Assembly Point 4 (Flash Fiction)

Bob and Brian both stood at the assembly point in a mild panic. There was a bench, but neither of them sat. In the distance, sirens began piercing the calm, night sky. Brian pulled a pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket and struck a light.

“Dude, seriously?” said Bob.

“What?” asked Brian.

“Our fucking office is burning down and you wanna smoke a cigarette?”

Brian looked at the blaze. The single-wide trailer that had been converted into their office was sending flames ten feet into the air. “Well it’s not like there’s a threat of anything else catching on fire. The damage is done, man.”

Bob covered his face and shook his head. “Dude, seriously, what the fuck!?”

“Hey, calm down,” Brian said. He sucked in hard and let out a long stream of smoke into the air. “I’m stressed out, okay? Beside, the fire department is coming. If I drop it and ’cause another fire we should be okay.”

“You did cause the fire!” Bob shrieked. Brian rolled his eyes and waved his hands in the air. “No, no,” Bob said, his eyes aglow from the inferno in front of them. “I watched you pick up the torch and turn it on. I told you not to use it to light your cigarettes. And what did you say?”

Brian shook his head. “I dunno, Bob. Remind me, I already forgot.”

“You fucking said ‘I got this‘ and burnt the fucking trailer down!” Bob was hopping up and down on his feet. If you saw him from afar you’d think he was trying to summon Prometheus himself.

“I never said that,” Brian said. He looked over his shoulder and saw the fire engine pulling up the small drive that went in front of the assembly point. “You’re lying, man. You just want to get me fired.”

You should be fired!

“See?” Brian waved his hand and turned away.

Fire fighters poured from the vehicle and rushed the perimeter of the trailer. The driver hopped out and hurried to where the two stood. “Are you guys the only ones?” he asked.

“Yeah,” said Brian. “Just me and coo-coo over here. No one else is in there.”

The fire fighter started to ask another question and stopped midway. He pointed at the cigarette in Brian’s mouth. “What the hell’s the deal with that?”

“See!?” Bob squealed. He spun and kicked the first aid kit mounted to a concrete block and broke his big toe.

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