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Fire in Humansville
by Jim Bumgarner


A pyromaniac shows his stuff to a horny chick (R rated, language, sexual content, violence, and a few dirty words)

Humansville, pop: 345.

Tom Tucker, 24, walked through town the night the Roxie Theatre burned. Three people saw him. He was short, almost dwarfish, with a pear-shaped head and orange hair. In his pocket he carried an unlit flare.

Sondra Redman, 20, watched him coming toward her on the sidewalk.

“Hi, I'm Sondra, can I walk with you?”


Hooking her arm in his, they walked down the dark sidewalk. She told him how delectable she thought parts of him might be. Tom didn’t say anything, just kept walking. Sondra put her arm around Tom, and pulled him into her. He looked beyond her, toward the Roxie. Smoke was beginning to sneak out the upstairs windows.

Tom said, “I can’t do this.”

“Sure you can.”

“How do you know?”

“I can feel your erection.”

Tom pulled away; his fingers lightly felt the outline of the flare.

"I gotta go," he said and walked on alone.

“You fucker,” Sondra yelled.

Tom disappeared into the darkness, and circled back around the block, toward the Roxie.

He could smell the smoke; his heart leaped when he saw the flashing lights. He jumped in secretive joy.

From the shadows in the yard nearby, Billy Smithson, 10, watched Tom. Saw him jumping.

“Hey,” Billy yelled.

Frightened by the shout, Tom crouched, and peered into the darkness. Seeing no one, but uncomfortable, he ran across the street.

“Hey,” Billy yelled again. “What’re you doing?”

Tom walked down the sidewalk and around the corner where the voice would leave him alone; where he could get a better view of the fire.

Billy stalked him.

Joy filled Tom: such a wonderful fire. He couldn’t keep his feet on the ground. He rubbed himself while he watched the flames light the night sky; it felt good. He thought he saw Sondra across the street.

Stewart Manchuck, soaked from the water canon and perspiration, worked the fire truck’s gauges and valves. Tom touched his pant leg. “Hey, mister. What do you think, two or three alarm?”

Manchuck looked down at Tom. “Looks like a three.” He thought it odd the smile on this little guy’s face. “It’s the only theatre in town, you know,” Manchuck said, tilting his head toward the fire.

“Yeah,” replied Tom, the fire sparkling in his eyes. He glanced up and made eye contact with Manchuck. The smile disappeared. “I mean, yeah, it’s awful ain’t it?” Tom walked back across the street. Manchuck watched him for a few seconds then returned his attention to the truck’s brassy knobs and guages.

Slowly and silently Sondra walked up behind Tom. “Hey,” she whispered in his ear. “Wanna try again?” The blaze, the smoke, the firemen, the ambience were creating heat in Sondra in places she liked. She put her arm in his, “C’mon, I know a place down the street.”

Tom followed her. Billy followed them.

They ducked into an unlocked car in the alley. Billy watched from the shadows. He noticed the flames reflecting off the car’s windshield, then he realized it wasn’t a reflection. The car burst into flames.



About the Author

Jim Bumgarner lives on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state where he enjoys all things including nature and the continual unfolding of its mysteries and aesthetics. Jim’s work has been published both on and off-line. You can find more of his material at http://www.geocities.com/jimbumgarnerspage.