Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fires for Dummies

I'm linking up with Write on Edge for their Red Writing Hood prompt this week:

Write a piece of fiction around the holiday season that begins with "The doorbell rang" and ends with "snow began to fall." Stick to 300 words.




The doorbell rang, but I was already at the door. I had heard him pull up in the rumble of his truck. I had taken another quick look in the bathroom mirror and sprinted to the door, then cursed myself for being apparently out of breath.

Deep breaths, I thought, slowly blowing the air out my lips.

When the bell rang, it was like a gunshot to my heart from anticipation.

I opened the door with a practiced smile. Standing there, with a box and clipboard, was the UPS man.

“Evening, ma’am,” he said, thrusting the clipboard toward me, “Sign this.”

“Oh, yes, thank you,” I said. I looked past him at the street and there was the big brown van, rumbling in the street.

I gave his clipboard back and took the box. My eyes searched down the street for another truck. Seeing nothing, I shut the door.

I opened the box with kitchen shears. A white sweater, matching scarf, and a card was inside. I quickly ripped the envelope open, and from the card, a piece of paper fell.

It was a printout of an Internet page: “How to Build a Fire for Dummies.”

The day before, we exchanged texts, excited about being together again. I had texted, Too cold here. Can’t build a fire without you hunny. Don’t no how. Need my man. I had meant to be clever, to give him a double meaning.

I read the note inside the card.

I have to stay another day. I’m so sorry. Keep warm and I’ll see you soon! XOXO

I put it all in the box. I put the box in the fireplace and lit a match. Outside, snow began to fall.

25 comments:

jess said...

Nicely done.

Carrie said...

Ohhh, she burned EVERYTHING? The sweater and scarf and book and EVERYTHING?? Clearly, someone is in BIG trouble.

championm2000 said...

Makes me wonder who "he" is...

Eva Gallant said...

Good one!

Being Me said...

Ha! Good stuff. So much behind the action of dumping the whole lot in the fire.... It's a thinker.

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Great job! I'm intrigued. He'd better make it home the next day!

Jessica said...

The anticipation and then the letdown....nicely done.

angela @ tiaras-and-trucks said...

Oh, I was so excited for her and then felt so let down when she looked down the street for another truck.

But I might have kept the clothes. My wardrobe is in serious need of updating ;)

Valerie said...

I'd say she knows how to build a fire now!

I love the buildup to the ending here-perfect!

Venus said...

Excellent!! :-) But damn, the UPS truck was the first thing that came to my mind as well when I started brainstorming for this prompt. Now what am I going to write about???

Kristina said...

Oh, man! I really like the direction you took this - I wasn't prepared for the way it was going and it was a great read! Well done.

Anonymous said...

Those letdowns are tough to take especially if they happen over and over again. Loved that she learned very quickly how to start a fire. Great job! Mom

Betsy said...

Oh!! He better be careful when he gets back home! Great job with the story... I felt the rising anticipation and then the fall of disappointment right along with her.

jodistone said...

Oh I love it!! How to light a fire for dummies! LOL

lorithatcher said...

I sat here with my mouth open. Oh no! Wow!

Suniverse said...

Fantastic. I love where you went with this.

Mel Corbett said...

Wow. Burnt it all, scarf and hat, and box and book. Mr. Man sounds
like he's in trouble.

Jenners said...

Very well done!!! I'm impressed.

Suzanne said...

Oh dear! This definitely left me wanting to know more about the two people, what the story is, why she'd burn all of it!

jazzygal said...

Ooh... really captured me and kept me guessing. She didn't really put the white sweater in ths fire.... did she??!!

xx Jazzy

My Inner Chick said...

---Oh, I really loved that.

Sweet. Romantic. I could see the snow falling.....

Kristy said...

Yes, of course she burns it. He's a fucker. Who else would not show up and send a printout of Fire for Dummies? Bwa, ha, ha.

Tat @ Mum in search said...

What a roller coaster! First the anticipation building up, then the disappointment. So many emotions in under 300 words!

Cameron said...

I think I would have kept the pretties. And burned his ass when he finally showed up!

I love the early anticipation and the distraction with the UPS driver.

Natalie said...

Ha ha this is awesome! Good job!