Hannah grinned and slapped her last card onto the table. "I win," she said.
"Aw," I groaned, putting down all my five cards. Technically, it wasn't my fault I'd lost; I'd just learned how to play Crazy Eights.
My babysitter smiled, making her green eyes shine. "You want your bedtime snack, now?" she asked, getting up. "You were supposed to be in bed a half hour ago."
I straightened and grinned. Mom and Dad never let me have a bedtime snack this late- I usually had one around seven; it was nine now- but I had convinced Hannah to let me stay up late. Besides, I was eight years old now, I deserved a later bedtime. "Yeah," I said.
She patted my head and said, "First, I have to go get something from my purse. I left it in your room, didn't I?" She headed toward the hallway.
"'Kay," I muttered and stood up. When Hannah disappeared around the corner, I went to the stove and turned it on. I put the kettle on to make hot chocolate. I had done this a thousand times before, so I didn't have to wait for my babysitter to help me. I took down a cup and filled it a quarter of the way with chocolate powder. I liked my hot chocolate very chocolate-y.
When I turned back to the kettle, I screamed. Flames were flying up from the stove. The kitchen was bright with an orange-ish light.
"Callie?" Hannah shouted, and ran into the kitchen.
"Fire!" I screamed, like they'd taught us in school.
Her eyes widened as she stared at the flames for a moment, then she grabbed the fire extiguisher by the garbage can. "Get out of the way, Callie!"
I ran backwards and sat on the couch as Hannah put out the flames. But just as she got it out, another fire started. Right next to me. Flames seemed to just suddenly jump out of the cushion. I shrieked and jumped away, grabbing my teddy bear, and pointing at the fire.
Hannah looked stunned. The smoke detector started beeping and Hannah had to scream to be heard over it. "How is that possible?" she yelled. The fire grew larger, and Hannah attacked it with the fire extinguisher.
I could tell she was scared, so that made me scared, and I started crying.
She noticed and yelled, "Callie, just get out of the house while I try to fix this!"
Sobbing and clutching my teddy bear to my chest, I ran as quickly as I could our of the house. I barely had time to slip on my shoes. I looked back a couple times, and I remember feeling so guilty, so bad about what had happened. The only thought running through my mind was The house is on fire. Oh, my God. I prayed for help.
I was waiting by the huge tree in the front yard- out meeting place in case of emergency- when I suddenly realized Hannah wasn't going to come out of the house. It didn't process in my eight-year old mind right then, but years later, I realized I'd killed her.
I sniffed and wiped at my eyes. The next step in escaping a house fire was going to a neighbor's for help, I remembered. But I didn't know if I should leave without Hannah. My hand was hurting really bad, burning, but I couldn't remember ever coming into contact with the fire. The palm of my hand was really red. Before I could do anything to cool it down or make the burning stop, a fire ignited- on my palm. I screamed, then realized there was no pain, just a weird tingling. I stared at my hand with huge eyes.
The harmless flames danced across my palm.