Naked In A Burning House

Daily Prompt: Burning Down the House

Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?
Oh, man, the house is on fire. He looks out the window. Wifey is down below in the backyard waving to him. It is not a frantic wave but more like “Goodbye”. Or she may be doing arm exercises. Multitasking.

What to grab? He always imagined it would end, not like this, but up on the roof, as he reached down and grabbed his ankles after news of a nuclear attack.

He looks for his pants. He will pass on a shirt. He is feeling a little warm.

There’s a frosty glass of Guinness just poured staring at him. It must not go to waste.

Sunglasses. Bright light irritates his eyes. And his Nikon D7000! His FB buds are going to want some pics of this! Now there is time for one more thing. . .

The photo of his desk taken decades ago. Never scanned. Someone he loved more than the world. And now smoke rushes in the room and he drops to the floor, crawls towards the door.

He decides the beer is not going to make it and pours it on his fevered brow. He drops the photo. Now he is almost to the rear door of this inferno and he remembers he has left the battery to his camera on the table next to his bed.

He must go back!




Our Summer Home In the 1950’s

WordPress Daily Prompt: Ode To A Playground

A place from your past or childhood, one that you’re fond of, is destroyed. Write it a memorial.

When we were growing up my parents bought a small cottage on a lake for us to enjoy in the heat of summer.  It had a couple of rooms and a bathroom.  No shower.  No furnace.  Just a small kitchen and a bedroom.  They built a porch on the side facing the lake so we would not all have to sleep in the same room (I’m trying to remember how my three sisters and I arranged our sleeping quarters but it escapes me now).

I can remember one morning waking up on the porch, feeling a cool breeze from the lake and the morning sun while listening to squirrels running on the roof.  It was pure pleasure to be out of school.   I would grab a fishing pole and head to the lake while the surface was still as smooth as a mirror.  Soon there were shadows darting back and forth as I watched patiently from the dock.  I mostly caught yellow perch with an occasional, small catfish and once or twice a small-mouthed bass.

We had adventures there, of course.  Once I swam across the lake with my sister nearby in a rowboat.  My father, always a hard-working and talented guy, built himself a boat from a Sears kit and I learned to slalom ski behind it.

The years passed and eventually our summer home became more of a summer rental for area residents.  And then, one day, our parents sold it.  I was a college kid in Boston by this time and my thoughts were far from the calm, clear surface of our lake and the smell of fresh fish frying in the pan.

Twenty years later, now living in Virginia, I decided to visit the small town where we grew up in central Massachusetts and the nearby lake where we spent our summer time.  The lake seemed not as large as I crossed the causeway dividing it into two parts.  And the twisting road leading to our cottage was not as long.  But the cottage itself was gone or, one could say, had been swallowed inside the walls of a much larger home.   One, I am sure, that includes a shower and a furnace, as someone  clearly wanted to live here during the cold New England winters.

Our little place on the lake was gone and all that remains are memories of it.