Monday, June 26, 2006
Maggie was munching on an apple and letting the air stream through her hair. She reached her arm out to trace the outlines of a cloud.

Then a new scent touched her nostrils. She frowned, sniffed. Then she rose to a crouch and peered through the leaves.

There was smoke in the distance. A huge, roiling cloud of it.

She tossed the half-eaten apple aside and began climbing back down as quickly as she could. Before she was on the ground, she caught another whiff of the smoke. It was spreading fast, too fast.

There was a stream a quarter-mile away, and she set off at a run. By the time she got there, the fire was audible, a distant freight train approaching fast. She glanced back over her shoulder, and stumbled to a halt, her face going pale.

It was visible now. The fire had crowned, climbing the trees so it, too, could feel the wind and reach the sky.
Posted by Joe White at 6/26/2006 10:36:00 PM ::


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