ACCELERANT - MICHAEL J. SOLENDER
A devout and fervent misanthrope, Woodrow held a special brand of odium for the perpetrator of the most recent attempt to encroach on his solitude by building (the unmitigated gall of it) on the adjacent lot to his, obliterating his view of the beloved mountains, his sole companions in life. He had once again retained the realtor Wilson, a petulant and child-like man, as a necessary means to negotiating a more than generous offer to buy out the impinging trespass that was on the horizon.
Finding his first and second offers rebuffed, he pulled out his trump card and exerted considerable pressure on the current builder, who then mysteriously quit the job midstream. Not deterred, his as yet unmet "neighbor" informed Woodrow, through his attorney, that he would not be stopped in moving forward.
The fire chief could clearly see the telltale signs of accelerant; they permeated the house under development and left Woodrow's precious mountain view smoky, but intact. Woodrow would not be enjoying it, however, as his charred body was strewn akimbo in the charred bits of construction debris, his right hand still clutching the cheap Bic lighter that did not allow for a hasty enough escape from the exploding fumes of kerosene that knocked him out cold only to be consumed by the heat of the fire that ensued.
BIO: Michael J. Solender is a freelance writer based in Charlotte, NC. He writes a weekly Neighborhoods column for the Charlotte Observer and NEVER runs with scissors. His fiction has appeared online at Full Of Crow, Dogzsplot, A Twist of Noir, Thrillers Killers 'N' Chillers, 6S, Powder Burn Flash, Gloom Cupboard and Flashshot. You can follow his blog at your own peril here: not from here, are you?