"Wh-what?" I dropped my cigarette in the grass, but that didn't seem to matter right now. Cliff had to be pulling my leg.
"Please tell me you're pulling my leg, Cliff!"
"You didn't get the radio message?" He held up his walkie-talkie and pointed at it. I picked mine up, made sure it was on, and hit it a few times.
"No, I didn't! This is real? This really happened?" Without waiting for a response, I put the gas pedal on the floor and was able to get up the hill at the top speed of 30, but I didn't need to for the proof; I could smell the flames from the bottom.
Regardless, when I arrived, I saw several members of the community standing around, watching Sal and Diego fighting the flames with buckets and the fire hydrant across the street. If I wasn't so sure that my neighbors didn't like us, I'd say that the were only standing still because they were mesmerized by the...odd coloring of the fire. It was bluish-green.
The fire bobbed and weaved, dancing a drunken dance across the lawn. It was pretty hypnotizing, actually. It took me a couple of seconds to get myself composed enough to do something. I hauled ass to the footpath, hesitating as I approached it. The fire was on both sides, resulting in a scene akin to Moses parting the Red Sea, but fire instead of water. So if he went to hell. I reminded myself to sketch that out later.
I weighed my options. I could either stand here and do nothing, or risked getting baked in the oven that was my lawn in order to get the hose we kept in the front hallway. Taking a glance at my roommate and employee, I saw how hard both of them were fighting, and made my decision. I couldn't just let them do all the work, so I just flat-out ran through the part in the sea of fire, screaming all the way, to let those content to watch know that I was aware of how stupid this decision was.
Within seconds, I was on the front stoop, gasping for air. With no loss of momentum, I stomped the front door in. The hinges screamed in agony as they were ripped from the doorway. I snatched the hose, coiled on a hook, and ran to the living room window. On the way, I grabbed a small wooden chair and underarmed it through the bay windows.
"Goodbye, arms," I whispered through gritted teeth as I leaned outside to attach the hose to the spigot on the outside wall. Flames licked my bare arms as I plunged them in. Whoever is in charge of the grand plan must have admired my bravery (or stupidity), as I couldn't remember exactly where the spigot was, but it turned out to be directly beneath the window.
Also, this was the side of the house that held Diego's strip of a rock garden, so that gave me slightly less than a foot of clearance, but it wasn't as bad as if the flames were directly against the house. A few painful twists of the wrist later, the hose was connected and water was flowing through, out into the front yard.
I stuck my thumb into the opening, to create a spray and felt my muscles relax, if only slightly. We have this under control! Our house will be saved! I could feel myself becoming exhausted, however; the duration of my exposure to the heat was beginning to take its toll on me.
"Not now!" I whispered to myself as my vision blurred. "At least let me keep going until the fire is out!" The ground lurched upward, and I had to put out my arm to keep from finishing the fall. This was not good.
Without warning, something wet and cold drenched my face, waking me back up. I looked up and over the flames to see Cliff with a bucket in his hand. He mimed a wobble before running back to the fire hydrant and getting a refill.
Diego and Sal also shot a concerned look in my direction, but kept pouring water onto our newly obliterated lawn. Progress was being made, however, and none too soon, as it didn't take long for me to begin feeling woozy again.
The next thing to snap me awake, if only barely, was the sound of fire truck sirens in the distance. Hallelujah, I can relax now. At that thought, my vision completely blurred, and I felt a bump on the fronts of my thighs, another on my elbows and face, and finally intense heat and another bump on my back as I pitched forward over the window sill.
Everything went black. I guess some guys really can't ever catch a break.