The Firemen

by Paul de Denus

We sat by the third floor loading-dock, blowing heavy moist heat into our hands, watching as the fire winked out the falling snow. Two blocks over, an apartment building sat in flames, orange ribbons winding a wicked hula-girl dance on the blackened staircase that ran up and down the side, smoke choking from the second floor up to the roof, up to the sky. The firemen billowed in smoldering steam, as if on fire themselves, the spray from the hoses encasing everything in ice, the blazing structure slowly melting like a crystal ice menagerie. “How do things burn in this kind of weather?” I wondered aloud. Fred lit a smoke and shivered. “At ten below, seems some things don’t want to,” he said, his cigarette slowly dimming while smoke sat static in the air like it didn’t know how to move.


Paul de Denus is a graphic artist by day, writer by night. He has been published here at Six Sentences (The Love Book, Word of Mouth & 6SV3), Smith Magazine, Fictionaut and Espresso Stories.