smokers

After his 5 beers, he sauntered over to Hellmouth Service Station next door and sprawled out on an old red car seat in front, staring blankly across the road.

The owner Fred Heater (brother-in-law to Ted) came out, followed his stare. “That’s Jonesboro Heights over there. Not much to look at, I know, but still it’s the highest point on the island.” He took a ganger at Kevin, quickly determined he was a biker — but those burning feet! I’ve got to get this guy out of here before he ignites something! “You can actually rezz your bike or whatever over there on that property. Not running you off or anything…”

“Sure you are,” said Kevin icily. “You think I’m a menace to society.” He stared at the owner, fire also in his eyes. “Just like my parents.”

Great, thought Fred. A burny guy with *parent issues*. Just what this island needs. “No, no, you just sit here. Stay calm. Leave when you want to.” Fred looked through the dingy window of his station to make sure the fire extinguisher was hanging in its proper spot — just like Ted before him. Hope the nozzle remains unblocked and the pin isn’t broken, he thought, relieved at its sight. But he dare not check right this minute. Gotta keep an eye on this dude!

“No, no, you stay right here,” he reinforced, hands out. “Don’t get any more excited than you are. Just *relax*.” Fred pondered how to safely get to the phone inside to call Luther. Luther would know what to do. He’d seen this stuff before. The Great Fires of ’72.

He stared down at Kevin’s feet again. And I thought the General inside was bad with the smoking!

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