vacuum cleaner on fire on ice

Last night Linette and I had a few friends over for dinner. It was my job, before they arrived, to clean the house a bit. In the process of doing that, I decided to build a fire in the fireplace. I broke up some sticks on the floor of the living room, built a nice big fire, and then went about the task of vacuuming the floor, which was by then covered in little splinters of wood and bits of bark.

In the process of vacuuming, I decided to take out the hose attachment and suck the cat fur off the front of the fireplace screen, where it collects as though magnatized.

Everything was going fine until I decided to run the hose along the bottom of the fire screen.

Right as I was running it along the bottom edge of the screen, a giant, glowing ember fell from a stick in the fire. It landed at the base of the screen and was imediately sucked under the screen and into our Dirt Devil.

Once I saw the ember disappear into the mouth of the nozzle, my eyes traveled up the hose to the vacuum itself, where I saw a bright orange flame growing inside, behind the plastic. Our Dirt Devil is clear on the front, so you can see all of the junk that’s been sucked up into it. It’s kind of like a loud, round ant farm on wheels. Now it looked like a mini diorama of the botched ATF seige at Waco.

The room began, immediately, to fill with a thick toxic gas of some sort, the combination of burning animal fur, dirt and plastic. I grabbed the vacuum, still plugged in and running, and ran with it toward the front door, which I flung open with my free hand. I ran onto the front stoop and then tossed our vacuum into a snow bank. I jerked the cord out of the wall and it grinded to a hault, whirring in the snow, the orange flames licking at the smoked plastic from inside.

I then went on to tear the thing apart, dumping the contents of the smoldering bin onto the snow and taking the bin itself and forcing it beneath the snow drift, where I hoped it would stop melting.

Time passed and the plastic cooled and Linette stuck her head out to see why the fuck I had torn up the vacuum and tossed it’s pieces all around the front yard and I why I was standing there in my t-shirt when it was five degrees below zero. I didn’t mention yet either that the knuckles on my right hand had somehow gotten themselves shredded in this process, adding the presence of blood to the rest of it. I just stodd there like a jackass, dripping blood and coughing up toxins.

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