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“Heart on fire! Heart on fire!”

“Oh, not again.” At the sound of the red alert, Bill Homunculus dashed with the rest of the fire crew towards the chest cavity.

On their arrival the flames had clearly already taken a firm hold.

“Crikey,” said Alison Homunculus, staring at the fire. “How does this kid manage to fall in love on such a regular basis?”

“I know,” said Bill. “I’ll be so glad when he’s past the teenage stage.”

Chief Fire Officer Betty Homunculus clapped her hands. “Come on, people! No time for chatting—let’s grab the extinguishers and get this thing under control!”

Bill and Alison and their colleagues Sandy and Lupin ran to the canisters stored around the cavity wall. They quickly opened them up, and pulled out the scrolls of paper contained within.

Alison unrolled hers, took a deep breath and read it out.

“She’s too old for you.”

Bill looked at his sheet. “She’s got a girlfriend.”

“Chatting to someone on the bus occasionally is no basis for a lasting relationship,” read out Sandy.

“She thinks Pokemon Go sounds ‘a bit dull’,” said Lupin.

The flames abruptly roared upwards—and then they flickered and died away.

The crew stared at the destroyed heart left behind.

Chief Fire Officer Betty shook her head sadly. “Poor kid. Poor kid. But let’s get the recovery process underway.”

She pointed at Lupin and Sandy.

“You two start applying the Lucozade and crisps.”

She pointed at Alison and Bill.

“And you two get those black bile levels down and those blood levels up. I want this kid moved from ‘melancholic’ to ‘sanguine’ and out meeting new people within 24 hours!”
The title is taken from the Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach song, of course. 

278 words.

Written for Flash Fiction Month 2016: Day 18.

The challenge today: 

CHALLENGE: The Great Fire
The Great Fire of Rome began on this night in 64 CE, and that is all anyone is certain about, apart from the aftermath.

ELEMENT THE FIRST: Disaster has struck!
Your story is to begin either during or in the wake of a disaster. This does not necessarily have to be a fire, but it is highly encouraged.

ELEMENT THE SECOND: Who put that there?
We all know that Nero did not in fact fiddle as Rome burned, because fiddles weren't invented until almost a thousand years later. But it is a part of the popular story, and so the second part of your challenge is to include an anachronism, that is something that is out of place for the time period of your setting. Because what are we doing but writing the popular stories?

1. The story takes place during the period a teenage boy's heart is 'on fire' for an unobtainable girl. 

2. You will notice I have cunningly inserted 'Pokemon Go' and also 'Lucozade and crisps' in order to establish the story is taking place in the present day. And then my anachronisms are the homunculi, and the theory of the four humors and the four temperaments. (And the scrolls too, I suppose.) 
Add a Comment:
TheSkaBoss Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
C-A-Harland Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2016  Student Writer
This was such a clever idea. I love that Pokemon Go was the deciding factor.
SCFrankles Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Some differences are too difficult to overcome even for the most ardent lover ^_^

Thank you ^^ 
Domaex Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
This was a very creative take on the challenge! Nice job!
SCFrankles Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you - I was really pleased with this story ^_^ 
vigour-mortis Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Wonderfully descriptive. I could definitely see all the running around in my head.
SCFrankles Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I'm really pleased it worked for you visually ^_^  
ilyilaice Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2016
Firefighters battling burning hearts sounds like a great idea. :giggle: The funniest part for me was when they started egging him on to doubt his love.
SCFrankles Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks ^^ I really like the bit with the 'extinguishers'  ^__^ 
mister-scarab Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2016
I really like this one. You captured the essence of falling out of a crush rather nicely. But why did you choose to describe the crush as a heart engulfed in flames?
SCFrankles Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I think it's a pretty common metaphor in British and American English for being passionate about someone or something. But I was thinking specifically of the lyrics to 'Smoke Gets in Your Eyes' ^^
dragoeniex Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2016
:giggle: I think this is one of my favorite entries of yours so far. "You two start applying the Lucozade and crisps" really got me. And I love that, out of everything, it's the woman's comment about Pokemon Go that finally gets him to give up on pursuing her.
SCFrankles Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
These things are important to the young ^__^

And I'm so glad you like this - I was really pleased with the idea. Yesterday I was beginning to despair of coming up with something for the challenge, and then I was so happy when this popped up ^^ 
CatLeo9894 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Awesome work! I really enjoyed this one - fantastic work with the challenge :D
SCFrankles Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks so much ^_^ I'm so glad you liked it ^^ 
MagicalJoey Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
This is great. I loved your inclusion of Pokemon Go (even though I don't like the game itself - go figure).
SCFrankles Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much ^_^ I only know about Pokemon Go from what I've read - but a lot of people certainly seem to be enthusiastic about it ^^ 
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Submitted on
July 18, 2016


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