I Didn’t Start The Fire!

I have started a category for Annie and Linc in case you’ve missed previous installments. Unfortunately being the highly disorganized individual that I am means they aren’t all there yet. 🙁  Soon, me lovelies, soon.


What’s wrong with this picture? Well, first off, I don’t usually wake up with my face pressed against a hardwood floor. This was a first. The pain in my head that felt like a red-bellied woodpecker was pecking from the inside out—that was also new. The bitter smell of smoke that made me feel like an unwilling participant in a barbecue—also new.

I tried to sit up. Nausea rolled over me in a wave.

“Clary?” I called. My face throbbed with my raised voice.


Thoughts were beyond me. I was caught between wanting to vomit and wanting to crawl to the front door, which seemed like the more prudent option. I pulled myself up by the door handle. The smoke was thicker. I twisted the knob, but nothing happened. I tried to focus on the locks. My eyes and throat burned with the smoke. Feeling panicked, I twisted the locks helter skelter. Tears welled in my eyes. “Crying will not help, dammit.”

Focus! The lock should move away from the door jamb. I turned the lock and then the knob. Still nothing.

“I am not going to panic. I am not going to cry.”

My lungs rebelled against the acrid smoke. Coughing racked my body.

I kicked at the door, which oddly didn’t help. I leaned against it and then cursed my non-functioning brain. Dragging myself to the front window, I unlocked it and lifted it with all the remaining strength I had.

Cool night air spilled into the room and it felt like the fire behind me tasted the oxygen and began its sprint toward me. Now the only thing between it and me was a stupid screen. To hell with this, I thought, and threw myself against it. The screen caved through and I fell onto the cement porch. My face scraped against the rough concrete. I wanted to lie there, my face cool, the air fresh, but I thought about gas stove, the gas fireplace and forced myself to crawl. Right now, walking was a thing of the past.

I heard sirens as I fell onto the grass, its cold fingers soothing my face. Grass, grass, grass, lovely grass, again, a new sensation.


end 5/8/2017

S. Darlington

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