I walked into the lab just in time to see the explosion.
Dreanor stood at our bench, swirling a flask. Spell-bottles and potion phials were spread out to either side of her, and the air around her was tinged greenish. She turned as she saw me, started to smile, and then the flask blew up in her face.
“Dreanor!” I yelled, crossing the cluttered room in three steps. She fell backwards into my arms, still holding the jagged neck of the flask. Her head dropped back, and her eyes rolled to white.
The other researchers were by my side in an instant. “Lay her down,” Iris ordered, pushing empty cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and a case of preserved lizard skins aside, trying to find some room on the floor. “Right here, put her here.” I did, cradling Dreanor’s head with my hand as I gently eased her to the floor.
“Ouch!” I pulled my hand away as quickly as I could without dropping her, then shaking it. “Her hair’s on fire!”
Funny how I hadn't noticed that. Guess I was too busy noting how her eyeballs rolled to white to notice that her hair was a blazing inferno.
"Get some water!" Iris told me, pushing aside spider remains and rodent bones.
I started to go for a bucket just as the firemen ran through the doors. "Whoa," the first one in yelled. "This looks like a charge of battery."
"I didn't do it," I said. "I told her that her face lit up when she smiled, but would she listen to me? No."
"A real live wire, eh?" the Fire Chief replied. "Douse her with foam, Johnson. This one's an electrical fire."
Opening: Shannon Page.....Continuation: Mignon/Christine Elden