A siren blares, echoing through the quiet streets. I wake up with a start and glance around. I scream, adding to the constant wails of the alarm. There are flames engulfing my arm! I try to put it out, but it stays put. At first it burns, but then I realize that it doesn’t hurt, I only thought it did. It feels warm, but not hot. I stare at it in horror and amazement for a few seconds before I realize that the flames have spread from my arm and are now crawling up my walls. My house is burning down! I have to get out of here, like, now! I jump out of bed and fling my door wide open. In my panic I don’t even realize that the fire from my hand has extinguished. I race down the stairs, but suddenly remember my family. I can’t leave them! They’re still asleep! Without a moment of hesitation, I dash back up and into my parent’s room where everyone except Clara is. I yank the covers off, screaming at them to wake up. My mother wakes up first, followed by my father, and then Mary. My mother gasps when she sees what is happening. She grabs Mary and holds her close, while my father runs out of the room to find Clara. I yell at my mother, telling her that we have to leave and my little sister starts bawling in fear and confusion. I don’t blame her. My mother nods and slowly gets out of bed, her age showing on her face. I hold her hand and we slowly make our way downstairs. I feel a twinge of terror as I realize Clara and my father aren’t with us. CRACK! I jump as I hear the sound right above us. Suddenly, the roof caves in, carrying an explosion with it. There is a blinding white flash and a burning wave of heat. I am thrown down the stairs and I land near the door. I try to go back for my family, but the wood is burning. I can feel my lungs filling with smoke and I have to get out. I yank open the door to my house and flee into the cool night air. The cold burns just as much as the heat. I look around. Where is my family? Why don’t I see my mother and Mary? Where is Clara and my father? My heart is in my throat. They must have gotten out the back door. They are probably waiting for me on the other side. I have to go to them and everything will be alright. I try to distract myself with positive thoughts, but for some reason, I’m having trouble believing them. I can sense a dark, nagging thought at the back of my mind, but I push it away. No, they’re waiting for me. I know they are. I push away the terrifying thoughts and circle the burning house, giving it a wide berth. With every step, I feel a little spark of hope. I speed up until I am at a full on sprint. I round the corner and...nothing. My eyes scan the lawn, searching for a needed reassurance...nothing.Did they...did they not make it out? My mind betrays me. I look back and my house is almost totally consumed in the reddish-orange flames. Tears burn in my eyes. My family is still in there! They didn’t make it out! I feel as if I was just hit by a truck. I can barely breathe from grief. No, they can’t be dead. No. No! NO! A strangled roar penetrates the night. It is full of grief and pain, touched with anger and terror. I look around for the source of the sound and realize that it came from my chapped lips.
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