Our prompts were: fire, stripes, and stuffed animal.
In the first draft of this story, it was all about the fireman. But once we realized what a special little girl Lucy was, she became the main character of her own short story collection (The Damned Kid anthology will be forthcoming at a later date). In editing this for the blog, we realized that we needed to make significant changes to still tell the fireman’s story, but make it fit as part of the larger story cycle belonging to Lucy. In the process, we chopped over 200 words from the story.
Our engine company arrived just in time to see the first house in the subdivision flare up like a torch.
The fire seemed to have a life of its own. I’ve never seen one move so fast before. Or at right angles to the wind.
Jack finished pulling the hose down off the engine then hooked it up to the hydrant.
This whole area has been blanketed in smoke for days. These poor people probably don’t even realize that the fire’s snuck up on the greenbelt behind their houses.
Chief Johnson grabbed me. “Let Avon and Blake take that hose.” Pointing at a large home on the corner, he ordered, “You get that house cleared. The rookie and I’ll take the next one.”
I ran up the curving walk and pounded on the door. I was about to break in when it swung open.
There was no one there. (more…)