Fool's Gold | By: Dan Tana | | Category: Short Story - Other Bookmark and Share

Fool's Gold

Freddy the Fireball flickered his eyes and expanded his limbs.  Still half asleep, he shuffled into his kitchen.  There he poured a pile of kindling into a bowl, squirted a bit of lighter fluid onto it, dropped into his favorite chair, and began spooning the twigs into his mouth.


After breakfast Freddy scooped out the ashes that had accumulated in his flames overnight and tossed them down the disposal shoot.  Then he put on his new suit, made of the finest asbestos, and headed out the front door of his house.


As he walked along the path that led to the refinery where he worked he crackled happily to himself, thinking that life is good.  Just the day before he had been promoted to chief cooker, in charge of all the furnace workers who heat the ore that the refinery processes into pure metals.  It meant a substantial increase in his salary.


Freddy thought about his new promotion, and daydreamed of all the promise that his future held.  Then a sudden, deadly chill seized him.  A soggy, sick feeling drenched him to his core.  This frightful and unforeseen experience hurt worse than anything that Freddy had ever imagined.  Mercifully, he did not have to endure it for very long.  Moments later his last ember extinguished in the deluge of water that fell on him from above.


Wally the Waterfall looked down from the overpass, laughing maliciously at the mess of ash and charred twigs that was all that remained of Freddy.


Then Wally picked up his bucket and began to flow toward his home.  When he entered the house he found his mother in the living room watching a breaking news report on the unexplained, brutal murder of that innocent fire man.


When she saw her son carrying that bucket a dreadful feeling seized the water woman.


"Where have you been?" she asked Wally, suspiciously.


"Out," he replied.


"What were you doing with that bucket?" she asked, fearing the answer to this question.
"I was doing the morally correct thing," he responded with mock innocence.


Her concern growing by the moment, Wally's mother asked him what he meant by that vague and unspecific statement.


"Oh, you know," he said to her, "It's like you are always telling me.  I was doing unto others as I would have them do unto me."

Click Here for more stories by Dan Tana