The Cleric scurried down the stairs and burst into the family room. “Is the Mistress here?”
“Who?” The Dragon, comfortably stretched out on the couch, glanced up from blowing smoke rings.
“The Mistress,” the Cleric repeated. She received a blank look in response.
“Oh, for heaven’s sake! The Writer.” The Cleric glared at the Dragon.
“Oh, her. Would I be on the furniture if her nibs were at home?” The Dragon puffed another smoke ring toward a tiny Calico kitten, who swatted at it ferociously.
“Oh, dear.” The Cleric bit her lower lip and wrung her hands.
“What seems to be the problem?” The kitten faded, leaving a small spray of sparks behind, and the Sorceress appeared next to the bookshelf, amid a similar cascade of sparks.
“Well, the Gypsy is hungry. He decided to cook something for himself, but he does not know how to operate the equipment in the kitchen. He said he was going to build a cook fire.”
“Oh, dear!” the Sorceress echoed the Cleric.
“Why didn’t you stop him?” the Dragon asked, staring incredulously at the Cleric.
“I tried to tell him that was not the way it is done. He would not listen. When have any of us been able to stop the Gypsy from doing something foolish?”
The Sorceress darted toward the stairs, with the Dragon and the Cleric close on her heels. As the three companions sprinted up the steps, the smoke alarm started blaring.
“What do you think you are doing?” the Sorceress demanded. Flames rose from the middle of the kitchen floor.
“I was making some dinner,” the Gypsy replied, swatting ineffectively at the flames with his cloak.
“Fire is my domain,” the Dragon reminded him, her reptilian eyes narrowed in agitation.
“Quickly, get some water,” the Sorceress instructed.
It took the Cleric and the Dragon several minutes to figure out how to operate the faucet in the kitchen sink, but the fire was soon quenched. However, black smoke continued to billow toward the smoke alarm.
“We must silence that thing!” the Cleric yelled over the sounding of the claxon.
“No problem.” The Dragon took a huge breath, inhaling the column of smoke.
“Just look at this place!” the Sorceress scolded, once the alarm had stopped.
The Gypsy hung his head. “I just wanted to cook a steak,” he mumbled, holding his arm, which was beginning to blister.
“You have been burned!” the Cleric exclaimed, reaching into her pouch for her healing herbs. She hastily mumbled some prayers and administered the herbs. “Thank the goddess it was not more serious.”
“I just wanted to cook a steak,” the Gypsy muttered again.
Before anyone could reply, an urgent cry came from downstairs. The companions quickly raced down the steps. There, they found the Arrogant One struggling to contain a river of soap bubbles that was pouring out of the laundry room.
“What on earth have you done?” the Cleric demanded.
“I was trying to wash some garments. I have watched the Writer do it countless times. The machine looked so easy to operate!”
“You must have done something wrong!” the Sorceress exclaimed.
“No! You think so?” The Arrogant One snorted in disdain.
“Well, we need turn off the machine and find some mops,” the Cleric directed.
Before the group could start cleaning the mess, the Dwarf came running down the stairs. “All o ye better come wit me, right quick-like! There be a burglar tryin’ ta break in!”
“What? How do you know it is a burglar, Small One?” the Dragon demanded.
The Dwarf gave the Dragon a scornful look. “Well, who da ye think would be tryin’ ta break in ta the house?” he bellowed. “The milk maid?”
The six characters piled up the stairs and out the back door.
“There he be!” The Dwarf threw an axe at a figure rounding the corner of the house. The man yelped, as the weapon missed him by mere inches.
“I’ll take care of him.” The Dragon loosed a blast of fire at the rapidly retreating figure, who screamed and redoubled his speed, racing for the safety of his gas-company truck.
* * * * *
“Honey, is that a police car in our driveway?” I asked Miles as we drove toward our house.
“It looks like it,” he replied. “along with a gas-company truck. And half the neighborhood seems to be on our front lawn. I wonder what could have happened. You don’t suppose there’s been a gas leak?”
Nope, no gas leak. But what a tale everyone had for us! My husband and I spent the rest of the afternoon convincing the cops, our neighbors, and the nice gas company meter-reader, that they never saw what they swore they saw. We were finally able to persuade them that such a fantastic occurrence must have been some form of mass hysteria. After all, there was no evidence. No axe was found on the lawn, and not a single blade of grass was singed. At length, the police officers returned to their car, looking completely bewildered and arguing over what to put in their report. The gas company employee, not entirely convinced the hair-raising incident was imagined, promised us we would be hearing from his superiors and maybe some lawyers. Our neighbors left slowly, never taking their wary eyes off us as they returned to their homes.
At last, hours after arriving home, Miles and I finally parked the car in the garage and entered the house. There was not a single character to be found anywhere, not even in the conference room, but evidence of their mishaps was everywhere.
My wonderful, kind, understanding husband went to bed, shaking his head and muttering incoherently. I imagine he was wondering why he ever married a writer.
I will be spending the evening cleaning and repairing the fire-damaged kitchen and water-logged laundry room. Then, I suppose I should write a letter of apology to the gas company. Maybe they won’t find a reason to cut off our service.
If you’d like to keep me company, feel free to stop by. I’ll leave the porch light on for you, if my characters haven’t destroyed that, too. Oh, and it would be really great if you’d bring a shop vac with you.
*Disclaimer – This blog post is a work of fiction. No structures were damaged, and no people (or characters) were harmed, or even frightened (too much), during the making of this story.