Saturday, June 19, 2010

Today, I saw a fire

A group of people watched someone's lives burn away today. The house was on fire, and cars parked in the grass to watch it come down. No one cried. They just stood there, mollified by the flames. I wondered where the family was. On vacation, oblivious to the horrifying truth? Would they receive a call later today telling them everything was gone? Would they return home to an ashen lot and be surprised? No one was crying, and that's how I know that family didn't know. We just stood there and watched the smoke carrying lives away.

I called my parents to tell them.
Today, I saw a fire.
Mommy - today, I watched a house glow with heat.
Daddy - today, I was scared.
Today, I drove past a fiery furnace and felt the heat on the other side of the car.

I wish no child had to come home to tell their parents this. But today, someone did.

When I got there, the fire was contained by the last supports of the house. It looked like a box of flames, like some magic trick. I saw a lake of fire poured into a square house and devour it whole. The fire spouted black smoke when the water fought it. It was malice, it was hate, it was terror. The cows in the neighboring lot continued to chew, if only moving to escape the doubled heat of summer and flames. I drove on, watching in the mirror the black flames join the heavy clouds. It would rain today.

When I got home, the air smelled like smoke.

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