Thursday, March 3, 2011

Respect & Fear

I tried to pull myself awake, but it felt like I was stuck in cement. I wanted nothing more than to fall back into my deep sleep, but my name was being called with urgency. When I finally got it together, the words came through, again, with more urgency.

"The house is on fire!!!"

In a haze, I alerted my son as the thick smell of smoke hit me. We ran down the steps & as soon as I turned the corner, I noticed I could not see the ceiling or the ceiling fan - just thick, gray smoke. I grabbed an afghan and pushed my son out onto the porch & ran to the kitchen. What I saw is engraved on my mind.

Huge, evil flames danced up from the top of the stove & licked fiercely at my cabinets. The crock of utensils on the counter were completed melted, as were the paper towel holder; the curtains, the mini-blinds; & in the middle of it all was "D", fighting the flames with wild abandon, his eyes wild with fear.

I moved in slow motion, not knowing if I should run outside, or stay & try to help. "Where's the flour???" he screamed, while I watched in awe. "It's over the stove", I barely said. Over the stove in the cabinets that were being slowly burned. Amazingly, he reached over the fire into the cabinet & tossed a massive amount of flour into the flames.

Not a good idea, but believe it or not, it worked. Once the fire was sustained. He and I stood in the middle of the now blackened kitchen. Him scorched with black soot while we both looked around as if we had been dropped into a dream. As it turns out, he had been cooking & fell asleep.

The smoke had awakened him, too. He said when he saw what was going on, he panicked, & at first thought of running to safety. Then he alerted me & started to run again, but he said what changed his mind was that he could see me kicking his ass if he let my house burn, so he ran back in a dealt with the devil.

The firemen came & commended him for his bravery. They could not believe he had put the fire out alone. They then shared their stories of fires at their own homes caused in almost the same way. Firemen having fires? Really?? After a couple of months, I had a brand new kitchen & appliances, and a whole new respect & fear for fire. It's fast, furious, dangerous & does not discriminate.

And the new house rule: fire extinguisher in the pantry; smoke alarms working @ all times (in spite of pesky beeping); if you don't get your belly full by 8:00 p.m., you're shit outta luck. No cooking anything once the kitchen is 'closed'. If you're starved for a snack, check the new cabinets - there's plenty of microwave popcorn.

And don't burn it....

Pictures: Internet courtesy
Sunday Scribbling word prompt: fire
PS: This is a true story of my fire of about 10 years ago. Scary!!!


  1. Yes, that is a scary story! Whew! My heart was in my throat the whole time. Glad y'all are OK.


  2. thanks, Sharon. it was the scariest thing I've ever experienced. then, sadly, about 2 years ago, a house around the corner from me caught fire & a 5 year old boy died. All neighbors stood around & cried cause we knew he was in there. But watching the fire devour an entire house in a matter of 5 minutes was terrifying.

  3. Yes, such a scary story - thanks so much for sharing, and point taken, no cooking after 8pm!!!!


Best News of the Day

Hey, folks. Sister #1 has decided to take Sister #2 up on the offer of renting mom's house!!!! My heart was so overjoyed @ this news...