June 10, 2009

In September the infection reached the small town, and within a week everyone was confirmed dead. And so they called me.

I don't claim to be the best at what I do. But I'm still around, that's what counts. This town is my thirtieth. Many other razers don't last ten. Sometimes they get infected. More often they go insane, set themselves on fire and join the town. Any razer who survives this long, like me, is a good razer.

Doesn't mean I get to charge more, though. The government doesn't care whether a razer survives his job, just as long as the job gets done and the infection killed.

If the infection were ever killed completely, we'd be out of jobs. But life might go back to normal, or at least what would pass for normal.

I was a physics major before the infection began. My main interest was fire: how it spreads, how it consumes. I had never thought I would use that knowledge like this. But, my oh my, how useful that knowledge is to a razer.

I set the incendiaries throughout the town. I should be able to burn the whole town with just one, if placed right. I will start with one, but caution is always necessary. An incomplete raze is as good as no raze at all.

The big hill provides a nice vantage point of the entire town below as I detonate the first charge. The building erupts in flames.

The fire spreads as it grows. Soon the whole town is burning, without needing the additional charges. They burn anyway, of course.

I watch as the fire tears the town to pieces. It consumes what it can, melts what it cannot. I can't see the infected bodies—don't want to—but they're there. The fire takes it all, destroying the infection.

It's the circle of life. Just as a town is born, so it must also die. The infection was the cause of death, the raze is just a cremation. I guess that makes me a funeral director. I smirk at the thought.

The fire dies, and with it my billable hours end. I make a note of the time and make to leave.

I turn back to look at the town's crumbling ashes. "Happy thirtieth anniversary," I say, partially to myself and partially to the dead town.

Thirty. Perhaps I should go celebrate.

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This work by Benjamin S Wolf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.