The Jerrycan

by David J. Yaffe

The Milligan Farmhouse sat ablaze on the tip of the horizon, punctuating a sea of rolling hills alive with long grains dancing amidst cindery winds. Gradually, the heirloom of a bygone generation was reduced into timeless embers that settled into the hills, igniting the farmland into an oceanic inferno. Stanley Milligan, a wrinkled old plum, took in the bittersweet cremation of his family’s legacy from the ostensible safety of a dirt pasture several dozen yards away. Preoccupied by a tidal wave of sentimentality and the comforting warmth of his casualty insurance policy, Stanley was oblivious to the fact that the bottom hem of his left pant had begun to catch fire. It wasn’t until the only trinket still worth a damn to him – a dirty old snow globe that evoked tingling memories of winning the 1958 Trimble County Line Dance Competition – rolled down the lawn and clanged against the jerrycan of gasoline beside his foot, did Stanley realize he was on fire. According to the Trimble County Post, “[t]he incident was naturally declared an arson by authorities and despite a whole bunch of hemming and hawing from the Estate of Stanley Milligan, insurance coverage was denied.”


David J. Yaffe is a filmmaker, lawyer, and occasional tweeter of random thoughts. His next film, Sleep Tight, is coming to a screen near you soon.