HoC – 1100, and smoke gets in your eyes

…and in your nose and in your hair and in your linens. As I mentioned in my bio, I live in Southern California. Also known as the magnesium flare of the United States. Two new brush fires have broken out. They do not pose any danger to my home, but they are only a short drive away. Several other ranches that we know were in its path, however.

The smoke is terrible. I’ve been told flames can be seen from up on our hill, but I dare not look. I would not get to sleep tonight if I did. Nothing terrifies me the way fire does. I sit here with my fan on to combat the heat and I get smoke instead of air. I smell it and I’m a child again, watching the flames advance up the hills to the south. And through the park to the west. And along the ridge line from east to north. Knowing that we have no way to get all our horses out. Knowing that we might not even be able to get ourselves out. Knowing that crews from two fire stations are camped on our property, trying to save us. Knowing that they might not be able to. The intervening years have not dulled the memory of those hellish days. Making it out of one fire only makes the next one more terrifying. There is a sense that they will keep coming for me until they get me.

I kept writing longer than I planned to, just to keep my mind off of what I know is out there. Silver lining and all that, I suppose.

I’d rather just have fresh air and a sudden rain storm, if it’s all the same to the universe. My thoughts go out to the communities threatened by this latest batch of fires and to the brave people who put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us. Here’s praying to Whoever will listen that no one is harmed.

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About Joyce

Joyce Sully lives in Southern California. She graduated from UC Irvine. She likes to knit and cook and play video games. But mostly she writes. Joyce writes short stories and novels, songs and poems, scripts and instructions to feed the cat if she stays out late. She has been spotted as far afield as Seattle, but travel makes her nervous. She believes in magic and dragons and ghosts, but is not convinced her next-door neighbors are real.
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