The Unexpected Truths

A very real experience of a bushfire.

Photographic Credit: Amelia, Flickr

You don’t expect a fire.

You don’t expect:

The normality of mind before you realise there’s something wrong.

The smoke turning the clear river a musty, polluted wash of brown-coloured sludge and the sky a haze of building terror.

The entire hill going up in flames, the trees burning slowly to the ground.

A lick of flames darting mockingly over the horizon of stuck cars waiting in tense silence for news.

The fire’s ghastly orange red, the colour of the blood it cast across the land, reminders of the people’s lives that this night cost.

Calls and calls that go straight to voicemail, at such a time when a recorded message of friends' busy schedules won’t do.

Everyday things that we leave, a messy house and messy car, both weren’t cleaned when they should have been, which left little bits of living through the last exit of footsteps.

Each little thing, too many things that you can’t possibly fit into one backpack with one hour till this home is destroyed by a sudden onset of sparks.

The fact that you, of all people, would be stress cleaning in when dirty dishes won’t matter if this fire isn’t stopped.

That you and your family and your friends would be so close, to it, to death, to a ruined life.

A bushfire this late in February when they are all but over.

That you could unknowingly let your friends die.

You don’t expect a fire.

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