Flame Of The Forest

by on March 05, 2019 under , ,

A nearby tree was engulfed in flames.

No second thoughts. She rushed out of the fire station with the extinguisher, ignoring the surprise gasp in the fire station. Just a small fire, she could handle it.

Pull pin, point hose and squeeze the lever.

Wait, there was no blazing heat.

Instead bright red flowers illuminated under the full moon. The scarlet flames of petals gently swayed with the night breeze.

Extinguisher aside, she rubbed her face, disappointed at the false lead. How many night shifts before they could catch that serial arsonist? She was exhausted. And what was this tree?

“Flame of the Forest.”

The deep voice surprised her.

The old Sergeant chuckled. “I was caught by its beauty too. We’re like moths to a flame. In every sense.”

She shivered. Those red petals were akin to small flames. They would grow into multitude of fiery tongues of a monster, licking and lashing at wooden furniture, cement walls and human skin. Horrid screams of loved ones. A nauseating stench of burnt bodies. She did nothing then.

“Fire hurt my family. I hate it.”

“Not to our arsonist. Fascinates him. Like a bee to these flowers.”

“You know who it is, Sir?”

He was grim.

“There are many reasons why we work in this field. For you and me, fire frustrates us. But for some — ”

A face came to mind then. A newly transferred lieutenant. Rose too fast up the ranks. Always bragged for being first to the scene. Look at how many lives he saved. Yet always reluctant when putting out a raging fire.

Look at how many other lives they had lost then.

“But we have no proof, Sir.” She scowled.

“Then we must lure him. Tell him a tree is on fire.”

She saluted the Sergeant.

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