I've recently entered this in a kids writing comp and I was hoping for some feedback. Please R&R, enjoy :)
The first sign of the fire was the smoke. Wispy and translucent, carried on the breeze that whispered through the flowering gums. I huddle inside my house, my back pressed against the door. I built my home nestled here in the valley because I love the solitude, but I hadn't stopped to think. This valley was a perfect fire trap, and my flimsy wooden house and it's roughly cut shingles would be no match for a bushfire. I had ignored all the fire warnings and government leaflets that appeared in my letterbox. I realise now, with a shiver, that those meaningless scraps of paper might have saved my life. Too late now, though. Because now the smoke was coming in thick black clouds, pouring through the windows I had never bothered to put glass in, filling the small room, making it hard to breathe.
I clap my hand over my mouth, trying to sustain the little fresh air I have. I feel dizzy, lack of oxygen making my brain fuzzy. Desperate for air, I do the only thing that makes sense. I open the door. What I see nearly makes me pass out. A huge wall of flame, descending down upon me and my poor little house. Like a fiery beast, it rampages towards me, engulfing trees and bushes as it advances. I stand stock still, gazing at the dancing flames, wondering if it will be the last thing I see. There is a certain harsh beauty to the fire, the way it devours everything in its wake, turning once beautiful things to hot ash. Ash, like I will soon be. I snap back to my senses. I don't want to be ash. I don't want to die.
I sprint back inside, flinging the door open so hard it splinters. It hardly matters though. Right now nothing matters but surviving. I wrench the sheepskin blankets off my bed, snatch up the bucket of water that stands by the door and throw the contents over the wool. Then I throw myself down on the floor, grabbing an edge of the sheepskin, rolling over and over, wrapping it tightly around me. Through a small gap near my face, I can see the flames creeping around my doorframe and up the wall, licking at the thin wood. Again. The beauty of them leaves me dazed. How can something that beautiful be so destructive? Suddenly, there is a crack like a gunshot and the roof caves in, showering me in burning timbers. I scream as the wood piles up around me, scalding the parts of me not covered by the blanket. The heat makes me feel nauseous. I start to cry, the cool tears sizzling as they meet the blazing skin of my face. There's another loud crack and more debris rains on top of my helpless form. Something heavy hits my head and I find myself sinking into peaceful, cool oblivion.
When I wake the first thing that I feel is a blissful, numb emptiness. Then slowly pain starts spreading through my body. My blackened, burnt skin is tender and raw. Pain flashes through me at the smallest movements. I gingerly push off the heavy sheepskin and look around. I rub my eyes with my knuckles like a child. As the world comes into focus around me I can only think one thing. Why am I back here? I should be dead.
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