Hello, Internet! One of my favorite Flash Fiction Friday guests Kim Fielding is here with a fun one. What do you do when a ball of fire rolls across your yard? Call the HOA?
The Carmichaels by Kim Fielding
Rob paused with the sponge dripping into the sink, his gaze focused out the window. “Hey, honey?”
Sitting at the kitchen table and trying to get through her personal email before leaving for work, Melissa didn’t glance up. “Hmm?”
“Did you see the forecast for today?”
“Hang on. I have to finish…. There. What did you say?”
“Did you see today’s forecast?”
She scrunched up her face thoughtfully. “Um… chance of showers?”
“Nothing about— Oh. There goes another one.”
“Another what?” she asked as she deleted yet another email from the Democratic National Party and then took a sip of her cooling coffee.
“Ball of fire,” Rob replied.
“Great balls of fire, like the Jerry Lee Lewis song? Or a ring of fire, like the Johnny Cash one?” She decided that tonight she’d definitely go to bed at a reasonable hour. Last night she and Rob had binge-watched Fargo, and she’d be paying for that today.
“No. Ball of fire. And— Wow. The Carmichaels’ house just burst into flames.”
Melissa deleted two more emails—an Old Navy ad and something from Groupon—stood, and stretched. Then she wandered over to the sink. “Rob, you’re dripping all over the floor.”
“Oops.” He dropped the sponge into the sink. “But see what I mean?”
She peered out the window. “Yeah. Wow. Big flames. And what’s that over there?” She pointed at something at the far end of their back yard.
He craned his neck. “I can’t…. I think I need new glasses.”
“Didn’t you just get new ones?”
“No, that was a couple of years ago. Remember? It was right before we went on that trip to San Diego.”
“Oh! That’s right. Well, maybe it is time for a new prescription.” She tilted her head slightly as she looked outside. “That thing is green and shiny. And big. I think it’s a dragon.”
“Really? It looks kind of bulky for that. Aren’t dragons supposed to be long and slinky, like snakes?”
Melissa shrugged. “Maybe this one works out. It definitely has wings. And I’m not sure, but those look like scales it’s covered in.”
Rob touched his cheek with his wet hand, grimaced, and then used the dry hand to wipe away the moisture. “Well, I guess a dragon would explain the balls of fire.”
Nodding, Melissa glanced at her watch. She maybe had time for another cup of coffee. “The homeowners association rules ban livestock. Do you think that includes dragons?”
“Ah, the Carmichaels don’t care. They’ve already painted their house a non-regulation color and they keep parking their RV on the street.”
“Well, the paint problem’s solved,” Melissa pointed out. The fire roared loudly enough for them to hear it, even inside, and the dragon settled more comfortably onto the Carmichaels’ lawn.
“I think we should still file a complaint about the RV,” Rob said.
“Really? I don’t think it’s worth it.” She leaned in close and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. “I’ll be home late today, remember. I have that meeting. Want me to pick up something for dinner on my way home?”
He wrapped his arm around her waist for a gentle squeeze. “That’d be great, hon. I have a meeting too. And I was going to get the oil changed in my car today.” He let her go.
“See you tonight,” she sang as she picked up her purse and headed for the door.
She stopped to turn and look at him. “Yeah?”
“I’m willing to overlook the RV, but if that dragon’s still here tonight, I’m definitely going to complain.”