My publisher started a new thing last month which I am loving. Every month a few authors will be posting a short tale about a single image including myself throughout the month on Thursday and Friday. This was February's:
Here is my complete tale:
The siren blared. Four men and a woman stood, leaving their food on the table.
“Saved by the siren,” Harold joked. He and the crew laughed. David wasn't the best cook.
“David, I need to speak to you,” the fire chief said, sounding serious.
“Can what you need wait? We got a call,” David said, glancing at the rest of his team. They slid down the pole to the next level. He wanted to join them, but the chief wouldn’t have stopped him if this wasn’t important.
“You can’t go.”
“Why not?” David’s heart thudded loud inside its cage. Only a few reasons could prevent him from heading to a site. He slightly prayed for it to not be the most dreaded call a fireman could get. He could have failed his random drug test.
“Your house and your block were engulfed in flames. Is your wife at home?”
“She wasn’t feeling well. I...I don’t know if she stayed home or not. David ran a hand through his thick brown hair unsure of what to do next.
“Call her. Call her work.”
David prayed for her to answer, but the line cut to her voicemail instead. A sour taste developed inside his mouth. He called her office and was told she had called in sick.
“You need to say here,” the chief said, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“I can’t. If this call was for your family, could you stay?” David asked, already knowing the answer.
“We have protocols.”
“Screw protocols. I need to see if my wife is safe.”
“David, are you coming? We got to go.” Harold yelled from the hole.
“Go,” the chief said.
David ran to the pole and descended.
“Are you okay man?” Harold asked.
“My house,” David choked out.
Harold cursed underneath his breath and told the rest of the crew. This was the quietest drive they had ever taken.
A wall of fire greeted the crew.
“David,” a voice called.
Relief washed over him, and he wrapped his wife in a hug.
“Don’t be afraid to love again,” she said.
“What's going on?” Harold asked concerned.
“Saying goodbye to my wife,” David said.
Being the last lawmen in these parts, Gray kept the peace and listened carefully. A rumor floated around that a light could be spotted at the top of the Crooked Mountain after dark. No one dared to go there in years. The Wastelands surrounded it.