Burning Down The House



Burning Down the House

Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

The mist was falling all around. Some of it was from the heavens. Some was backwash from an errant hose.

Thank God, I had checked the batteries in the detector on the first of the month… it least I was alive and could complain about the mist.

Redkey, my six-month-old Cocker Spaniel, was wrapping his leash around my left ankle as the firemen continued to put down heavy spray upon the back rooms of my house. It didn’t really matter. I was out … and so was the dog.

When I was awaken by the barking of Redkey in my ear and the horrendous blaring squeal of the alarm, I realized instantly what was happening. I had often wondered what would go through one’s mind if one was awakened by a fire. This morning, I no longer had to wonder.

Quickly grabbing my robe and sliding on slippers, I exited the bedroom through the back window- Redkey tucked under my left arm.  I tied Redkey to his awaiting yard leash and surveyed the smoke billowing from the window and side door of my house.

I was far calmer than I thought one should be under the circumstances.

The fire, for whatever reason, seemed to be concentrated to the one side of my house, so I did what every red-blooded man (idiot) would do. I realized that by the time the firefighters arrived, there might be nothing left of my house. Now was the time to act. So I did.

Quickly climbing back into my bedroom window, I scrutinized what lay around my bed and dresser. My laptop was still in Rhapsody mode: tonight it was cycling and recycling through the hits of Brahms as I had slept. Closing the lid on the laptop, I hastily stuffed the notebook into its carrying case that was setting on the rocker by the bed. In the case were all my files from my college classes and flash drives which contained copies of most of my photographs.

Upon thinking of the salvation of my photographs, I opened the sliding doors to the closet and pulled down the carrying case with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III; it had been a Christmas present to myself.

Exiting the bedroom window one more time with both cases, the computer case and the camera case, I heard the wailing of the sirens of the trucks entering my subdivision. I quickly went to the back shed to stow my belongings, and went to stand beside Redkey to await my guests.

Somewhere mid-window, I had realized how stupid I had been to enter a burning building for a computer. Having stowed my belongings, I felt like a far more responsible and confident victim.

Smiling, I walked Redkey over to the firemen as they were disembarking the truck. Knowing the house was empty of all occupants, the rescue team auxiliary assisted me with warmth while Redkey and I reclined on the back gate of the squad truck… content to enjoy a reality show with me playing the lead. And of course Redkey.

Requirements: Your house is on fire. Name five things you would rescue. All pets and people are safe. My rescued items: Computer, Flash Drives, Camera, Accompanying Cases. I hope that this story will remain fictitious… or if not, I will not be that stupid. I guess I rescued a robe and slippers as well… but one should be properly attired when one greets guests.

Written for The Daily Post.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Burning Down the House.”

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