Author's Note: It's funny how this is a fiction even in reality. My friend and I never managed to pull this off, despite out need for it. She did it several times with other people, too impatient to bother waiting for me, or asking me to take part. Slated to go into publication in the next Student Bylines magazine.
The smiling plastic face looked up at me, the long blonde hair blowing gently in the stiff December wind. The rubber legs gave me a hard time taking off the jeans. The top was easier to pull off. Meagan was already stoking the glowing coals, swathed in layers of blankets. She sat down in the lawn chair.
"What do you think will go first?" She was ripping open the bag of marshmallows.
"The hair, I think."
We sat in companionable silence for a while, warming ourselves by the soft heat. A few steps further out on the porch, snow covered the ground. I checked my watch. It was only quarter past four, but it was already pitch black and I could no longer see a horizon. Above, stars glimmered gently in the darkened blue December sky. Meagan let out a sigh of contentment, plopping two marshmallows into her steaming coffee cup. She offered me two, and I accepted. Between us lay a pile of lebkuchen. I had already devoured two chocolate-covered ones, but Meagan had an empty plate with a red rim to attest to the leftover Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce she had just eaten.
A cold wind swept over us, carrying several stray snowflakes onto the folds of the goose down comforters. Meagan put down her cup of hot cocoa and picked up the lighter. She flicked it experimentally a few times. I was already moving to prep the doll on the grill. Her frozen smile shone out blankly ahead of her. Meagan heaved over the plastic bottle of lighter fluid, handed it to me and nodded, her eyes laughing. This was going to be fun. I liberally doused the anatomically incorrect doll with the lighter fluid, some splashing on the coals below. The flames leapt up for a second or two and then subsided. I gave Meagan the honors. She flicked the Bic lighter once, twice, and it finally caught. The Barbie went up in flames.
The hair indeed went first, sending shadows flickering in the corners of the patio. The smoldering smell of plastic and rubber permeated the air, but we didn't care. I took another bite of lebkuchen. Meagan sipped her hot chocolate, the marshmallows long since disappeared.
"We really should do that again."