Home Fires

by Tara Lazar

Last night I dreamt of fire: bright orange swirls escaping my neighbor’s windows, close enough to ignite my house. I stumbled outside and grabbed the garden hose, dousing my home with the same spray that waters the petunias and the marigolds, wondering if vinyl siding burns or melts like icing on a warm cinnamon bun. But when the firefighters arrived and pantomimed a rescue attempt, lugging invisible hoses and climbing absent ladders, I turned the nozzle on their home, shooting through the rafters, soaking brown loafers, toilet paper cozies and People magazines. Once the fire died out, the firefighters celebrated my heroic act, carrying me upon their shoulders in silent hurrah. Yet none of the house remained—not even its ashes—just a smoldering foundation, flat and grey. This morning I baked a lemon Bundt, sealed it under a Tupperware dome, rang their doorbell, and for the first time since moving in five years ago, we learned each other’s names.


Tara Lazar writes short stuff for adults and kids. Her first children's book, The Monstore, will be released with Aladdin / Simon & Schuster in 2013. (Yes, you've read that correctly, 2013.)