In that moment, when flames licked the horizon and the sky burned with an orange glow, Taylor knew everything was going to be alright. That was his hope, that all traces of his past would disappear. It didn’t take much preparation, a can of gasoline, a few matches, the papers containing the secrets scattered about on the dry wooden floor. No, not that much.
It was 1940, and back then, before computer generated records of every indiscretion available for the public to peruse, before Internet slander of everyone becoming the norm, this fire would destroy his story. His life went up in flames and it made him relieved. He collapsed onto the grass, watching it disappear. He could start fresh, a new beginning.
His old persona destroyed, no one left who knew the real Taylor, his reputation was now gone. He watched until his past was only glowing ashes. He then stood up, dusted off the grass, and let his smile of satisfaction creep across his face, thinking, “now on to another state, another unsuspecting town with another innocent lady to charm.”