Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:
Soot covered her from head to toe and her hair, wild at the best of times, was blackened from the smoke with stray hairs burnt and still smoking. She sat on the steps of the ambulance, oxygen mask covering her face, as the EMT checked her vital signs. She had tried to wave them off, she had tried to go back and fight the fire that had destroyed her bakery, but the police had restrained her, forcing her to back away from her dreams. So here she sat, her dreams crushed, watching as the firefighters brought the fire under control.
But nothing was left. The bakery had been custom built for her, based on a design that she and her Dad had come up with before he passed away to Alzheimer’s. This was as much his legacy as hers and for almost ten years she had worked day and night to make her dream, his dream, a success. And now, to have everything go up in smoke, to have everything simply disappear, was making her numb.
“Miss,” she responded, her mind in neutral but ten years of automated responses came back even though her mind wasn’t capable of a coherent thought.
“Sorry, Miss Tate. Can you tell us about the flammable liquids you had stored in the back room? What were they? We need to make sure that we don’t have a problem as we clean up the hot spots.”
“Flammable liquids? I’m sorry, you must be mistaken, that back room contained all of my cooking supplies. The most flammable thing in there were jalapeno peppers.”
The firefighter looked at her for a moment, judging if he should believe her before he reached for the microphone attached to his lapel. “Cap’n? We need to start an arson investigation. The owner says the room should have only contained cooking supplies. Nothing flammable so we should….”
“The bastard,” she interrupted, “that fucking bastard.”
“My ex-husband. When we divorced he tried to get half of the bakery but his infidelity gave me ammunition in court. He always said that he would get me back. I’m going to hunt that bastard down.”
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