Words by Zach Mullane


“There’s something weird going on here.” I called to my housemate who was watching a movie in the lounge room.
“What the hell are you talking about? Just bring in the chips.”
“I don’t know Bill, but I don’t think this is meant to be on fire.”
“Fire?” Bill rushed in from the other room. Upon reaching the bench he stopped suddenly. Sitting there was my drink. A glass of water straight out of the tap that was now burning.
“How the hell did you manage that?” Bill asked, examining the oddity from all angles.
“I dunno, I just poured it. Here’s your chips.”
“Thanks,” he opened the packet and offered me some. I took a handful and we sat on the kitchen stools in silence for a while pondering this strange new experience; staring at the impossible flame.
It was Bill who broke the five minute silence. “Do you think it might be some new chemical in the water?”
“I don’t know, I mean there’s still the same amount as when I first poured it.” I said, going for another handful of chips. They were damn good.
“Magic?”
“Seriously?”
“Dude, there is water on fire in front of us. These things are meant to be total opposites. I think it’s the only logical
explanation.”
“Maybe…” Another handful of chips was gone. “Should we do something?”
“Like, call the fire brigade? I don’t think they’d believe us. Even if they did, this is kind of a smaller scale then what they are used to.”
“Still, they should help us.”
“Why don’t we try putting it out ourselves?”
“With what? More water?”
Bill shrugged, his eyes still transfixed on the dancing flame in front of him. “Give it a shot.”

I got up and moved towards the sink. There was a Batman mug sitting in the dish rack beside it. But as I reached for it, Bill stood.
“Whoa! Whoa! Not that one!” He exclaimed, his eyes
finally torn from the glass. “That’s my favourite mug. I don’t want you melting it with your fire water!”
“It’s not mine!”
“Well until we know better, it is!”
“Fine,” I looked down and grabbed another glass from the rack. “Is this OK?”
Bill nodded and crunched on another chip.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect, so I placed the glass in the middle of the sink and stood back as far as I could while still reaching the tap. Slowly I turned the cold
water on. The sink rumbled and the tap moved slightly as something began to make its way through it.
But it was fine, all that came out was perfect,
crystal-clear water. Honestly, it was a bit disappointing.
“Well?”
“It’s fine, the water is…water.” I picked it up, “Must have been a once off – oh wait, there it is.” The water in the glass suddenly burst into flame. This certainly was a weird day.
“Damn, well that’s annoying. Just put it here with the
other one, I’ll go check the news to see if there’s
anything about it.” He got up and walked into the other room.
“Cool, I’ll just keep an eye on them, make sure they don’t spread.” I sat down at the stool again. Bill took the chips with him and I cursed under my breath. They were probably almost all gone by now.
I stared back at the glasses. Perhaps this was magic, maybe I had insulted a wizard and this was his
retribution. Maybe he was trying to teach me a lesson.

Bill’s voice shook me out of my daydream. “Um, dude, you really need to see this.” I debated for a second whether or not to take the two glasses into the lounge room, but I decided that it was much safer here, as the rug in there was probably flammable.
The TV filled the room with orange light and as I stepped up from behind Bill, I could see the colour’s source. A flaming lake took up most of the screen. The news helicopter was circling it and as its camera panned up we saw them. Four enormous figures had risen from the lake. They sat on horses and reached almost 80 feet into the sky. They did not much seem to care for the panic around them.
“Four horsemen, lake of fire. Looks like those crazies were finally right. The end is nigh.” Bill said. I stared at the screen as pillars of light shot from the heavens,
striking the tiny people running about on the ground.
“There go the good ones,” I said, as the people began levitating up the beams of light.
“Ah well, guess that’s not us. I’m sure it’ll all be over soon. Wanna go out doing what we love?” Bill held out the chips, there was still a handful of crumbs in the bottom.
I nodded, taking the chips from him. We slumped back into the couch and Bill picked up the remote and pressed play.