Fiction: The Night of the Fire (Part 1 of 2) (831 words)

04 Nov

So, I’ve made a decision.  I’m going to finally write down that night.  It’s terrifying, and I’m not sure if it’s something that I really want to relive, but I think its worse that I’m trying so hard to not think about it. It’s–getting unhealthy. I mean, it was five years ago.  I’ve got to deal with this sometime.

We were at the beach house.  We had splurged for the weekend, and had all decided that we would try really hard to get away.  Samuel wasn’t going because he had a hot date with some bimbo who had just moved into town and didn’t know any better than to give him a chance, and apparently that meant that he needed the whole weekend to prepare. But Liza, James, Richard and myself all went in to rent the house, and we hoped to give Drew and SJ a fun weekend away.

Friday around noon, I got a call from Richard at work.  He was going to have to back out on the trip tonight. We had been planning to head to the beach around five, but his boss was being a pain in the ass and it looked like the earliest he would be getting home would be around 7, if not later.  He told us not to worry about it, and to go ahead and head to the house without him.  He was going to try to come that night if he got out earlier enough, but more likely than not he would just meet us out at the beach house Saturday morning. I didn’t think much of it; Richard’s boss was frequently giving him a lot of shit.  I gave Richard my usual little rant about how they were always mistreating him and that he’d probably be better off just quitting and getting a better job, but then I agreed to his terms.

We were all a little disappointed that Richard wasn’t going to be there for the first night, but we determined to have a good time anyways.  We got to the beach house around seven, and took the boys straight to the water because we still had about an hour of daylight, and they were much too excited to wait for the morning.  Once the sun started to go down, we roped them all in and started to settle in for a quieter night, or as quiet as it could be with two toddlers in a brand new environment.  James, Liza, and I spent most of our time pulling SJ and Drew off the back of furniture or out of cabinets or off counter tops.  We finally got them to settle down, and we laid them down to sleep in a travel play pen that we had set up in one of the small guest rooms down stairs, and hoped they would stay quiet for most of the night.  After that, I decided to “head to bed” so that Liza and James could feel free to do the same in a more perverted manner. Besides, I was pretty exhausted.  I had received a call earlier that confirmed Richard wouldn’t be arriving until the morning, and I was slightly disheartened at the idea of sleeping alone.  I figured I might try to get to sleep early so that the next morning would arrive all that much sooner.

Maybe I heard something, or maybe it was just delayed mother’s intuition, but I woke up at three in the morning with a start.  I figured that while I was up, I might as well check on the boys and make sure that they were doing alright in the new location.  I found that one of the walls of the play pin laying flat on the floor, and SJ was nowhere in sight, although Drew was still sleeping peacefully.  To this day, I’m still not sure if SJ figured out how to release the latch, or if James just put it together incorrectly.  Either way, SJ wasn’t there.

I didn’t bother waking up Drew, James, or Liza.  All I could think about was locating my son.  I remembered how much he loved having the sand between his toes, so the first place I went was out the back door towards the dunes.  The moon was full which let me see the whole beach clearly.  There was SJ, sitting in the sand right at the edge of the surf, smacking his hands playfully in the wet sand making squelching sounds.  I knew better than to call out as I ran to him, because he would think it was a game and take off running, trying to avoid me.  Instead, I ran up beside him silently, and scooped him up into my arms.  He squirmed and wiggled, clearly trying to get free of my grasp, laughing and playing with me.  I was kissing every inch of him that I could, my panic finally starting to die down, my heart starting to return to a normal pace.

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Posted by on November 4, 2014 in Stories


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