Mr. Hal Kendrick had been a lonely man for 6 years. Having been left by his wife, he just could not get back into "the game". That is why he was so surprised when Vanessa the barista at Lighthouse cafe had accepted an invitation to his puzzle party. For 4 or 5 months now Hal had longed to be able to talk with her, finally coming up with the nerve to speak something to her apart from his order. The problem was that he had no idea why he had invited her to a puzzle party. Perhaps he overheard her express an interest in puzzles at some point or perhaps she just seemed to be the puzzle solving kind. It mattered not, he had said what he said and now had under 48 hours to make it a reality. Immediately, Hal went out and purchased over 70 dollars worth of puzzles including several 3-D ones as he figured they may be a little more exciting and she might not be an old fashioned girl. Next was to invite other guests, surely he could not invite her to a party and have no other guests. She would feel trapped and want to leave right away. Hal attempted to make some calls but the majority of his friends had broken ties following the messy divorce. Those that did answer were simply not interested in coming to a puzzle party on a Wednesday night. The hour of reckoning drew upon him and Hal had to think quickly. Six lonely years were about to become six more lonely years. Then it came to him, he could play the pity card. Perhaps not the most gracious way to start a relationship but what choice did he have? The plan assembled itself in Hal's head in mere nanoseconds. He would put on a pot of food, leaving a rag dangerously close to the burning food and conveniently positioned near a bottle of barbecue lighter fluid. The house would burst in to flames and Hal would come running out of the burning structure just in time for Vanessa to arrive for the puzzle party. Hal stopped for a moment and thought. Years of processing insurance claims, climbing the ladder of success, affording his own house with all his nice furniture, rising from the rubble of a failed marriage, amassing and astounding CD and DVD collection, owning the largest television on his block, all these things would be scorched away not to mention the risk to his own life. Was it worth it? At the time Hal thought so and proceeded to burn his home to the ground.