Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1567618-Fire-From-the-East
by RatDog
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Action/Adventure · #1567618
Finding purpose in the flames...
It's been hot and dry for the past two weeks, and the last rain was in mid March. Fire season is coming, it's in the air. Hot, dusty, with the faint scent of dying pine beetle infested trees...

Annie left me years ago, after our two boys were old enough to get out on their own, I guess she got tired of my ways. Me stayin' out late most nights drinking and playing cards with my buddies at the casino, while she sat up and worried if I was gonna get arrested again, or gamble away the rent money.

I eventually realized I couldn't keep on going the way I was. I knew the guys at the casino were only my friends as long as I was losing money to them. One night I finally scored big, hit a progressive jackpot with an honest-to-God-royal-flush. I tipped the dealer a couple hundred, cashed in damn near twenty grand and walked out, determined never to go back. But I knew to make it work I'd have to leave town...

The one good thing I did in life was manage to keep my job as a machinist for Boeing for 35 years, which qualified me for an early pension. So I turned in my notice and went looking for a place to start over.

I was driving around up in Big Bear looking at foreclosures when I saw this little log cabin for sale that looked like it might be in my price range . I called the number and made an appointment to meet with the agent.

The place needed a lot of work so I was able to get it pretty cheap. But I'm good with my hands, I knew I'd have no problem fixing it up, and it would give me something to do since I wasn't working any more.

So two weeks later I move in, and two months later after fixing the place up I'm bored. I'm talking to one of my neighbors and he mentions how he's a volunteer fireman, so I go down to the next meeting with him to check it out. It seems like something I can do, I started working out again so I'm in pretty good shape for my age.

I pass the test and join up, and after being called in and fighting my first fire a couple months later, I'm hooked. The adrenaline rush of battling the flames, and that feeling you get after successfully putting down a big fire. After quitting work I really missed the sense of accomplishment you get from a job well done, and this is a way to get it back.

I don't sleep as well as I used to when I was younger.I wake up this morning and see the glow out my window, but it seems like it's too early for sunrise. I look at the clock and it says 3:20 so I realize it isn't the sun. The phone rings and I reach over to pick it up. Looks like it's time to go to work...

Written as a chapter in "Pass the Write-Baton
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1567618-Fire-From-the-East