Friday, November 16, 2007

Once upon a long time ago...

The wiring demanded full focus. I could do that, but for the kid scrambling under my feet. I tried to ignore him, and sure enough, he seemed to disappear.

"Now I'm getting somewhere. But where did that lighter get to?"

I played the hunch.

Not ten steps toward the barn and the little fella came out in a hurry. I listened attentively. Judging from his speech patterns, he seemed to have stumbled across a better way to slice bread, or an alien invasion was under way. Either one would be worth my time.

Funny thing about fires, they only get two reactions.

"Holy shit!"

The words floated down from somewhere. I sprinted back to the shop, my brain narrowing vision into a gloriously intense tunnel. Grab the fire extinguisher. Get back to the barn.

"Good thing the extinguisher's been recharged..."

I cursed while it spat out a trickle not worthy of a rat-dog marking territory. There was only one more chance, and then the kids appeared. The little feller went and grabbed his sister, both in tears, wanted to help.

"Get out!"

More tears.


Without touching the floor, I transfered myself downstairs, tunnel vision in full effect.

Coil hose, water on. By a trick of the wind, smoke was pouring through the hay access and into my lungs. Not much time, I threw the hose.

"Come on!"

The hose slithered away from danger, coiling itself at my feet. My tunnel-mode brain tapped me on the shoulder.

"One more chance, boy-o, then you pass out."

I heaved, and the hose stayed put, water surging. Back upstairs, and then the miracle.

The Fire was giddy; old wooden barn, straw pile. No chance. Augustus Gloop falling into a river of chocolate.

Makes you wonder, how I felt the presence of two angels with me, especially in the smoke downstairs. Like I said, no chance at getting a man-eater away from its kill, but I did. The barn stands today, scorch marks and all.

I still feel for those kids. Thrust into danger, the hand of discipline-future heavy, and then a man yells at you. But they lived.

NOTE: The floor had been swept into a pile of straw that week. Without that, a bad situation would have been impossible in moments.

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