The photo is from A_Lesik at Shutterstock.
After watching the news of Alameda, 50 miles east of here, with images of raging, ravenous flames rising above brave fire fighters, my sleep that night was uneasy. I couldn’t get the images out of my dreams.
I woke up coughing, disoriented. It felt like the dream was infecting my wakefulness. I heard Chewy, my beagle, baying from somewhere in the house. I stumbled to the light switch and flicked it on. The room seemed hazy.
I found Chewy facing the front door. My first thought was a burglar, so I grabbed my phone and my pistol and looked out the front window. What at first seemed like fog occluded my view. Wide awake now, I braced myself and opened the front door. Smoke poured in and I began to choke. Chewy became frantic and ran out into the night.
I slammed the door and ran to wet a towel and push it up against the bottom of the door. My fingers were shaking as I dialed “911” to report the fire. I was shocked when my call went to a voicemail message saying, “All lines are busy now. We will get to your call as soon as possible.”
I got dressed and went out looking for Chewy.
(note: the map on here was from 2017 so I took it out. may add a current one later)
Fandango is the host of Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.