Monday March 7th, 2011

The exercise:

Today we shall write about: the firefighter.

Feeling slightly better today. The sunshine and warmer days are helping.

Mine:

Tony sat staring out the nearest window, not really listening to his companions as they chatted about everything and nothing. He was feeling restless. Bored, if he was being honest.

It's not that he wanted someone's house or car to catch fire. He wasn't that far gone. Besides, these things happened whether he hoped for them or not.

But he was getting really, really tired of playing cards with the rest of the crew. And hearing the same stories over and over again.

He wanted some action.

When the phone call came through ten minutes later, the relief was immense and immediate. The feeling lasted until he was told that it was his own home that was engulfed in flames.

3 Comments:

Greg said...

Glad you're feeling better -- let's hope you're almost mended now! Heh, I love that you're talking about warmer days when just a week ago it had snowed when you woke up :)
Engulfed is a fantastic word, though perhaps not for a firefighter whose home is being so described. I love the pastoral quality of the piece, right up until the punchline at the end.

The firefighter
Some men fight bulls for a living,
Some walk a high, tight, wire.
Some stay at home and count pennies,
But Marcel was born to fight fire.

Armed with a bucket of water,
And a hosepipe in search of a spout,
He prowled round about our district,
Looking for fires to put out.

But Marcel was ever unlucky,
His first fire had him sorely unmanned,
For it was a fire in a chip-pan
And Marcel needed a bucket of sand.

Aaron said...

I appreciate the warm welcome. It's a pleasure to find some interesting fellow writers.
Greg I stole the name you used in your poem. I have trouble naming characters.

The Firefighter
The Captain pounded up the stairs. The firebell was ringing but all of the firefighters had not assembled, one had stayed above. The Captain had expected it, but that didn’t cool his hot temper. Ever since the “incident,” Marcel had not been the same.
“MARCEL GET YOUR ASS IN GEAR, WE GOT A FIRE TO PUT OUT!”
“I’m not going. I don’t put out fires. I save kittens and help old ladies cross streets,” said Marcel from his bunk. He was reclining with a copy of Farenheit 451 propped open over his face. His listless apathy was what the Captain had expected.
“WE ARE FIREFIGHTERS, GOD DAMNIT! WE PUT OUT FIRES! THE KITTEN THING IS A GOD DAMN HOLLYWOOD MYTH! WE HAVE BEEN OVER THIS BEFORE! NOW GET OUT OF BED!”
But Marcel only rolled over. The Captain stood beside the bunk. He reached out to jerk Marcel from bed. As the Captain’s hand neared Marcel, again came the tired voice.
“Fire fighting is a lie. They build houses to burn down. They pay us to make sure only a few houses burn down and no one gets hurt,” He turned over and the Captain saw a spark of madness in his eyes, “They could build houses that wouldn’t burn. But they won’t. There is more money in flammable wooden houses than you can guess. Let them burn, Captain, and then houses won’t ever burn again”

The Captain slid down the pole. The other firefighters looked to him. He sighed,
“Marcel isn’t coming. He killed himself. We should have watched him closer. Some people just can’t take firefighting.”

Marc said...

Greg - unfortunately the nights are still cold. In fact, it was snowing this morning (but it was all gone about an hour later).

I like your Marcel and wouldn't mind hearing more about his plight :)

Aaron - I have a miserable time naming characters as well. I usually change it three or four times before I'm reasonably happy with it :P

I quite like your portrayal of a disillusioned firefighter. Very nicely done.