Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Fire !
by
Zalman Velvel

A ringing sound startled Charlie out of a sound sleep.
 
His digital alarm clock showed 3:10 AM. He reached for the phone and knocked it over. His long, muscular arm swept the floor like a metal detector. He moved a shoe out of the way, then touched something smooth and plastic with his fingertips. He had to stretch to grab a hold of it, and fell out of bed, banging his elbow on the floor.
 
"Yeah?" He rubbed his elbow.
 
"Charlie, it's Elmore. You better get over here."
 
"What?"
 
"The fire engines just pulled up." Air horns were blasting in the background.
 
"Oh, shit!" Charlie sat upright on the floor.
 
"Who is it, honey?" Rhonda was awake now.
 
"Flames are shootin' out the windows in Felipe Diego's apartment. Firemen got their axes out," Elmore continued. Charlie heard the sound of splintering wood and shattering glass.
 
"SHIT!" Charlie stood up. The phone pedestal was dragged off the night table, and was now dangling from the cord.
 
"Baby, what's the matter?" Rhonda sat up.
 
He covered the mouthpiece. "The building's on fire."
 
"Oh God!"
 
"Elmore, I'll be right there." Charlie yanked the phone cord up like he was pulling in a fish, grabbed the pedestal, and put the receiver onto it. When he put the phone back on the night table, he knocked the alarm clock to the floor.
 
While Charlie stumbled in the dark for the light switch, he stubbed his toe on the leg of the bed, and then walked right into the wall, banging his nose.
 
It wasn't Charlie's night.
 
******************
 
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© Copyright 2012 by Zalman Velvel Inc.
 
 
You may print this story for yourself, but not make copies without author's permission.
 
 
 
 

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