I smelt the smoke before I heard the screams. My house was a two story brick suburban house that sat in the middle of a neighbourhood with pesky neighbours that couldn’t mind their own business. I had leaped out of bed and grabbed my teddy from where it sat on my carpet floor. I rushed into the hallway because I thought my mum was cooking; she wasn’t doing a very good job. The hallway was filled with smoke and I coughed into my teddy bear.
“Mummy, Daddy, you’re burning the food,” I called out between coughs. “Mummy, Daddy?” I called out again. I heard a high pitched scream and felt along the walls and opened my parents’ door. The handle was hot to touch and I used the teddy bear to open the door. A rush of smoke flew out of the room and I heard the screaming again. My mother was sitting up in bed next to my father who had fallen back and sprawled across the bed head. Their bed was on fire and my mother and father burned; burned alive. I screamed and ran out of the room. It seemed like a dream at the time. My last memory of my parents was covered in flames. I ran back into my bedroom which was quickly filling with smoke. I climbed out of my window and sat on the cold roof tiles outside. There was smashing glass and the fire started to lick at the edges of the house. I stood and stumbled across the uneven ground to the front of the house.
The neighbours were standing outside in their pyjamas and looking up at the house. I slid down on the roof tiles and saw the fire engines flashing red lights at the end of the street. It was still
very dark and I could look up and the stars and the moon between the smoke. The fire fighter’s jumped out of the truck and started to unwind a long, snake like hose. I waved my teddy in the air and
there were shouts and one of them pointed to me. There was a crash from inside the house and the roof started to cave in. I started to whimper and salty tears rolled down my cheeks and dried
quickly. I screamed as the roof caved in even more and the fire fighters brought out something that looked like a trampoline. The neighbours helped them hold it up and they beckoned me to jump. I
held onto my teddy’s hand and started to slide down the tiles even further. The roof caved in even more and I screamed and stood up on the edge of the gutter.
“Jump down, sweetheart,” the fire fighter called out. I leaped off the roof and bounced on the trampoline. The ambulance arrived and they drove me to the hospital.
My house or my parents didn’t survive the fire. Fifteen years later and I still haven’t visited the park that was put in place of my house. They named it after me though. They named the park Acacia Grove.
© Copyright 2016 Rose Burg. All rights reserved.
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