The fire only interested Jake for about ten minutes before he went back inside.
Jake sat down on the couch and turned on the TV. He was a creature of habit. Every day at 5:30 PM, Gloria’s Kitchen came on, which featured Jake’s favorite chef. Gloria Diaz was a curvy, dark-skinned woman with a nice voice.
First, we mix the flour with a touch of egg white. Set the oven to 350 degrees. And watch as the top begins to sizzle.
Jake liked the way Gloria said sizzle. He thought about taking a box of tissues and bottle of lotion upstairs, as it was also part of his daily routine, but decided it may be in bad taste considering it was the anniversary of his father’s death. And that people could be currently dying in a fire a few miles away from his home.
He fought the dragon again. Nine losses.
There was a knock at the door. 'I bet mom forgot her keys, again,' he thought.
The knock happened again, much louder. “I’m coming,” Jake said through the door. “Maybe remember your keys next time.”
Jake opened the door to a short, disheveled man wearing a pair of thick-rimmed glasses that were cracked on both lenses. He looked to be in his early forties. Somewhere around the same age as Jake’s mom. The man’s clothes were covered in black ash, which seemed weird at first, until Jake remembered that ash was flying everywhere. He had a beard that hung down passed his shirt collar. The disheveled man didn’t even seem to notice Jake at first. He was too busy inspecting the doorway, as if looking for something in the cracks.
“Uh, hello?” asked Jake.
“Oh, hi,” replied the man with a smile showing almost all his teeth.
“Can I help you?” asked Jake.
“Uh, does, uh, Mary Green live here?”
“Yeah...but she’s at work.”
“Oh, uh, when will she be back?” asked the man through his teeth.
“Not sure,” replied Jake as he started closing the door.
“Well, can I wait here?”
“I don’t think so, man,” replied Jake with an Are-You-Serious eyebrow raise.
"Cause I don't know you, man."
"I'm an old friend of your mom's."
'There was that smile again,' Jake thought. "I've never known my mom to have hipster caveman friends," he said.
The man’s eyebrows lowered. He stepped closer to Jake. “Alright, you little prick, is she in there?” he asked while pointing in the house. “Tell her to quit hiding!”
“I told you, she's not here!”
“Mary!” the man yelled into the house. “You know why I’m here! Get down here RIGHT NOW!”
“Get the hell out of here before I call the cops!”
The man backed away a few steps. “Fine.” The man ran off.
“Aggressive canvassers,” Jake thought to himself.