. Both related to fire.

    One was the story of a young boy who secreted himself in a large bin to play with matches. He burned to death after being unable to climb out of the bin. He was also a boy in our neighbourhood. It served as a salutary warning never to play with matches.

    The other was a serious accident close to our home where a car and truck collided and the family caught in the conflagration burned to death. Children my age died. I seem to remember my father being in the vicinity and unable to help. It was very distressing.

    These are the stories of fire I remember from my childhood.

    In the larger scheme of things, I would much rather see a building burn.

    Having said that, I’m fascinated with your fascination with fire.

    It’s desctructive force is well known. How that ties in with your psychopathy is intriguing.

    1. psychologyandworldaffairs says:

      Hi lickemtomorrow,

      Your pointing out childhood tragedies spurred a memory. I set fire to a portion of my bedroom.

      Not due to playing to matches. My father brought me a huge chemistry set along with microscopes and bunsen burners. There was a booklet of experiments – but so much fun to see how chemicals reacted – beyond them.

      Fortunately, no death or injury. I was more worried it would be taken away and there was some talk of age appropriateness (I was 11). But other than a few safety measures – they let me get on with it.

      Lord knows what I may have tried if the internet had been a thing back than 😉

      1. Asp Emp says:

        OMG PAWA, a huge chemistry set – with bunsen burners too. You lucky thing. I would have been in my element! Laughing……”age appropriateness” at 11 years old!!! Laughing at the last sentence too! Ah, thank you for the laugh 🙂

      2. lickemtomorrow says:

        PAWA, I remember these chemistry sets well, although I can’t remember ever having one myself and I’m not sure they even sell them anymore. They would definitely provide a fascination for young, inquiring minds. I’m not sure about a bunsen burner in the bedroom, but at least someone was able to save the day.

        Children are inherently unaware of danger, which is probably why so many horrific stories are told to them (via fairy tales, etc.) in order for them to become more aware. It’s like an awful necessity, much like it is when it comes to the narcissist and the warnings we receive here. HG highlights this in his revisited fairy tales with a twist – “if you go into the woods” is a classic example using Little Red Riding Hood. I’m still trying to work out why any child needs to know the story of Hansel and Gretel, considering the parents appear to be as much culprits by abandoning their children in the woods as the wicked witch who plans to eat them! No adults come out looking good in that story.

        Also, my further comment related to HGs story and had nothing to do with the story you shared. My apologies if you got that impression. I should have been more clear. It was related to HGs psychopathy, and not your unfortunate experience with fire, which once again I’m glad turned out to be much less tragic than the stories I shared.

        Psychopaths and the internet is something I don’t even want to think about 😉

        1. Mel says:

          Sad story about chemistry sets. I had one, for Xmas. Say 10? My narc father did all the experiments and I wasn’t allowed. Save the most innocuous involving filtration of water and mud.

          The other thing he did was destroy my own things. Not all but two that have really stayed with me. One is simple. I had a newspaper clipping of a star chart. Simple really. Where are the stars this month.

          The second I was thinking of just in the last 24 hours. A board game. I simply cannot remember the name but it was about space. Board came in two parts. Counters. Possibly a strange form of Ludo. He ripped it up in front of my eyes. I cried. I cried when he ripped up the newspaper clipping.

          Fucks you up when they do that. Its not the loss of the game its the loss of trust. What else might he destroy?

          I did get even. More than even in the end. I never set out for revenge though. Not then.

          I’d dearly love to know the name of that game though.

          Hive NS mind, please help. Its also my birthday this month. This is what I remember. It will be obscure. I just need the name.

          UK bought. Space. Box usual kind of box for a game. Predominantly silver. Possibly late 70s or very early 80s.

          Board in two parts. The pattern on the board composed of circles that represented stars. Black background. Each star had a different value. Was of a different size.

          Every player had a circular counter which held pegs. I believe using dice you would hop to each star and gain the pegs. It was complex but fascinating. Only played it once. I was pestering him for the second playing when he destroyed it.

          Beyond that, Possibly 2-6 players. Standard.

          Its really only now that I understand how important this is.

          The other thing he did was attempt to maim his significant collection of National Geographic. Several hundred, by throwing the lot down the stairs in a tantrum. Most were fine but some had their spines broken, covers ripped or folded. All survived. I cried again.

          Those magazines became incredibly important because for their time, they contained the first fully processed pictures of Jupiter and Saturn from Voyager 1 and 2. Again, in all of these occasions I was 10.

          I guess it was a slow fuel day, those days…

    2. lickemtomorrow says:

      Your story also reminds me of the movie I watched recently and commented on here – “The Bad Seed” – which involved a psychopathic child. Her mother had a jar of matches and noticed the daughter had tried to take some. She requested the daughter replace them, which she did. I can’t remember the excuse she gave for taking them in the first place, but a subsequent distraction with a request to buy ice cream enabled the child to grab some matches again. The handyman had the child pegged and had challenged her over her part in the death of another child. He occasionally slept in the basement of the building on some packaging which he used to make a bed. It wasn’t long after the child left to get her ice cream that the mother heard screaming and smoke began pouring from the external entry to the basement. The handyman was trapped after someone had locked him in from the outside.

      I’m still incredulous this movie was allowed to be made. But it highlights for me the reality that there is sometimes a mind so unlike our own that it becomes impossible to fathom it.

      Incredibly disturbing. Endlessly fascinating. Needlessly destructive.

      1. Violetta says:

        It was based on a 1950s novel, considered even more shocking at a time when society depicted criminal children as the result of deprived backgrounds and supposed they would be readily identifiable as juvenile delinquents by their clothes and defiant attitudes. The idea that the cold-blooded murderer was a solidly middle-class little girl in ruffled pinafores who curtsied to teachers packed a wallop we can hardly imagine now, when little sociopaths are in the news all the time.

        They’ve done several remakes, but the ’50s movie with Patty McCormick is the absolute best, despite its showing its stage origins in setting and acting styles, and the cultural requirement to change the ending so that Rhoda was punished.

        1. lickemtomorrow says:

          Indeed, Violetta, that movie must have packed quite a punch at the time. It still does now, as assumptions in many ways haven’t changed even though we would like to think they have. The whole point about psychopathy, and especially in that movie, is that it can have less to do with upbringing and more to do with genetics. The movie highlighted that, and the nature vs nurture argument formed part of the basis for the movie. I think it was intended to show there was a genetic component. That’s probably obvious from the title also, which is something we wouldn’t accept these days and I even had a problem typing it! To tar a child with that brush is something the medical/psychiatric community is still reluctant to do, although we’ve removed some of the stigma around ‘good’ and ‘bad’ with better scientific understanding. We can focus on the actions being bad, as we must due to their consequences, but we are forced to withhold judgement to a certain extent when it comes to the motivation, and children are still developing so in many respects unable to be held fully accountable.

          The ending of the movie (I saw the Patty McCormick version) is really quite spectacular! Of course, not having read the book I didn’t realize there was an alternate ending. I can only assume Rhoda got away with her evil deeds and I doubt her mother ever fully recovered. It’s a truly stunning portrayal of a psychopathic individual at an early age.

          1. Violetta says:

            Her mother dies in the book. The film handles plot exposition with Christine learning about her murderous bio mother from her adoptive father Richard Bravo, but in the book, Bravo is already dead. Christine has no one to confide in, and burns the letters she wrote her husband (but never sent) when she decides to kill Rhoda and herself. Therefore, her husband has no idea why Christine planned a murder-suicide, and it’s implied Rhoda will continue to wreak destruction unimpeded.

  8. Asp Emp says:

    Oh, dear…….reading ”four candles”…….immediately, I am reminded of ‘The Two Ronnies’ and the four candles OR the fork handles…..that was a very funny clip. There is direct communication between the two characters and yet there were two completely different perceptions of what is being said, or being heard. Just like between a Deaf person and someone who is not Deaf. Just like between a cow and a bat.

    Just like between a narcissist and someone who is not a narcissist.

    Ok, reading the first paragraph, the descriptions of what fire does. It has a life of it’s own. Add the fuel it needs, the more it grows.

    Laughing,…..”paper, so pathetic”…..totally agree. It’s like ‘Is that it?’ kind of reaction. Yes, paper is crap. Magnesium? Iron filings? Yup, that’s more like it 🙂 😉 Having said that, yes, I burn papers in my fire – sometimes lighting one sheet does not actually ‘catch’…..ah, fk, another match is lit……ah, great……(laughing).

    Hmmm……”Fire does not discriminate, it conquers and subdues” – ‘reconfigure’ these words, ‘What Fuel Feels Like to a Narcissist’. ‘Fuel’ when received / obtained would ‘subdue, not necessarily ‘conquer’ the creature. I am also reminded of ‘The 5 Fears of the Narcissist’ and ‘The Five Hatreds of the Narcissist’ (especially the last paragraph of that article). A narcissist can never receive too much ‘fuel’.

    Bloody hell, HG (laughing)….”I knew that the match could be struck on the zip of my trousers “……dearie, me.

    Laughing (it’s the way it is worded)…..”Thus my sister would find occasional dolls kidnapped and consigned to a funeral pyre made in the garden”.

    Yet, reading on (same paragraph), you were obviously meticulous and methodical from an early age. To me, initially, that indicates a need to have control, possibly because of the LOCE you found yourself in. And also the need to ‘destroy’ the ‘damage’ caused to you by ‘Them’. Your describing of placing the photographs, carefully (yet methodically) – an intent to ensure they burned but you were also ‘controlling’ that action in itself – controlling ‘Them’ in the photographs (projecting your hatred of ‘them’ via the photographs onto the fire). That gave you control. Yet, not quite the ‘control’ you really needed (at that time).
    In these words, the anger, the hatred is visible…..”Let them burn what they have done and what they do. Burn”.

    As you got older, the need also ‘grew’, for larger ‘items’ to burn. Yes, it may have appeared as ‘oblivion’ yet it did not quite ‘quench’ what was ‘felt’. As a child, that ‘understanding’ was ‘developing’ but not necessarily totally ‘understood’ as to be able to describe it into words, or even, a ‘language’ for others to comprehend.

    “Plodding bean counter”……laughing.

    I’m reading the part about you going from the other boys into David’s garden, the match has been lit…..then I see the word “wumph”……I started laughing.

    Ok, this article, in my view, gives further insight into you, HG, as an individual who was subject to unjust abuse. You may have shared quite a bit of what you endured when you were very young. You were also, I imagine, many times over, ‘denied’ the ‘aims’ of ‘goals’ as a child, because the ‘control’ from Matrinarc (and others) exerted over you was unjust. Too much for someone with your level of intelligence would add further ‘fuel’ to the ‘fire’, so to speak.

    Thank you for sharing this, HG. It invoked in me, a number of thoughts, emotions – not in relation to my past, just understanding how it must have made you ‘create’ yourself into what you had to learn to do, in order to ‘survive’ (protection / the ‘wall’) as an individual.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you for sharing your observations, I found them interesting to read.

      1. Asp Emp says:

        Thank you HG. Pleased with your response, much appreciated 🙂 Issues with internet again & mobile too so I’ll be back asap. Happy birthday to you & KTN. Well done & thanks. Love you 🙂 x

        1. A Victor says:

          I hope your internet issues are resolved soon, I miss you Asp Emp! Leigh too, hope she’s doing well.

          1. Asp Emp says:

            AV, ah, it’;s still “unresolved” and told em earlier it’s gone on too long now and told em I was gonna make another call after I had ended the call with them……ho hum……regulator escalated straight to executives – one call did that. Still getting 0.2 Mbps at mo. A WiFi Booster proved it is their issue (returned product after use & obtained refund). 5 times over a 9 month period = enough is enough. My narcissistic side came out earlier today with my lobbing my knowledge about my rights at them…..anyway, thank you 🙂

          2. Leigh says:

            Aww, thank you AV. I’ve been responding to your comments. I think wordpress is a narcissist and gaslights us & gives us silent treatments, lol!

    2. A Victor says:

      Hi Asp Emp, I thought of one of the Dark Cupid episodes with this article.

      HG, the video on YT is amazing also, thank you again for sharing this experience.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        You are welcome.

  9. FoolMe1Time says:

    I enjoyed this article very much HG, you bring a story to life like no other! I’m sure things from your childhood cannot be easy for you to share. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you FM1T.

      1. FoolMe1Time says:

        You’re welcome HG. Six years sure did go fast HG, looking forward to many more. Congratulations! Xx

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Thank you.

        2. Sweetest Perfection says:

          Foolme1time!!! Glad to see you! It’s been a while 😘

          1. FoolMe1Time says:

            Hi Sweet Pea! Happy to see you also! It has been awhile. Thought I’d drop in and wish the old man Happy Anniversary! Guess I should wish him Happy Birthday too since it’s his birthday day month. Take care of yourself Sweet Pea! 😘

  10. A Victor says:

    This is terrifying. Thank you for sharing it HG. My ex had this kind of obsession as a youngster, this was in part why he was sent away at 13. Would a narcissist involved in such things later switch to being almost afraid of fire in his own home, where his family lived? This is what happened, it always confused me. Maybe he was “protecting” assets, understanding the power of fire?

  11. Sweetest Perfection says:

    You sure bring hell with you wherever you go, HG. Also, poor Cindy and Barbie enduring your particular version of Sati.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Indeed.

      1. Sweetest Perfection says:

        I couldn’t take away from my mind the image of the Disaster Girl meme…

  12. Cb says:

    Closing in on 25 million hits, HG!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Indeed I am.

  13. NarcAngel says:

    I enjoy how you present content. You don’t just relay a story. Your writing, both atmospheric and visual, brings life to the content and allows an immersive experience that aids in better. understanding.

    Example: I felt your abhorrence at this “commoner” referring to you as “him” and the resulting ignition of fury.

    If I understand correctly, you did not “plan” to burn down his shed, but a response to that wounding was created IN THAT MOMENT to assert control and that was what resulted?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you NA.

      David´s father issued challenge fuel. I could not assert control directly in the manner I wanted to and therefore had to demonstrate compliance through withdrawal and agreeing to what had been requested. That allowed me to achieve control. The threat to control in that instant was addressed. However, he became painted black and because of my school of narcissist, I thought “I will get you”. I then planned to take those steps to “get him” and I did so later that night.

      1. Witch says:

        @HG
        Were you punished for setting the shed of fire?
        If not is that because you didn’t you get caught or you were a suspect but nothing happened?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          No.
          I did not get caught. Idiots get caught.

  14. MB says:

    The most surprising thing about this post is the blatant disregard for the perfection of a balanced journal entry! Haha. Just kidding! I was fascinated and horrified by this peek into HG’s early life and the making of a serial arsonist. The wounding caused by something my radar wouldn’t even detect bringing about such retribution is a learning experience indeed.

    1. A Victor says:

      Hi MB, oddly, I would have likely caught the put down, the dismissiveness of the friend’s father. It would have hurt and angered me. But to go for retribution, no way, especially not of this magnitude. This is pretty incredible actually, in a horrific and fascinating sort of way.

    2. Z - zwartbolleke says:

      Congratulations for six years of the blog Sir.
      Thank you for what you have created and all the effort you put in it.

      Make a beautiful fire in celebration of this!

      Kind regards,
      Z

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Thank you and well remembered on the birthday of the blog.

        1. Fiddleress says:

          Happy blog birthday then HG!
          For some reason I came to believe that 1st September was your own birthday.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            Thank you.

        2. Empath007 says:

          Happy blog aversiry HG ! Best and literally ONLY blog I’ve ever read/participated in – because most of the Internet is dribble … but every now and again there’s some gold. This blog has stopped me from reaching out to an abuser many times.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            Thank you.

          2. Empath007 says:

            No thank you – thanks to you I finally got off a never ending merry – go- round – hit the ground pretty hard I must admit ! But slowly with time and understanding I can now dust myself off and keep going.

        3. Bubbles says:

          Dear Mr Tudor,
          ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow’ 🎂
          ‘Aaaaaaaannnnnd so say all of us’

          Your story is exquisitely portrayed ….. thank you
          Luv Bubbles xx 😘

    3. Joa says:

      My radar clicked immediately. Prick. Pin.

      I hate it when someone treats another person like that. Like air. As if he were nobody. Deliberate, humiliating behavior.

      Years ago, there was a vice president (women) in my company. I was a fresh worker, young, shapely, she was much older. In a group of three people (including me) she could say: “This girl” (I was standing 40 centimeters from her). Prick. Pin.

      I can feel it, but I can control it. I never give satisfaction to a provocateur. I do not forget – but I emphasize good things and bad things fade (unlike “my” narcissist). Of course, if someone broadcasts only bad, bad, bad and bad, and you can hardly see the good anymore, then I am forced to react.

      Anyway … her style of behavior reminded me a lot of my mother – a triangle: me, her and her friends. I was used to it. I even felt at home.

      In that situation, I was more concerned with my colleague, also newly employed, to whom the vice president used to say: “Boy!” I knew he was about to explode. I was braking as best I could. He endured. Today he is almost at the top. It paid off for him 🙂

  15. Random says:

    I burned my finger once, pretty badly. I thought I could make candles without proper supplies… so I mixed cinnamon oil with some pinecone sap into some melted wax on the stove.

    When I went to pour it into the mold, it sloshed onto my hand and I shot backward with my hand covered in oily wax. It was extremely painful. I washed my hand in the sink and watched the skin burst and cave inward on my finger.

    At the time, I was against the medical community in every way, so I refused medical attention and did not even use a band aid. Instead I soaked my finger in a mixture of cold almond milk and green tea every day.

    I had ongoing chills and heart palpitaions for a week. None of my thought processes at that time made much sense.

    But now I have a scar on my left middle finger.

  16. Truthseeker6157 says:

    Really interesting article. It suggests single mindedness. Once the idea is formed, it’s done. There’s no wariness either. Lots of kids play with matches but they are wary. There’s no indication of any wariness at all. Considering the home environment, there isn’t even a wariness of being caught.

    Interesting too the photographs of the abusers. I get the impression that you knew what they were doing was wrong, despised them for what they did, but it was almost as if that meant you had something on them. Not yet strong or old enough to action it but similarly detached from the abuse itself. Hatred yes, a justifiable desire to hurt the abusers but I don’t pick up on this child feeling hurt / lost himself, or displaying fragility of any kind. I find that difficult to comprehend. Maybe it’s a misinterpretation on my part.

    Really interesting, a great and very honest article.

    1. I agree TS,

      I think it is the lack of emotion within the actions.

      But than to apply thought and feelings – would than open oneself to a certain vulnerability. Unable to punish the abusers, the child re-directed to dolls and than to the friends father.

      But too easy for us – who not having gone through it to analyse. And incredibly hard for an individual to open up to any vulnerability experienced even as a child. Something they may have worked on so hard to eliminate from their lives maybe?

      This seems too personal and I think we can only put it in the prospective of HG allowing us a glimpse into some of the forces which created him as the person he is.

      1. Truthseeker6157 says:

        I agree psychology.

        I find the personal accounts the most insightful and revealing. I do want to understand it, I do want to know, but analysing too deeply always feels like an invasion of privacy.

        I tend to analyse HG to within an inch of his life in the less personal articles but can’t bring myself to do it on the more personal ones.

        Something I did find though, that is interesting. Fire is described as purification. Water also appears in other articles, also purification.

        Numbers 31:23

        Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean; nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation. And all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water.

        I thought that was interesting.

        1. psychologyandworldaffairs says:

          Hi TS,

          The idea of purification of fire and water is an interesting one and leads on to so many strands of thought – it becomes almost like a rabbit hole and one you can easily lose yourself in for some time 😉

          The idea purification seems to be one so common across so many varying platforms of our literature, it is a shared construct within us humans. Does this then lead to instances of it being used unconsciously? Or does it exist because it is used? A needle sterilised – or a contaminated home? 🙂

      2. Asp Emp says:

        PAWA, thank you for your words. You do seem to be able to see both ‘sides of the coin’, so to speak…..”who not having gone through it to analyse” – absolutely, and, thank you. Ok, my own personal experiences differ from HG’s. Abuse is abuse. For a child, it is more traumatic. Repeat that abuse, no wonder, people turn out to be as they are – variable between individuals. Some recover. Some don’t. The nurturing / caring was not present when it was needed.

        1. psychologyandworldaffairs says:

          Hi Asp Emp,

          Big hugs – you are correct ‘Abuse is abuse’ and it shapes us to who we are – in as you say varying degrees.

          1. Asp Emp says:

            Hello PAWA, I agree and thank you 🙂

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