The acrid smell awoke me. Itched the channels of my nostrils and the back of my throat, causing a reflexive cough.
Funny, the flames in my dreams never evoked fear. Was that what I felt now? No. I was numb.
Around my fire scorched feet was the melted reminisce of my shoes, my toes full of soot, blackening my paler. Threads of clothe fell from my shoulders as I sat up from the ground. My clothes? They were gone just like my shoes.
A look at my surroundings and all was embers. Tree bark peeled from its body, fallen limbs twisted and crumbled. Panic propelled my thoughts in search for the last memory before awakening in this fire torn hell, but all was laughter. Inside jokes between friends. Too many drinks. Away from life’s responsibilities. Free from thinking of the future and its design. Hot dogs and marshmallows on the campfire…there was a fire. Maybe that’s why I dreamed about it? Could they all have caused this? A simple campfire out of control?
Suddenly on my feet, my eyes ran with water as the smoke still clung to the oxygen, coughing again my lungs squeezed. Humps of black in the shapes of bodies were all around me. No question they were that of my best friends. Why am I not dead like them?
Floating above myself in a fog of this surrealistic nightmare, I started walking, my sooty feet guiding me away from the heaps of black I can no longer focus on. Not even the cars survived the heat, their rubber tires blown and in hardening puddles. Time stood still yet dug its heels in a dragged for days as I walked. Finally, reaching light. The deceased forest gave way to a clearing where it met the road back to real life, but my life would never be real again, would it?
Starring was half a dozen uniformed firemen, indistinguishable behind their masks as I looked from form to form. I didn’t move as someone draped a blanket around my nakedness with muffled questions behind that mask. So many questions I couldn’t hear as my own were a stinging torrent in my brain. Was this my fault? How did I survive? Are all my friends dead? Did they suffer?
In the hospital my mother screamed when it was suggested I caused the blaze, fighting for her daughter’s honour, but I wasn’t sure if it was founded. She believed it an act of God, simple miracle, allowing one of his children to live in the midst of mortal tragedy.
They asked me, I hadn’t spoken a word since, but I think if someone was on my shoulder, it wasn’t God. Wishful thinking. There was no one there. Somehow I know it was me. I did this. If only I could remember why. If only I could remember the dream before I awoke. One thing for sure, I wasn’t sleeping until I figured this out. The only word I spoke was “No”, and this was to the nurse trying to give me a sedative. Something must have showed in my eyes, because she backed away fearfully. Everyone wore that look. Even Mom. They knew it too. Something is wrong with me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s