The Fire Alarm
© 2012 L.A.Parker
Ralph Stevenson lived in a small circular home made of glass. He had breakfast at six sharp, lunch at noon, and dinner at five. At nine o'clock, the lights went out and he went to sleep in the little castle inside his circular home. But not today.
The day began as usual. The bald man named Lewis gave Ralph his breakfast and poked his house.
"Hello there Ralphie!" exclaimed Lewis in a cheerful tone, "and how are you today?"
Ralph looked at Lewis curiously as the bald man started the loud monster. Ralph never liked the sucking monster and hid inside his purple castle. But he liked Lewis. Lewis gave him breakfast.
Lewis kept moving the sucking thing across the green fuzzy stuff far below Ralph's house. The people who walked on it every day made it so dirty that Lewis had to do this every morning. Lewis never gave them any breakfast.
Ralph sighed and nibbled on a piece of food as he watched Lewis from the inside of his house. Lewis was paying attention to the sucking monster right now.
Ralph checked the time and noticed that it was already six thirty and Mr. Bennington should be arriving any minute now. Just then the loud monster stopped and Lewis put it back inside its house across the room behind the small wooden barrier. The sucking monster couldn't come out of the wooden barrier unless Lewis was here. Ralph smiled and left his purple castle to see him leave. As he reached the other, larger wooden barrier, Mr. Bennington walked in on Lewis' clean, green, fuzzy stuff and left marks with his shoes.
"Good morning Mr. Bennington," said Lewis brightly.
"Good morning Lewis, how goes it?" asked Mr. Bennington in a loud booming voice.
"Very well sir and you?" answered Lewis.
"Oh fine, fine, you know usual with the Mrs." Mr. Bennington laughed and walked by Ralph without bothering to say hello to him. Mr. Bennington never said hello to Ralph.
Lewis left and Ralph was left alone with his breakfast. He wondered who Mr. Bennington always called the Mrs. and thought that maybe it was another Lewis type of person. Ralph always liked Lewis type people, they were nothing like Mr. Bennington type people who yelled a lot at Ralph's neighbors and made Sarah complain about her aching back and carpal tunnel. Mr. Bennington always said Sarah was replaceable but Ralph like Sarah as a neighbor. She talked on her phone a lot about a man name John who didn't love her but loved someone else named Alcohol. Ralph wondered if Alcohol was as pretty as Sarah, maybe Alcohol had carpal tunnel. He hoped Alcohol was a Lewis type of person and not a Mr. Bennington type of person.
Mr. Bennington pulled out his small yelling machine and pressed the small chiming notes on it. He held it to his ear as usual and Ralph watched as Mr. Bennington began to pace all over Lewis' fuzzy stuff to dirty it again. Then he started yelling.
"I DON'T CARE WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE WESLEY? I SAID I NEED THAT CONTRACT TODAY! I NEED THIS LAWSUIT OVER WITH, WHAT DO YOU THINK I'M PAYING YOU FOR?" Mr. Bennington put the small yelling device back into his shirt and walked into the other, much larger glass room across the way. When Mr. Bennington walked inside of his own glass house, Ralph couldn't hear him as much, and things were always better that way.
Millie came in at seven followed by Jason, Chase, and Erica. Erica was the ace of Mr. Bennington's business, and Jason was along for the ride. Chase always had a come on for Millie but Millie always says Chase was a panther looking for prey.
Ralph wasn't sure what to make of these neighbors since he heard everything from carpal tunnel Sarah who talked to her talking device named Amber. Amber told her that men are scum and made of dung.
Ralph sighed and nibbled on another piece of blue breakfast. Sarah never came by before nine o' clock and when she did she says her car broke down. Ralph didn’t know what a car was but it had to something to do with Sarah's hair, which was much prettier than Erica's or Millie's. The talking thing called Amber didn’t have hair and only talked when Mr. Bennington or Sarah wasn't around.
Finally at nine thirty Sarah arrived.
"I am so sorry that I am late!" cried Sarah as she bustled in. "Traffic was a mess and my radiator went out on me!" Sarah sat right near Ralph and put her aching back against a fluffy aching back stopper. She looked around and smiled widely. Ralph figured that 'radiator' must mean 'red' because Sarah's hair was brown yesterday but today it was red. It looked nice.
Sarah looked around for Mr. Bennington then grabbed her talking thing called Amber. After a minute or so Amber started talking back to her, but only Sarah could hear.
"Hi Amber how are you?" asked Sarah sociably. "Great! You won't believe what John did last night." Sarah flipped her red hair back and Ralph listened with interest, wondering what Amber was saying.
"He did it again. Got drunker than ever and started wailing about how he wasn't even drinking Alcohol all week and that I was a liar. Can you believe it? Me a liar, I know Amber right?" Just then Mr. Bennington walked past and Sarah smiled brightly.
"Of course Mrs. Patrick, yes, I am looking at the file now. Let me see…" Sarah began to shuffle past some white things inside her square house and looked up again as Mr. Bennington walked back into his glass house.
"No Amber, my boss just walked by. No, I don’t have anything to do now… it's fine I can talk all day," Sarah's house was the messiest out of all of Ralph's neighbors. Jason's house was neat and tidy just like Erica's and he often visited her to talk. Erica shared all of her work with Jason but she didn't know it because Jason usually visited when she was out. Chase had a talking thing like Sarah, but it was called, Betty, Alice, Sandra, Janice, Janet, Honey, Baby, Doll Face, My Wife, Candice, Michelle, That One Girl at the Bar, and Lana. Sometimes he called it Harris. Usually Chase just said 'sorry' mostly, or 'I didn’t forget your birthday,' or 'not tonight,' every once in awhile he said he 'didn’t forget our anniversary.' But Chase was very forgetful.
Out of all of his neighbors, Ralph liked Sarah the best, but not as much as he liked Lewis.
Sarah talked to her talking thing named Amber (who didn't have hair or look anything like people usually do) until ten o'clock.
That's when Ralph's day was ruined.
At ten o'clock a strange light began to flash all around the room outside of Ralph's house. It made a loud sound that hurt Ralph's head.
"Oh my God Amber, I think that's the fire alarm!" cried Sarah as she stood up frantically. "There must be a fire!" Everyone in the room stood up and Ralph hid inside of his purple castle and watched through a hole. Mr. Bennington stumbled out of his glass house in a panic.
"NOBODY PANIC!" Mr. Bennington screamed at the top of his lungs. Chase, Millie, Jason, and Erica, all rushed out of the room stumbling, knocking over objects and yelling as loud as the flashing light. Mr. Bennington pulled out his yelling device.
"YES? HELLO? POLICE! YES THIS IS JACK BENNINGTON OF THE BENNINGTON LAW FIRM, QUICK THERE'S A FIRE SOMEWHERE IN THE BUILDING!" Mr. Bennington ran out of the room leaving Ralph all alone with the loud light. Ralph stayed in his little castle and began to eat some leftover breakfast, nervously.
After several long moments, strange yellow men walked in with the yelling Mr. Bennington.
"OF COURSE I DIDN’T PULL THE FIRE ALARM!" he cried. "I HAVE WORK TO DO IN THIS OFFICE I WOULDN'T WASTE MY TIME PULLING FIRE ALARMS!"
Mr. Bennington waved his arms in the air and yelled some more words that Ralph didn't understand. Just then Lewis bustled in.
"I'm sorry Mr. Bennington, a woman downstairs pulled the alarm when she saw some smoke coming out of the microwave. She said she didn’t realize someone had put something in there and burned it when she pulled the alarm. She says she thought the microwave was on fire but the head of the department down there has got everything under control," Lewis laughed a nervous laugh and led the yellow men out of the room.
Mr. Bennington shut himself inside his glass house and Erica, Jason, Chase, and Millie, went back to their smaller houses. Sarah tossed her pretty red hair over her shoulder, and picked up her talking thing again.
"Amber you won't believe what happened!" she said as she started whispering to Amber excitedly.
Ralph looked around and everyone appeared to have gone back to work. Jason even went to visit Erica again even though she wasn't home. Ralph smiled and looked at the clock. It wasn't lunchtime yet and he knew he had to wait for bald Lewis to feed him. Other than that, he rather liked being a goldfish.
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