Fire Away


MY FONDEST memory of fire was in a dream, when I saw it roaring in glee as it painted the sky using gunpowder as its ink. Drawing circles, drawing flowers, drawing mushrooms, spirals and the like, it splashed colors across its midnight black canvas. It struck awe and put twinkle in the eyes of its audience.

My worst was when I was ten, as I watched it eat my entire village from a television screen. I saw neither twinkle nor awe in the eyes of those who saw the scene with me. Crops burned, so did huts. Even from such a faraway distance, I could hear that one carabao we could not bring as flames licked its skin, only to eventually swallow it whole. There were only fear and sorrow as we heard the fire cackle almost sadistically, in our heads. MARIA ANTOINETTE A. MALICSE

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