A short [very short] peek into the mind of the 'fireman who sets the fires so he can be the hero.' They mentioned this a few times in episodes, and this story came to mind. BTW, the man is Snow, not Gary.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
That's Why It's Right
by Mary Hobson
I have the matches in my hand, and the plan building up in my mind.
What I'm doing is right. It HAS to be right. I *have* to get attention
To my family, I'm a failure. Seven brothers and sisters, all success stories, except me, the black sheep of the family. Computer programmer, doctor, lawyer, Supreme Court judge, Congressman, scientist, famous author, and me, the lowly fire fighter. I
fight fires. Hah! The Dalmatian does more than I do.
It's an old building, nobody's going to miss it. Just throw the match down, a burst of flames, I just happen to be in the area. I put out the fire, I save the day. Big Tony names a sandwich after me. Maybe then people will notice me.
I've always been neglected. The middle child. Not the oldest, not the youngest, not the smartest, not the best-looking, just plain old me. I got teased at school because I was a slow learner. Kids called me stupid, and dopey. Sometimes even teachers pet. I
was the fat, ugly one, who wore hand-me-downs from my older brothers. I went to school in t-shirts two sizes to long, and torn jeans with patches at the knee.Mom never cared that I was too short for Mark'sclothes. They were there, that's what I'd have towear.
I was never a good athlete. Always picked last in sports, and put in the
worst position on the field. I was constantly getting ridiculed by the coach.
My older brother was the captain of the football team, my sister the star
runner, every other sibling some
sports hero. I was the kid with two left feet, and the kid who ran on tiptoe.
My siblings all had wonderful luck in the romance department. They'd be out on dates every Friday, while I stayed home playing my pitiful Atari, and fooling around with pet rock, Rocky. At least he didn't talk back.
Upperclassmen gave me swirlies, younger kids made fun of me, everyone else
just pitied me. I was the laughingstock of the school. Nobody knew the real
me. I had two friends. Harrison and Clark, who were both geekier than I was.
I actually made it through college, which was a big surprise to my family. Before I found the job at the fire station, I was flipping burgers at McDonald's. Always the failure, I couldn't even say 'do you want fries with that,' without stumbling and stuttering through it.
I met and married Jessica a year after. Of course, she picked me up to make her rich ex jealous, who has the biggest.... yacht, you'll ever see. We got divorced when I found out she was cheating on me with her ex.
And here I stand. A dork always. A loser. A big, fat, giant loser. Never been good at anything, never will be. That's why this is right. For once, I'll be the one everybody talks about and not because I was pantsed and thrown in the girls' bathroom. So, I drop a match. It all lights up, I'll be the hero. I'll have the attention for once. Quickly, I'll go from zero to hero.
No problem. Drop the match, and everyone who every made fun of me will bow at my feet. The fire will be all over the news. It'll be the biggest fire since Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over the lantern. They'll love me, and I'll spit in their dirty faces.
The match drops from my hand. I watch the fire spring to life. Dancing flames never seemed so beautiful. I run quickly around the corner. Wait a few more seconds to make my move.
A sudden movement catches my eye. What's this? A man sprinting, with something is his hands. A fire extinguisher?! But that can't be. I'm supposed to be the hero. A few quick puffs, and the 'monster' fire is gone.
I want to cry. No fame, no glory, no picture in the paper. Just same old me. Neglected, abused, ridiculed, mocked, the list goes on. When do I get my glory? When can I have the attention? Doesn't that guy know what I'm doing has to be right?
I've never been the Prom King, never thrown a football more than five measly yards, never made the honor roll, and never really been loved. Never been a hero. HAVE to be a hero.
Doesn't anyone know that that's why it's right? Doesn't anyone know I want a piece of the pie for once? Well, I'll let them know.
Forget that man. Just strike another match, and instantly, I'm the hero. Just drop another match.
Email the author: Mary Hobson