Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Into the Fire!

Spring went directly into Autumn. The Summer was simply hot and Sylvia didn't do "hot." What she also did not do was work, at least not in the traditional get up, get dressed and go to work type work. Sylvia was a writer. She traveled around the world, looking for places that set the mood for her next novel. The surroundings were everything to her when she wrote. "You can't write a novel about the ocean while you are staring at the Mohave desert," she would say. Perhaps she was right. Who was to say differently.
She stepped outside of her lakeside cottage and breathed in the air. The smell of a fireplace made it's way from her nostrils to her heart. Pine filled the air and it had the feeling that the entire world was at a bonfire. Leaves were making their seasonal change of colors. The once vibrant green leaves on the sky high Maples, had in the blink of an eye, become multi-colored. Light reds and oranges accompanied by yellow and auburn were neatly spread across the leaves, some sharing their colors all on one single leaf. She had come to this little "retirement" community to write the middle of her newest, sure to be best seller. Where the next segment of her novel would take her was any ones guess. She only took her gaze away from the beauty that surrounded her when she heard her neighbor call out to her.
"Is this place beautiful or what Sylvia? I don't know why Dale and I didn't move out here years ago."
Dale was Abby's sort of husband. He did as he was told and stayed in the house most of the time. Abby was a lady of good blood. Her family had come to America during World War II, as many families from England had. They brought their riches with them and settle into America very well to do. Her father invested in American real-estate and their money never stopped growing. Abby never missed the chance to tell anyone she met that she was "extremely" well off. Dale's father had been her families accountant for 25 years. From playing house with Dale as a child to real life house, they had been together for the better part of 45 years.
"How is the book coming along, Sylvia? Need any help with it?"
Sylvia smiled kindly at Abby. "It is going well, thank you. I think I am still alright on my own for now. I do thank you for the offer though."
"Well, I am a bit of a writer myself, you know."
"Yes, so you have told me in the past. I promise to keep you in mind should I have need of an assistant."
Abby smiled at her and turned away.
Sylvia turned towards the smell of the chimney smoke and breathed it again. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the comforting fragrance as she thought about her novel. Where would it take her to next? Suddenly her nose crinkled and her eyes opened. The fresh clean smell of cherry wood and pine was now replaced with a new smell. She looked up at the smoke, now more puffing it's way out then flowing. The smokey grey color of smoke was now a darker, heavier hue. Suddenly, the unmistakable smell of burning flesh filled her nostrils. She sneezed and held her nostrils closed with two fingers. Abby apparently smelled the odor too as she turned to Sylvia with a look of panic on her face.
"Go call 911, Abby! Do it fast! I am going down to see if I can help anyone! Tell them that someone is trapped inside the house. Hurry!!!!!"
Abby went into her house and did as she was told. Sylvia ran as fast as she could to the house. When she reached the front door, she could feel the heat coming through the door. She knew not to touch the door handle but there was no other way to see if someone needed her help. As she wrapped her fingers around the doorknob she let out a cry. She pulled her hand away as quickly as she could but she knew it was already too late. Some of the skin from her fingers stayed with the brass knob, leaving her with exposed skin on four of her five fingers. Tears streamed down her face as she looked at her hand. Blackened and bleeding, she held it with her other hand. She needed to get that door open somehow. She tossed her body into the door and it opened with a loud crack! Flames licked out at her and singed her hair and eyebrows. She could hear the sirens and knew the fire department was nearly there.
Inside the house, she could see the furniture burning. The dining table suddenly collapsed as the bright orange red flames devoured the rest of the furniture, piece by piece. She saw a movement behind the flames. She rubbed her eyes and thought the smoke in her eyes was causing her eyes to play tricks on her. As she looked inside again, she was certain this time she saw something. She was looking directly at the image of a young man. Though the flames engulfed every part of the house now, the boy appeared to be untouched by them. As if he had suddenly realized he was being watched, he stopped walking and looked directly at Sylvia. He smiled at her and nodded.
"Can I help you with something?" He walked through the flames towards her. Sylvia retreated to the safety of the front lawn. "Don't be afraid, I won't hurt you. Soon you too will be inside the flames and you will see it isn't so bad."
Sylvia shook her head and closed her eyes.When she opened them again, she stood staring at the house. There were no flames now. There was no young man standing in the doorway, no furniture burning. There was only an abandoned house, empty of everything except a player piano. The smell of cherry wood filled her senses, now. She looked towards her House and saw Abby still standing right where she had been standing.
"Are you hearing a word I am saying, Sylvia?"
Confused, Sylvia simply stood, staring at Abby. What had just happened to her??????


Magdalen Islands said...

I'm not sure whether say chilly or hot stuff. I'm a little off tonight. Banged my thumb wit the hammer today. But I wanted to let you know I'm here.

Darrel said...

sorry for your thumb and hugsssss for coming here to read Always, Darrel

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