This is my response to the Flashback Track Friday prompt, where we were given Light My Fire by The Doors and asked:
What’s the biggest fire you’ve started?
It had been a long day, and Dom was looking forward to unwinding in a long, hot bath.
He had met Dick at Joe’s Bar, and over time, the two became friends. They were both professionals, Dick was an architect and was fifteen year’s Dom’s senior. Where Dom was starting his career, Dick was already climbing the ladder, he had worked hard, bought himself a large house, had given up his steady income and was using his architect skills – and his builder connections – to renovate it.
With cash running short, when Dom announced that he was looking for a new place, it seemed to be a perfect fit. Dick had plenty of room, he could use the extra money, and the two already shared a rapport, so Dick offered Dom a place to lodge. For Dom, too, the attraction was obvious. Dick’s place was reasonable, his house was local, and it would save time hunting. It was agreed, and for a time, both men enjoyed a win-win situation.
All was not as it seemed, however. Whilst meeting as friends, they enjoyed a snapshot of each other’s lives at Joe’s, Dom held down a full-time job, and visiting the bar was his reward, his recreation. It became clear, however, that Joe’s, any bar in fact, was Dick’s life. Not only was Dick drunk when the pair met up, but Dick enjoyed a drink the rest of the time, too. In fact, Dick would often rise at lunchtime, go straight out to a bar, and would only return home in the evening, having been drinking all day.
This evening, Dom arrived home, as usual, to an empty house, as usual. He changed out of his work clothes, as usual, into his gown, and drew a bath. Before he started bathing, however, he heard Dick come home. Following him into the kitchen, he said Hello. Dick smelled of alcohol, so Dom left him and returned upstairs.
“That’s strange”, thought Dom, as he heard the crash from Dick’s bedroom. “Are you okay?” No response. No matter, he probably had music on. Plus, he was half-drunk anyway…
Another crash. “What is he up to?”, thought Dom, deciding to investigate.
Clad only in slippers and dressing gown, Dom opened his bedroom door and saw smoke. “What the…?” He quickly pocketed his charging mobile phone and rapped on the source of the smoke, Dick’s closed door. Finding it bearable to his touch, Dom dashed to the kitchen and drew a large pail of water, which he through against the door to keep it cool. Two more pails later, and making no headway, Dom called the Emergency Services. He was advised that the Fire Department was on its way, and to evacuate the house immediately. Anxious about his friend still in the burning room, Dom reluctantly obeyed.
Leaving the house, Dom was still clad only in his gown. It felt like time was standing still, although only a few minutes later blue lights appeared at the bottom of the road. But what was the hold up? The engine seemed to be stopped. Instead, two firemen approached on foot to assess the damage. A brief exchange, where Dom explained that Dick was still inside. He overheard one fireman say that if Dick had been inside, then it was hopeless for him. He radioed the engine, which had been holding back, fearful of it’s wide body damaging any of the cars parked, nose-to-tail, on either side of this residential street.
The engine had, by now, arrived, pumping, and it quickly doused the blaze. When the flames were finally extinguished, two firemen entered the building, wearing oxygen. When they reappeared, one said to both the commander and to Dom, “It’s clear.” Seeing Dom’s look of bewilderment, he added, “It’s okay, he wasn’t in there”.
Dom surveyed the scene, struggling to process the situation. The fire was out, but the house was now dripping with water. At that moment, a hand tapped him on the shoulder.
“What happened?”, quizzed Dick.
Ha ha, you guys thought this was a flash, didn’t you? Well, think again.
Yes, I just dramatised the house fire I was in. I’m Dom, the guy in the dressing gown.
The other guy, my landlord, I named Dick. And what an appropriate name, because what a total fucking dick this guy was! I’m sorry, I promised myself I wouldn’t get angry in this post, but really…
Dick and Dom, by the way, are (or were) halfwit presenters on UK TV.
You’ve heard my version of the incident, but I’ll briefly give you Dick’s version.
- He arrived home in the evening and, discovering that he had no food in the house, decided to pop out to the shops.
- Before he did that, however, he fancied a cigarette, so he went up to his bedroom and sparked up.
- On finishing the cigarette, he stubbed it out in his ashtray. Or, so he thought. It would have been fine except…
- Since the ashtray happened to be full, he emptied it out into his waste paper basket, and went out to the supermarket.
and the rest, as they say, is history.
The only thing I regret was that when I saw him at the very end, I hugged him, I was so relieve that he was all right. I should have punched the fucker’s lights out. How dare someone put another human being in that kind of danger, just because they can’t stay sober!