Ashes, Ashes we all fall down

“Daddy why can’t I go in too?” she could overhear Cristy asking her dad as she cautiously walked up what was left of the stairs. The physical structure of the house was fine, the contents, not so much. It had been a few days since the fire and it still smelled like it could rekindle any moment. She stopped at the top of the stairs to looked at the once pristine family photo. The glass had warped and rippled fusing the picture to it and distorting the faces. Miraculously though, her mother’s face was left untarnished. Comforted the girl carefully made her way to her bedroom to grab what she could before they would leave for Aunt Michelle’s home. As she approached her room she was stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of the blackened door. She was right to have gone out the window, attempting escape through this ash would have been a death sentence. Taking a deep breath she pushed the door open and beheld what was left of her room. She bent down the crusted bed and felt around until she felt the waxy plastic of the case. Pulling it towards her a half charred notebook came sliding along the floor with it. With a pang she flipped the remaining half open. The edges cracked off as she held it but still there were half finished sentences and bits of photographs of her friends. Remembering her other journals she walked to the closet and was relieved to find that although the box was singed and burnt the contents inside had been, for the most part, spared. Her thoughts and memories were intact and safe. Looking back at the bed she realized the case was so mangled that she’d have to break in to it to see what state her beloved violin was in. Her eyes gloss over her desk, where all that remains of her drawings are ashes . Likewise her pencils have been reduced to mere cinders. She doesn’t even recognize her book shelf, mistaking the rubble on the floor for some part of the wall or ceiling that must have fallen down. Sighing she returned her focus to the closet and opened the bag her father had sent up with her and started packing what clothes she could. A few minutes later with a nearly empty duffel she headed out of the room with the box of journals under one arm and the case in the other.


Remember yesterday, when your home was on fire and you got to save five items? That means you left a lot of stuff behind. What are the things you wish you could have taken, but had to leave behind?

I have lots of trinkets here and there around the apartment:

  • A chess set one of my sister’s gave me
  • a box of journals (from college only really, I’ve never been much of a journal-er)
  • art projects from school
  • a painting from a friend
  • guitar
  • notebooks of ideas

any of which I would be quite sad to see burnt to a crisp. I’m sure there are other things I’d miss but only going through the experience would tell me, and I’ll pass if I can. Kind of like in A Scandal in Bohemia (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) when Sherlock stages a fire to discover where Miss Adler has hidden some blackmail items, her most treasured belonging at the time. Foolishly she gives away the location but before homes can retrieve the photos she realizes what has happened and removes them. Apparently fire reveals what we value the most. Oh, click here for yesterday’s entry.


10 thoughts on “Ashes, Ashes we all fall down

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