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Campfires. Lighters. Candles. Campfires. Lighters. Candles. Those flames dancing around at your feet, warming your hands, lighting your smoke and home, they’re at your mercy. All you have to do is dump water on the logs, flip the light closed, or blow out that tiny orange ember. It’s gone, no threat. People don’t think about how those controlled flames are not controlled, just blocked off from eating everything around you, including you. Fire will never be a controlled element. It is a red, hungry soul that climbs and crawls and devours what it grabs. I almost lost my home to it. I had stared at this dangerous element that reached out its flickering limbs to me, and felt nothing but fear.
We lived in Avon Park, out near the woods on a badly tarred road that turned dirt and disappeared into the woods. Our old white house face the woods on three sides, the back of the house facing the road behind us that lead to Lake Chilton. There was a small field out behind us of dead grass, knee-high and crowded
OkayBy the end of the night I am full, and that is all that matters.
Days of nibbling off what food we had stored in out fridge, rationing what we had between the two of us.
He must eat so much more than me, yet now he eats no more than I nibble.
Our home is a termite kingdom. Rats roam the walls and bugs crawl through the holes of our floors.
He put down boards to stop them, but nothing stopped the rats crawling onto our stomach at night for warmth.
"When is your next paycheck?"
"This Thursday. After bills, we will get some food. Maybe something special." He says this because he wants splendid things, especially for me.
He wants better clothes for me.
Better food for me.
A ring for me.
"No, just small things." I have to bring him back from the cloud, of pleasing his girlfriend with treasured treats.
"We'll be okay." I say this to him because he said this to me when the roof began to sink and the house became lopsided. We would huddle together under the sheets at night to keep each
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