THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 360


I had to drag Lindsey.
She had breathed
too much smoke.
Somehow I managed to squint
through the haze,
looking for a ray of light
that led to the outside
and not to the heart of the flames.
A loud creak
interrupted the barrage of thoughts
in my head.
One of the storage building’s walls
was falling in.
I thought I see a shimmer of green.
Trees! Outside!
With burning lungs,
I rushed toward the (imagined?) green,
pulling Lindsey with me.
We came into the light.
She was unconscious.

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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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