Tiger Times

Story #5

Jack Reynolds, Staff Writer

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Sleep is something that all teenagers greatly desire, but something
that most of that demographic severely lack. That is why it should
go without surprise that when I woke up at two in the morning to the
monotonous sound of my phone ringing, my initial reaction was potent,
immense loathing towards the caller. Ironically, it happened to be my
dad, so my opinion of him was not altered. I let it ring to voicemail, as I
thought I was prepared to endure a natural disaster if it meant the preservation
of my partially-refreshing waking sleep. Imagine my outrage
when it rang for the fourth time. I answered it then. Panicked, my dad’s
voice regretfully permeated through my ear canal, “Jack, are you still
home?” When I mumbled in affirmation, he bellowed, “GET OUT OF
THERE RIGHT NOW! THERE’S A FIRE!” That got me off the mattress
that I strangely kept in the middle of my living room (a story for another
time). Like a German on meth, I sprinted to the front door and opened it.
What I saw was something beyond my feeble imagination: in the absence
of the sun, the sky, consumed by smoke, was painted in a somber, orange
light; ash, some still alight, fell from the churning cloud above. Just one
block away, flames caressed the frames of homes, the walls and innards
having been quickly incinerated in the intense heat. With a small prayer
to my atheist God, I grabbed the keys, locked the house, and left in my
2005 Prius. Just like that, I was leaving everything behind. But I was too
numb to care.
(In my case, there is a happy ending. My house is fully intact, with slight
smoke damage. I am so sorry for all of the people who did lose their
homes. This has been an unimaginable process. I have survivor’s guilt.)

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The student news site of Analy High School
Story #5