Wet Tears In A Dry Spell

“It’s dust on the road, Mark.” Mom reassured Dad as we neared our home.
“No, look, it’s getting thicker.”

Even my little brother had sensed the growing tension and strained forward against his seat belt to see.

The dust grew grayer, blown by the strong summer wind that hadn’t brought rain for almost 8 weeks. It was beginning to look less like dust. Dust trailing behind a car on a back road like ours would dissipate and settle out of the air. This was not stopping.

“It’s smoke.” There was an edge of worry in Mom’s voice this time. We turned down our road and the smoke was before us. My heart began to thud. My mouth went dry and my parents got really quiet.

Flashing lights hailed us from our front lawn. “No!” My mother’s hand went to her mouth, tears welled up in the corners of her eyes. The same sadness overwhelmed me. My Dad stopped and unbuckled, opening the door and stumbling toward a fireman in one fluid motion.

I leaned my head on the back of his seat as tears came. The house was gone.

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