It happened many years ago but the smell of smoke still lingered in her nose. She recalled the screeching, terrifying screams of her parents as they were burned in the fire; her brothers and sisters too. They were snatched from life in an instant, under the scorching flame that still blistered her mind. She didn’t cry.

The fireman saved her and her “blankie", throwing them both into a cardboard box and shoving it out the window and down to the sidewalk below. She was small and fit in the box just fine; a fall didn’t hurt as much back then. She gagged and choked as the smoke forcefully left her lungs. A tear never fell from her eye.

She fell asleep in the smoldering scent of her own vomit in the back of a pickup truck, still in the cardboard box; on the way to the hospital. Her hair was wet and nappy with crusty putrid locks twisted in knots; smelling like rot. She finally wept in her own special way.

Now she’s behind bars and all alone with a note around her neck that says “Fluffy – please take me home.”

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