Lois had come in late, so she took lunch late, too, and headed over to Berg’s Bistro for one of her more socially-acceptable vices: a quarter-pound blackened sirloin burger smothered in sautéed mushrooms and Swiss cheese. So bad but oh so good, and she could only have them when the kids weren’t around. She could practically taste the waffle fries, almost smell the smoky grill…
Wait, that really is smoke. What the hell? Lois opened her car window all the way and stuck her head out, looking all around for the source of the odor. Other drivers barely paid attention; this was Metropolis, where a red light didn’t really mean ‘stop’ unless a cop was nearby.
Only after craning her head around for several minutes did Lois see the sinister gray cloud rising into the sky. It was coming from downtown … it had to be the arsonist. Lois dropped back into her seat, snatched up her partly-charged cell phone, and dialed Perry even as she cut out of traffic and roared down a side street.
“The firebug’s at it again!” she told the editor as soon as he picked up. “Looks like Lennox or higher, somewhere between 35th and 40th. Send a couple reporters and a photographer, Perry. I’m on my way, but traffic’s bad.”
“You get back to this office, Lane!” Perry barked. “You’re not a beat reporter anymore, and those fires are damn dangerous!”
“Sorry, Chief, bad signal,” Lois replied, raising her voice and scraping a fingernail over the microphone to simulate static. “Gotta go.” Grinning with the joy of the chase, she flipped the phone shut and ‘accidentally’ turned it off in the process. God, I forget how much I missed this. Pedal to the floorboards, the Audi roared up the backstreets.