Another well written but disturbing short story from my deceptively gentle soul-mate:
I love a good fire. From the early licking flames on the kindling, to the
great heat thrown as a good roaring one meets its climax, then down to the
final crescendo as the glowing embers slowly grey out and fade away.
Mmmm. Cosy. That’s what fires are, cosy. Families gathered around the hearth
sipping cocoa and wiling away the time. And of course what would Christmas be
without eggnog and a fire.
My mother would always have to light our fire at home. Dad was hopeless, and
by the time he was on his fourth try Mum would grab the matches, rearrange the
kindling and 2 minutes later warm and cosy. Oh and don’t get me started on
the BBQ. It may be the man’s domain to burn the food on top, but it was always
Mum who had to ‘light ‘er up’. (preferrably before his mates came over.) She
always said the only use he was when it came to fires was putting them out.
Ooh !! The flames are kicking up now. I do love to feel the heat on my face.
I watch the dancing light flittering to and fro, and slide back just a little
(The heat is intense and just a little too hot.) She will be here soon. The
setting is perfect. Fires are so romantic. You could say its our thing. You
know people have been staring into fires for as long as there have been …
well people I guess. Seeing visions, watching shapes and just dreaming. That’s
what we do, just watch and dream as we share the fire. Jenny is so beautiful
and the flickering light gives her an almost magical air.
I snap back to reality. Knock, knock, knock. I didn’t here her car pull up.
I look through the window and meet a horrific site. Coughing and choking a
mother is dragging her 2 children toward me. The baby is in her arms, a toddler beside her
as she tries to make her way through the smoke.
I can hear the sirens in the distance. This is not how it was supposed to happen.
No one was home! The woman falls in the smoke. The sirens are too far away. I
grab a rock from the ground and smash the window open. I have to save her. Smoke
and flames pour out through the window. The sirens are getting louder. I must save
them. I jump in through the broken window and … ash. My eyes sting. I can barely breathe.
I choke through the smoke. I can’t hear anything. I feel numb. I stumble
forward and end up almost on top of the woman. She’s not moving but I can feel the
kids wiggling. I shake the woman. She seems groggy but pulls herself up, I grab
the kids and we struggle together to the window. We pass the kids forward and
they are taken by waiting arms. Then the woman. Everything is spinning. I step
forward and and fall into arms that drag me out of the building.
The world starts to come into focus. I pull something off my face. My eyes are all wet.
” Leave It on. It’s just oxygen.” A voice calm and soothing.
” Oh thank God!! ” Bearlike arms encircle me.
” I couldn’t believe it when they dragged you out of the house as we pulled up. Thank God you’re
alive. You’ve gotta stop following the fire calls on your CB. Look how close you came.”
“Anything to see my old man at work.” I splutter.
He leans me back. The firefighters are foaming out the last embers. The house is demolished.
Fire is an awesome force. I flop a little and vomit everywhere. My throat burns from the soot and ash.
” He’ll be fine. We’ll just get him back to the hospital to clean him up a bit.” Soothing voice again.
My father lays me back as 2 ambulance officers lift my gurney up and carry me towards there van.
“Hey there Tiger!” The porters stop. Her voice is sweet like honey. I could listen to her talk for
days on end. “You’re quite the hero. Karen Scott and her kids made it out safely. All thanks to you.
Should be a medal in it for you.” She leans in and kisses me on the cheek. I am in heaven. ” I will
see you at the hospital once me and your Dad have finished up.” She ruffles my hair.
“Bye Jenny”. I love you.
Other Guest Post by Gavin – Freedom