An old flash-fiction (100 words or less) favorite. First published 08.23.10
That he hadn’t meant for it to happen ceased to matter when flame met cloth, becoming a thing unto itself. It licked at the curtains, spreading like water.
It didn’t matter either that when he understood what he had set in motion, it killed him some to think what might be consumed by the elemental hunger.
That nobody would even get hurt did matter, just not enough. It might save his soul, but couldn’t return what was lost.
Knowing none of this yet and all of it too, he fled from the flame-bleached night into darkness, cool and forgiving like the Lethe.
It followed him all his days.