Nebraska Center for Writers

THE TORCH
by Michael J Huckabee

Flames chased the smoke rolling out of the fifth floor apartment window. Hot strikes of color bit into the cool night air without a witness. All of Bolshoigorsk slept, including the Slava Gdansk family.
The fire began near the front door and raced to the cramped kitchen, igniting greasy remains of fried potatoes and fish broth. Flames crept up tattered wall paper, eating through the plaster wall to reach Slava and his bried of five years, Oksana, sleeping in the tiny bedroom's twin bed.
Across the hall, a fiery trail led to the larger bare-walled living room where a daybed cradled two boys — one two years old and the other almost five. The blaze swept to the boys' doorway, angry colors whirling in a crimson tornado about to touch down across the threshold.
A flare leaped into the room, erupting as it reached fresh air and combustible furniture. In seconds, sparks teased the blanket hanging to the floor of the boys' bed. Igniting the corner of a sheet, doom slitehred toward its unknowing victims.

Reprinted with permission
from The Torch
Copyright © 2000
by Michael J Huckabee
Writers Club Press


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