As I contemplate making this journey into a book, I realize that there are parts that are missing. The obvious place to start is, you know, when the house burned down. Over the next while, I’ll start posting parts of that story. Here’s the first one. I’m aiming to keep them to about five hundred words.
I was awakened by the sound of a window breaking. It was an up-and-coming neighborhood, but it as surprising that someone would try to break in at night by breaking a window. I got up to see what it was. From the kitchen I saw that there was fire on the front porch. I had been burning some candles the night before, I guessed that something must not have been put out.
I started looking for the kitchen fire extinguisher, but could not find it. I decided to call 911. On auto-pilot I went to my bedside table where my phone was charging and then back out to the back porch to call 911.
From the street I heard, “Please don’t go back in that house! We called 911. Please don’t go back in that house!”
OK. I guess I don’t need to call 911, I thought, what do I do now? The hose! I could squirt water on it. It was pretty clear that even if it would reach, my hose would not be of any use on this fire.
With 911 called, I tried to figure out what the next step should be. “Thor! Thor!” I yelled for my dog who was sleeping on my bed. The kitchen lights would not turn on. I later discerned that by this time the fire in the attic had burned up the wires and the circuits had all blown.
“Thor! Thor! Come!”
Thanks to the broken window, the house was now starting to fill with smoke. It was noticeably warm. The woman in the street was still begging me to leave the house. I started to freak out.
“Thor! Thor! Come on boy! Come! Thoooor!”
He was not coming. It was starting to feel dangerous. He will wake up in a minute, and he knows where his dog door is, I thought. I decided to go on out of the house to watch it burn down.
I took a few steps down the back stairs when I remembered, Oh, yeah. I’m naked.
Meanwhile “Please don’t go back in that house!” was still coming from the street. I looked her way and shrugged.
“Go git him some pants! Go git him some pants!” the kind woman said to her male companion, whom, I am pretty sure, is a drug dealer. I am not quite sure exactly how I got the pants from them, but before long I was standing on the porch wearing flannel pants, one leg ripped up to the knee. I still had no shirt and indicated that to the woman who said “Go git him a shirt!
The next thing I knew I was wearing a 4XL t-shirt. It was large enough that the pants were largely superfluous. It was time to leave the house and watch it burn.
The fire department arrived about this time. “No, no one was in the house except my dog. Uh, yeah, he’s a pit bull.” I figured that Thor’s cat, Modi, was probably already out of the house.
At about this time enough smoke had entered through the broken window that the smoke detector sounded.