Final days of Herb Tulliver: Fire

Herb was released on cloudy day in May. The weather suited him just fine. He needed to make some plans.

First, he needed to retire from the fire department. It had all been a cover anyway. That phase of his life was over.

He turned on his computer and began to research. He made a few calls. Things began to fall into place. He got up and stretched.

Though it was a balmy 68 outside, he lit a fire in his fireplace. It was a major selling point in this house. He’d miss it when he was gone.

He coaxed the fire to grow, fed it paper and cardboard boxes from expired foods in his fridge he wasn’t allowed to eat now anyway. He stacked branches as thick as his wrist upon the blazing cardboard and listened to the crackle. The flames embraced the branches and he added larger logs. The fire rolled around and between them, chasing the air, finding food in these logs, reaching higher. They filled his chest with peace, gave him life.

He took a cleansing breath. He’d learned to control fire.

But still she lived.

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