Flames ripped across the night sky. They seemed driven to consume the surrounding atmosphere as completely as the pale green three-story home they were devouring. The sound was like ten thousand insects gnawing on wood and plaster. Teeth and jaws crunching through rooms imagined and brought to life in the Victorian era, restored to their original beauty forty years ago, and meticulously maintained every year since. Gone with the lick of a one-thousand-degree Fahrenheit tongue of fire.
The odor of smoke suggested a pleasant bonfire, not the death raging through the house, filling pale pink lungs, asphyxiating peacefully sleeping bodies.
It burned freely for an hour before the shriek of fire trucks pierced the chilly night air of the northern California coast. Far too much time had passed before the emergency call was placed, but there were other things that had to be taken care of first. The story needed to be believable and airtight for the police.
An excerpt from The Favorite Child, now available on Amazon.