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I am in a car with my sister. We are teens. We are driving back to where we are staying. Our parents have rented a cabin in the mountains. In Washington.

We are in the car looking up. "Wait!" I say. She is driving. There are huge plumes of smoke rising over the high mountain ridge. Not one plume. A row of plumes, six. Dark heavy smoke, like the plume from the house I saw burn to the ground in twenty minutes.

"Fire! It's a forest fire!"

"No," says my sister. "No. It's ok. We have to get back."

She is driving. We are in the trees and the shadows of the mountains and of course, we have to get my parents and the friends there. We can't see the plumes in trees. "Hurry." I say.

"Right." snarls my sister. It's a forest service road. You can't hurry much.

We get to the cabin. I rush inside. "Fire! Forest fire! We have to go!"

People stretch and don't seem to take it seriously. "What?" says my mother. S is there too. "How about breakfast?"

"No! We have to go!" I look outside. Now there is a line of cars leaving. In a hurry, from further up the forest road. A small dirt bike is in front and wipes out, off the road. I hope the person is ok.

A giant tree looms over the road. Ash colored and falls, the end across the road. No one is hit, and the top is small, ash. More will fall!

"Now!" I shout, "Before the road is impassable!"

S mutters and his vehicle leaves. I am trying to hurry my parents.

"Ok, ok!" says my mother.

"Where is Chris?" I say. Where is my sister?

"She went with S. Come on!"

"Are you sure?" I am frantic.

Another tree comes down. "We have to go!" roars my father. I get in the car, still terrified. We get down the mountain. The fire is coming over the ridge and coming down now, roaring and orange and cracking, with pitch black smoke. We get to where S is.

"Where is Chris? Isn't she with you?"

S shakes his head.

"She's at the cabin. You left her! We left her! We have to go back!"

S looks put upon and his shoulders are hunched. He still won't hurry.

I wake up.


My sister fought fires in Bellingham, Washington. S, my parents and my sister are all dead. It's the first time I've dreamed about S since he died.

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