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She felt litigious. She paced her kitchen, looked out the window. The fire inched closer. Calling for help didn’t work. When she picked up the telephone there was nothing on the other end. She packed her valuables in a small suitcase, made a list of what she left behind and how much it cost. The blackened sky closed in. As her house lost its smell, a thickness took over. She started to see things: her favorite teacup, the browned walls that held bleached pictures, the faded path where the floor creaked in the dining room. Dear lord, she mused as she stood at the door, to sit as a lidless eye, right in my backyard, to scatter the debris of your heart… The fire tasted her mimosa tree along the fence, moved in strips up her lawn. It was almost time to leave.

She finally walked to her bed, lay on top of the covers, placed her suitcase on her chest.

*Published in Dark Sky Magazine, online December 2009