I flicked the top of my lighter up and there the amber princess stood, beautiful as always. She danced as the cool air blew around me and god she was comforting. Although small I could still feel the warmth she let off almost as if she was the log fire in my home and although silent I could still hear the crackling of the flames dancing. For a second it almost felt as if I was still home.
I leaned my head back towards the tree behind me and closed away the flame. As the world turned cold the reality hit the newspaper in my left hand dropped to the cold forest floor and the wind pulled at my hair. A tear dribbled down my cheek as my heart thumped with fear and anxiousness. I took a deep breath and tried to forget what I had just read.
My head fell to my knees as I closed my eyes to force away the pain, it flashed before me and my eyes shot open darting to the newspaper, the newspaper that confirmed the worst, the truth, the truth I wished was not real.
I flicked my princess open again, I focused on the orange flickering. I used it to calm me, to take me back home. To remind me of it.
Our log fire came into view again, the memories we had played in the dark forest before me; christmas, Halloween and even the day they bought home my baby sister. The fear in my parents eyes as they saw the open log fire, a look I’d never forget especially since it was one I had seen again recently. The fear of not knowing what to do, how to survive, how to escape.
My eyes went back to the newspaper the confirmation I didnt need. Mother, father and a child found, paramedics called but they were unable to save them. A second child missing, a fire started in the study.
I closed my eyes again, the tears unstoppable, the pain too much but there was the image again, tattooed to my closed eyes for eternity, my house up in flames.
Flames I started.
Flames I couldn’t control.
Unlike my singular Amber princess their dancing was unrelenting as it forced the rest of my fathers work to dance before me on the table, pulling in his books, the carpet, the door, my house. I’d been angry, I only meant to burn the one page. But I also didn't do anything to stop it. I locked up the house making entry impossible but also exit too. And I didnt know they had come home early.