The Wood Stove

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I once had a fire in me that could not be contained. I knew no boundaries. I knew no limits. I knew only of energy that burned.

There were no rules. I could go anywhere. Through the mountains. Into the forest. Past the villages and under the leaves. I could spark interest in anything.

People talked and my flames became more vibrant from conversation. “Did you see the scarlet colors?” “Did you feel the warm glow?” I was a thing of dangerous beauty that I thought could only beam brighter.

But then one day I burned the earth. I wasn’t paying attention. I turned to radiate my astonishing brilliance, but the grass had already died. I fled to the trees to show them my passion, but they had already bent over backwards in ruins with dissatisfaction. I turned to the towns, to the cities, to the houses of my comfort, but they had crumbled gray, like an eraser.

I ran to the edge of the earth and straight for the ocean.

“You have nowhere else to go,” the waves taunted.

I turned around. A few miles away, stood one small cabin that I had previously overlooked. Cautiously. Carefully. Slowly I approached its window.

Inside the one room cabin, there was a wood stove, fat and dusty with age.

From outside I shouted, “I have burned everything. I have nowhere else to go.”

Immediately, the wood stove opened up its door.

“Thank God you’re here. I’ve been waiting for so long.”