My wife has been out of town for about a week and a half. She had driven her mother down to California to pick up a new Chihuahua puppy and while they were down there they were going to stop in and see her Grandmother who was in the hospital for a knee surgery. Length of the trip was supposed to be three days. The night before they were going to return her grandmother flat-lined and was resuscitated after 7 minutes of CPR.
I received a call to get her father to the airport, as this was my wife's paternal grandmother, asap. I rushed over to my father-in-laws and found that all the remaining flights from SEA-TAC to Sacramento were 16 hour flights with a 15 hour layover in Spokane. It turned out there were some direct flights in the morning but he could be down there at roughly the same time by driving and having the car would give him more options if this situation drug out and he needed to stay longer. Fortunately he made it down there in time but unfortunately his mother never woke.
Death always brings out the ugliness in families and my father-in-law's brother decided to pull a power play and tried to claim everything, including the right to keep his mother's ashes on his mantel alongside half the ashes of his father and the ashes of his mother's second husband. No one else wanted the belongings but they did want to see all these remains interred respectfully and not kept as trophies. This created a tense standoff between the three children and finally several days later my wife's uncle backed down and agreed to inter all the remains in exchange for all of his mother's belongings except on knickknack each for the other siblings.
So tonight everybody was coming home and I was going to see my wife in 15 minutes, I would meet them at my in-laws house. I was very excited and pulled out of the driveway on cloud nine. I look up as I put the car into forward gear and see flames shooting out of a house about two blocks away. It is a large house with presumably many people in it. I throw the car in gear and speed down the street to inform the resident's that their roof is on fire. When I get to the house there is no sign of flames any longer and I continue another block just in case it was a house behind theirs and what I saw was an optical illusion of a house further on that was on fire. I see nothing and flip a U turn and notice the flames are actually coming out of the top of the chimney of a small house one over from the one I originally thought it was.
I pull in front of the house and of course there is no where to park so I park in the street fumble for my hazard lights and run through these peoples yard and knock on their front door several times. After each knock I step back and see the flames are dying down and just as I am about to try the knob someone finally comes to the door. I inform them they have a chimney fire and need to get everyone out of the house. I get a "Oh my god" and the couple step out and only see sparks at this point coming out of their chimney. The sparks quickly die out and the chimney is dark. I explain that the flames were shooting out of the chimney several feet into the air, enough that it could be seen over the larger house which is a good story taller than theirs. They shrugged and said must have been a piece of paper or something.
The couple look at me like I am crazy and before they can ask if this was a prank or something I hear a crack like a baseball bat hitting plastic. I can't help myself it is too much like a commercial or comedy. I say "My car is no longer behind me is it?" Once more the dynamic duo look at me like I am crazy. I turn around and sure enough my car is missing. I turn back and the dynamic duo have apparently decided they had enough of the wild eyed fat guy and went back into their house. I look up and their roof does not appear to have caught on fire (probably thanks only to the fact that it rained today) and their chimney is no longer a flame thrower. So I set off in search of my car.
Sure enough in my haste to try and save two people of questionable genetic makeup and upbringing (I am sure after going back inside they tossed another log on the fire and laughed about the crazy man at the door) I had forgot to engage my parking brake. If asked before this incident if their was any incline to this road I would have said no, but apparently there is enough for a VW Jetta to roll two houses over and hit a parked car over the course of five to ten minutes.
So I go look at what my car was up to while I was looking the other way. It had managed to roll about 30-50 feet and bumped into the parked car in front of the house on the other side of the one I had originally thought was on fire. I see no damage but being in a self-sacrificing mode I decide before I move my car I should let the owner of this car know what happened and see exactly how the cars came to meet.
I look at the house and it appears to have no doors. I think to myself "why not it is a night for strange things." After further inspection it turns out the house has a door on the back. Just as I am about to reach for the gate so that I may inform the residents of how my night has gone their rather large dog comes running from behind the house and jumps up against the fence barking wildly. *Sure why not this has been a night to remember lets maul Braz* Deciding against opening the gate and getting eaten I knock on the side window of the house. The lady that lives there comes to the door and asks across they yard what she can do for me. I start to explain what happened when "Cujo" decides to throw himself against the gate which pops open. For once luck is on my side and I was in position to slam the gate shut before releasing this fine animal. I finish informing the lady what happened and she says she will get her husband to look at the car while she puts the dog away.
I turn around and there is a man wandering up and down the street. We make eye contact and he heads my way. He asks if I saw a fire. I laugh and told him what I saw. Apparently his mother had seen it but was to frail to walk over to the house in question so sent her middle aged son to see what was happening.
Once again luck was on my side. This guy was a friend of the people who owned the car that my car had chosen to get familiar with. He was able to collaborate my story to them and given the fact that there was no visible damage they merely took my name and phone number.
So after all of this I was able to go get my wife but I am still quite shaken up by these events. It seems to have helped settle me down and return me to a stable state of mind to write this out. I think I am going to go take my wife to bed now... if I don't get electrocuted or something between here and bed.
Thank you and good night.