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As the Fire Dies: A Brief Story


As the Fire Dies: A Brief Story
Author: BMan

Calvin and Hobbes sat, weary, by the fire. Blue flame leaped and mingled with orange and red, twisting up to a curl of smoke in the chimney, and heat pulsed off towards the drying pair. Here they were, after a day in the snow...

They had built forts, first thing, but soon grew tired of fighting each other. Perched in a tree, they had hit a few passersby, but when they complained, Mom had put a stop to that. Hitting Susie produced much the same result, so they had settled on sledding, crashing, sledding some more. Four times down one gorge, seven down the next, then three on a third and once down the last before dark. They had hurried home through the deepening twilight and shed most of their clothes at the door. Now, piled under blankets, they spoke of yesterday, today, tomorrow, over cookies, milk, and Captain Nitro comics.

"I liked today better than last week altogether!" declared Calvin decisively.

"Maybe -- but last week we got to throw thirty-nine snowballs at Susie. Today we only got in two," reminded Hobbes.

"Yeah... she's such a crybaby. I can't believe she told on us!"

"I guess, but we wouldn't really like it if she were throwing gravel and slush at us --"

"Are you kidding?!" asked Calvin in wide-eyed amazement. "We'd love it!!"

"Oh, give it a rest. You know we'd hate it -- but forget about it. Shouldn't we put more death traps in the snowfort tomorrow?"

"Yeah! Good idea!" Calvin produced a blueprint, crude and difficult to make out in the dim firelight. But he knew it by heart. "How about some icicles here, and a tiger pit here?"

"Yeah! I can be the tiger!"

"Well, where else would we get one, stupid?"

Hobbes let out a low warning growl. His eyes were clouded and flashing in the flickering glow. Calvin apologized, and looked at him in a way that symbolized a truce, before they settled back into the deep pillows. Calvin took a bite from his cookie, quietly, and stared into the fire...

Tomorrow we'll get Susie for sure... Tomorrow we'll go on a hundred sled rides instead of one. Tomorrow... we'll put in those icicles, and water down the walls to freeze them. Tomorrow Mom can make us more soup for dinner, and there'll be lots more cookies for tomorrow night... when we'll be... right here.

Hobbes shut his eyes contentedly as Calvin burrowed against him. Slowly falling into deep sleep, he made a promise:

Tomorrow I need to keep Calvin out of trouble. Tomorrow we can't get Susie, or we'll be stuck in his room all day. We can't sled that much, either, because I don't want to get caught in the stream, or the brambles again. Tomorrow we'll put in that tiger pit...

Here he licked his chops, smiling, and began to purr.

As the fire died, the cookie, half eaten, slipped to the floor.

As the fire died, the comics, half-read, fell from the covers.

As the fire died, the blueprints, never finished, drifted downwards onto the rug.

As the fire died, Calvin nuzzled against Hobbes as he slept.

As the fire died, the pair dreamed, of yesterday's memories, today's exploits -- and tomorrow's plans.


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