Sheila stood in front of the burning building, covered her head with a chair. The rain hit her, regulated the fire's warmth and the rain's coldness. Mark, a chubby young man, stood beside her, wiped his nose noisily.

 "What will I do now?"

He cried quietly, his red head got wet from the rain, but he didn't do anything to prevent it.

"Everything will be fine, don't worry"

A voice behind the two calmed him. Sheila turned around. A tall thin man, long brown beard and small funny eyes, stood behind mark and stared at the fire.

"What an idiot the one who set this fire" he mumbled.

Marks' weeping intensified.

"Yes, he is…stupid! I can't believe I won't have this work again! Stupid! Stupid! Idiot! Ahhh…"

Sheila looked at him disdained.

"Don't fool yourself, man, everything will be fine" and to herself she whispered;

 "What an idiot".

Loud sirens cut the silence the prevailed among them. Cops and firemen ran to and fro, trying to put out the great fire. The seventh and the sixth floors now are totally burnt; the fifth floor is the next to catch the fire.  

Sheila spited her gum on road.

"What's so hard to put out this fire? I just don't get it. Stupid firemen"

"What's so hard? Are you kidding?" cried Mark. "It's a fire, foolish".

"Foolish you, it's raining buddy, can't you see? The rain will do the work for them"

She spited again, "do you work here chubby? Or should I say "worked"?

"Yeah, I worked in the hotel's restaurant".

"Oh, a waiter".

"Yes, a waiter" Mark sighed loudly and wipes another tear. "Are you here all by yourself?"

"No, with my father" Sheila pointed on a man far away from them, "He likes all this 'action'; I guess I'll have to wait a while until he comes back."

"Don't worry" said the bearded man "we'll watch you until your daddy comes back".

"Sorry Mr.…."

"Daniel, just call me Daniel"

"Whatever, Daniel. Now listen, don't you watch anythin'. I'll be fine with or without you".

Daniel looked at Mark, questioning. Mark shrugged.

"The police say it was an igniting" Said Daniel. "I hope they'll find the inflamer soon and punish him".

"What's for? It won't help the hotel anymore!"

Mark wanted to reply, but Daniel held his shoulder and put a finger on his mouth, warning him to shut up.

"So Sheila, Sheila right? Where have you been when the alarm began?"

"At the pool, swimming". She replied shortly. He looked at Mark meaningfully. The fire lightened Mark's face. Daniel could see his brain works through his eyes. He can understand where this entire story goes.

"And you mark, where have you been when the alarm began?"

"Oh, it was so scary! I was in the kitchen, washing the dishes. I felt so lost! I didn't know what to do. I ran like I have never run before. What about you?"

Daniel looked at him thoughtfully.

"I was in the bar" he said "having fun with a friend when the alarm started ringing. I thought it must be a mistake. We continued drinking until the horrible smell came to our noise and…"

A burning plunk fell from the fifth flour straight on the threesome. Mark jumped to the side and Daniel pulled Sheila with him. They fell on the ground, shocked, wounded but, alive. Sheila seemed to be puzzled.

 "Thanks" she whispered.

 "Thanks, I'll go to look after my father".

 She shook her clothes, turned around and disappeared in the dark. Mark sat on an empty stone and lit his head in his hands. He had too many thoughts inside his head; the great fire, the kitchen who probably burnt out, this childish girl who ran away from the fire with him and Daniel who suddenly appeared and tried to attract his attention toward something. What was it? Was he trying to arouse his suspicion toward the girl? What is he trying to say to him now?" He noticed that Daniel is trying to talk to him but the great noise around them prevented him from hearing.

"Are you with me, Mark? I'm talking to you. Do you hear me?"

"Yes, I can hear you now, pal. What is it?"

"Did you get it? I was trying to hint you."

"No pal, I didn't, I was just thinking I…"

Another burnt plunk crushed beside them. Mark jumped, screaming.

"Stupid girl" mumbled Daniel.

"What do you want from this poor girl? What did she do?"

Daniel held mark's shoulders tightly. "What do I want? This awful childish girl set up this fire. Don't you get it? She is the inflamer!"

"No way buddy" Mark giggled "forget about it, I don't believe you".

"There's nothing to believe. Did you listen to her? She was trying to blame everyone including the firemen in this fire! "Swimming pool" yeah right" he giggled "you know what? I was in the swimming pool when the fire began, she wasn't there!"

"But, you said only 5 minutes ago that you were in the bar!"

"No, I mean, yes, I know I did but I didn't want to embarrass her, I knew she wasn't there from the beginning".

Mark was puzzled. What Daniel said makes sense. She did blame no-one in this fire, and called him names like 'stupid' and 'idiot', it was weird, to be honest.

The rain went stronger and stronger. It seems like the firemen controls the fire. Soon, everything will over and he needs to search for another work.

"Mark?" Daniel waked him up. "What do you think?"

"Well I don't know… it makes sense but why would she do that?"

"It can be everything; she might want to attract someone's attention or maybe she wanted to avenge someone. Who knows?"

He saw now Sheila standing with her father a mile from them. Her hair was very wet; her coat was helpless, like his. She pulled her father's sleeve, asking him to leave, her lips say: let's go home, Pa, I'm cold". They both turned around and continued walking.

"We should stop them" Daniel whispered and then said again, out loud, "We should stop them, we should call the police. Let's go Mark". He Pulled Mark's coat and walked toward the police.

"Hallo Mr. Policeman", He nodded "I want to report on a suspect to this fire."

The policeman, Thomas, looked at him for a minute and said:

"Can you please wait a second, Sir; I'll be right with you".

He disappeared in the vehicle and went back to them with two more cops and…


"Mr. Daniel O'haro?" asked the older one.

Suddenly Daniel's face turned white, he bowed his head.

"Yes" he said guiltily.  

"You are under arrest…"









The End

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