THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 359


The same thought
scrolled through my head.
Where is the fire truck?
Lindsey tried to stand
and hook her arms around my waist,
but she almost made me fall again.
The smoke thickened.
I no longer knew
which way was out.
I dropped to the floor,
my eyes burning.
Lindsey clung to me
like I was a life preserver.
I stumbled over a garden hose
curled like a dead snake.
I remembered a dream I had.
Lindsey had a hose.
She put the fire out.

The firefighters were probably
too busy putting out the fire
in the library
to worry about
the storage shed.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 358


Smoke and heat shrank my lungs,
sucked strength from my body,
and spun my head until I became dizzy.
Then I remembered something
from science class
in eighth grade.
Heat and smoke rise.
I got on the floor,
squinting through the smoke
to see if I could find a way out,
and bumped into something.
Lindsey looked at me
from the ground
through hazy darkness.
She opened her mouth to speak,
but she coughed so hard
her entire body shook.
I found her wrist
and struggled to pull her up,
but we were weak
from smoke and heat.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 357

Falling In

In my incredulous silence,
Maddy took hold of my arm.
Her fingernails dug into my skin,
leaving red marks.
I pushed against her,
but Amanda gripped my other arm.
I yelled and thrashed,
but the force of their wrath
made them stronger than me.
“I know you’ll tattle
to the guidance counselor
or somebody else,” Maddy said.
She sounded so calm.
They shoved me
against the door
of the storage shed.
Smoke filled my nostrils.
I could still hear a weak voice
calling from inside.
Or am I imagining it?
The door broke, weakened by heat.
I fell in.
They ran.

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