The Good Papers Not The Gossip Rags – Flash Fiction

Luke woke up as the fire alarm sounded. Twice he tried to turn his phone alarm off before he realised he was in trouble. Coming to with a start, he smelt the smoke leaking in under his bedroom door. Opening it a crack he saw the orange flickering light blocking him from the front door. The heat hit him like a wave. He stumbled back into the bathroom, the furthest point from the fire and shut the door. Stuffing towels along the bottom for insulation. He had moments to think.

The bathroom windows were glued shut. That had been one of many complaints from his ex. She had shrieked at him for shutting the windows before they were dry and getting them stuck. He kicked the nappies she had left to taunt him across the floor, whilst he tried to work out an escape route.

When she had ripped his life apart and left him, she had taken their daughter. The nappies had been left, as a reminder of what he had lost. Well, she would have the last laugh now, he was going to die on his own bathroom floor.

Or was he?

The heat, smell and crackling intensified outside the door.

Was it a story?

No Luke was sure he had read it in a good paper, not one of those gossip rags.

Luke had minutes left, he jumped into the shower and soaked himself in ice cold water. Then he ripped the nappies open as quickly as he could, smothering himself in the gel. The last nappy he saved, soaking wet he used it as a face guard and ran for his life.


Both good papers and gossip rags ran the story of the 25-year-old who survived a house fire, with minimal burns.

Luke told how he had read in a paper the story about the woman in San Diego who’s house had been saved from destruction. Judith Withers was shocked to find her house standing and unscathed after a forest fire. Her house was saved by a superabsorbent plastic gell that had been sprayed onto it. The same plastic gell that is found in babies nappies.

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