For a class assignment on flash fiction. Based on a Sims game of mine, in which the girl dresses in Victorian clothing and is always setting herself on fire when trying to invent things. She also seems to have poor luck when it comes to romance, as made evident by the events of this story. Enjoy!
She ran a greasy hand over her hair, smoothing it back from her smoke-stained face as she reached for her welding goggles. They were glistening bronze with blacked-out lenses and embossed frames, and sat tightly around her head on a thick leather strap.
She scooped up her blowtorch and turned in determination towards her workbench. The grey wood was riddled with mildew and probably more than a few parasites, but it had done its job ever since she’d first picked up a hammer at the age of six. She pushed an assortment of screws and cogs and wheels to one side with her arm, and began to pump long red flames from the weapon-resembling tool.
Above the roar of the welding iron though, Brior could still hear the taunting tick-tick of the clock under her shirt. Eight o’clock. He was going to pick up her at eight o’clock, precisely seven hours and forty-three minutes after he’d informed her of her incorrigible fate; dinner and a show. Nothing could have sounded more horrifying. But that’s what he’d said; he’d said it clearly and distinctly.
Ugh…. The thought of it made Brior’s skin crawl as she worked, sealing gaps and melting wires together with her flame. Human company was acceptable when it was necessary, but four or five hours with the same person for the sake of it seemed too ridiculous for her to fathom. No. It wouldn’t happen. Not if she could help it.
She switched off the whizzing blowtorch and set it down, stepping back to observe her work with soot on her face. She leaned forward to wipe motor oil from her hands onto her brown corduroy trousers with a smile playing on her lips. Soon the machine would be ready. Soon she would reverse time, return to that dreaded moment, and never agree to going on a date.
The welding iron let out a deafening “pop”, sparks spiralling from the nozzle, cinders spewing out all over the chipped and singed wood. Before Brior could even let out a yelp, the bench went up in flames that grabbed at her hair and clothes, igniting her and toppling her to the floor as footsteps came pounding down the stairs. Ellen was always prepared for this.
Within minutes all of the flames were extinguished, leaving both Brior and her workbench smoking and black like charcoal. Brior peered out from behind her singed hands to see Ellen standing over her with the fire extinguisher now slung over her left shoulder.
“You’re in a dreadful state this time, Brior,” Ellen sighed. “I’ll call Derek and tell him you can’t go out tonight.”