Fire in the Hole

Published on 19th April 2018

I began the day with a sudden thud to the floor. I had rolled off my platform bed, again. My hand jutted upwards towards my bedside table in an attempt to grasp my pack of cigarettes and lighter. I wrapped my fingers around the small cardboard box, before quickly realizing my lighter was missing. I slowly lifted my head off the floor to get a better look. It wasn’t there. I had bought that stupid yellow Bic lighter 3 years ago and never took it out of the house. I was confused. I took a pause then lifted the cardboard box and walked out of my bedroom. On the way out, I dropped my cigarettes into the waste basket.  It must’ve been a sign I thought. Today was the day I would finally quit smoking. I proudly walked to the kitchen and dropped a hefty slice of sourdough into the toaster. I shuffled to my bathroom and began to wash my face. While in the midst of my morning routine a loud reoccurring beep flooded the bathroom. I became infuriated. “David, if you are going back to sleep, hit the fucking snooze button!” I yelled. I ignored the sound and continued. After thirty seconds of David’s retched alarm, I realized I had become so frustrated I had smeared mascara across my face.  I leaned in to the mirror to inspect the damage, but the reflection was slightly fogged. In an instant, it seemed that a sheen layer covered the entire room. The fog got thicker and thicker as I progressed down the hallway. Smoke seemed to suffocate me as I attempted to enter the kitchen. I paused, I had forgotten about my toast. The beeping dwindled out, and all I could hear was the sound of raging flames. My stride widened, as I found myself sprinting towards the front door, yelling my husband’s name. When I got outside, David was already there. He was in the center of our cul-de-sac just watching the smoke rise up and over our mansard roof. I stopped next to him. His hand grabbed mine. I felt something cold in my palm. I looked down, only to see that stupid yellow lighter. David slyly smirked as he said, “It’s a good thing we just upgraded our home insurance, huh?”

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