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Inferno

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"The intensity of everything increases when you're in a life or death situation.

It becomes a fight or flight response as you stop thinking and become an animal caught up in danger. You can't fight fire, not with your fists. Not with words. It can't be reasoned with or fought off.

Maybe if you've got an extinguisher around you could stop it. Tools that are made to prevent these exact situations. Except no-one has one of those casually. No-one carries around a bucket of water just on hand.

What other choice did I have? I had to run.

There were no other options. When I faced that wall of flames I was too scared to do anything else. I forgot about all the important things: the ornaments, the memorabilia, the people inside my own home.

I was supposed to protect them. I'm meant to be at the head of the house, strong-man. An idol for younger ones to look up to. But now what?

How can I face anyone else? I'm not an idol anymore, never mind that no-one should look up to me, they can't.

I forgot about them. I forgot about you.

I was too afraid of that wall of fire. Only when I got outside of the building did I turn around to look behind myself. I could hear the screams, they washed out the sound of the loud crackling of the fire.

All I could do was stand there, motionless. Staring at the home I once had that was now no more than an enlarged candle. The wick of which would burn for hours.

The neighbours were the ones who called the services. I was still stood there when they came around.

I could hear them shouting at me, I think they were telling me to get back, but all I could do was stand there. Everything seemed like a blur. Nothing was real.

I think I was crying, but I couldn't feel the tears coming down my face for the immense heat in front of me. My face felt as dry as the desert. It was an uncomfortable heat, but I think that's mainly because I knew I couldn't do anything to change what was happening.

It lasted only a few hours. The fire had started in the bathroom, of all places. Apparently there was something that looked like a toaster in the bath. Why would they do that? As it was turned on and dropped into the bath it made sparks fly across the room. They hit the shower curtain which set alight.

They figure that as the person in the bath tried to get out upon regretting the venture that they ripped the curtain down. The body was found singed on the top but still wet on the bottom. Stuck between drowning and burning. But that's not all. The curtain landed partially on the carpets. The fire was too hot from the curtain at this point that it traveled down far enough to continue in streaks across the floor. That's when they hit the door.

All those useless fake flower petals you got didn't help. The whole bathroom was ablaze in minutes. There was a smoke, but our alarm was faulty. It went into our sons' bedroom next.

All those wooden toys set alight, the plastic ones melted. It wasn't the flames that killed him though. He suffocated before he was cooked. He died in bed funnily enough; he spent enough time trying to get some sleep.

The upper floor was gone in the next half-hour. That's when I woke up. The door blew open, but unfortunately to those sleeping pills you were taking none of it disturbed you. I shot upright in the bed.

My first thoughts were of protecting you, but they went away as I saw the flames. It was so vivid, but felt fake. This stuff doesn't happen. It just doesn't happen to normal people. I was batting at the flames, hoping you would wake up, but then I heard a barking. The dog in his cage was aware of this and trying to warn us.

I got out of the doorway, the flames beaten back ever so much. Then I saw the real danger. The walls once papered black were curling around in bright colours. It would have been majestic if it weren't for the heat. It was unbearable. Maddening. So I did the only thing I could think of.

I ran. I ran down the stairs and out of the door.

Only when I stood in the front garden did I see how it was really going. Our room was on fire. I could hear you screaming. A feeling of overwhelming dread came over me. One that I had never experienced before. I froze with horror.

I watched it as it took away everything precious to me. Not just my possessions, but my family. The ones I hold dearest to me, out of my reach. I couldn't save any of you.

If only I'd woken you up first. Your guiding hand could always settle me down in stressful situations. We could have gotten everyone out of there, safely. Except my rash decision in that mad corridor made me sprint away in terror.

I'm so sorry that I couldn't be there with you. But I'm coming back to you soon, don't you worry. I'll be there to help the kids. And we'll have our dog back.

Oh my wondrous Georgia, my wife, my love everything will be okay. I'll be seeing you soon. Not even death can keep us apart for too long. I have my oil, I have my matches. It makes sense that if we go out in the same way that we'll meet up in the same place.

We'll leave behind the same remains. Our charred bodies can be cremated and potted next to eachothers. I'll see you soon. Please forgive me.

Please forgive me..."

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