Payton S.

Student, Writer, Outdoors lover

peterborough, Canada

I am a fourth year, Canadian English Literature student with an interest in creative writing. I enjoy writing fictional short stories and I am currently working on a small novel. I love history and mythology, descriptive writing, essay writing. I am planning on attending teacher's college and hope to teach English from grades 7-10, with the hope of impacting students the same way I was impacted at this age, steering them towards their dreams and helping them achieve their goals as best as I can. Although my goal is teaching, writing is my passion and I hope to pursue this throughout my career. My interests outside of writing include reading, drawing and painting, spending time with friends and enjoying the outdoors.

The Burning Church

Nov 08, 2023 6 months ago

It was a damp cold inside the abandoned church, as I sat in the rotting pews. Staring at the beautifully broken stained glass windows, a depiction of a westernized God glaring down directly at me, his eyes burning so hot, it could have lit the cigarette in my hand. My eyes dart to my hand, almost certain the little, white cylinder has caught flame. It hasn't, of course, and so begins the search for my lighter in one of my many pockets. The search is over and the cigarette is lit. I watch the plumes of smoke drift into the ceiling beams that are barely holding up the weight of the church anymore. The roof caves in, on the brink of collapse and the floorboards have been ripped apart, now used as firewood inside someone's house on cold winter nights. I play with my lighter and the glow sets eerie shadows across the walls, the warm, orange light making the cold cower in the corners of the crumbling building. I stare at the lighter, thinking; what a beautiful ending it would be to go up in flames, engulfed in the heat of fire and the comforting warmth of slow burning. My dead body would be a new addition to the deceased building, adding onto the pile of history that seeps into the dark, oak floors. A mess of flesh and flame, rotting wood and the footprints of sinners and saints. I light cigarette number two, throwing the first butt to the floor, where it lay in its own ashes. I don't bother to stomp it out despite the small flame I can see catching on a splintered piece of the floor. I can feel the flame grow beside my foot as I hold eye contact with the stained glass God yet again calmly inhale my smoke. The fire snakes along the floor, creeping its way into the pews and slowly up the supporting beams. I can feel it enveloping me, the heat growing almost unbearable. The hair on my arms singes and my body starts to sweat. I can taste the salt on my cigarette, can feel it dripping down my neck, my back, my legs. The church's structure begins to fall from the sky, as if God himself is spitefully throwing flaming spears towards me. The already caved in roof crashes down and the flames rise higher, leaving behind a heap of burning wood and bodies.

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