Ablaze

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I always like Emilie Carmichael’s house, but obviously someone didn’t. I was called to a house fire early one morning. Around 3 A.M. Most suspected an electrical spark. Some suspected a gas main break. Few suspected lightning. I suspected arson.

Everyone knew Casa Blanca Beach. It was the sister beach to Daytona. It had beautiful white sand and clear turquoise waters. Temperatures never dropped below 40 degrees. Casa Blanca was the cute, happy town to outsiders. Only those who lived here knew the real truth.

Emilie was the girl everyone admired. She was gorgeous: enviously toned, beautiful auburn hair, petite frame. Emilie was one of the first few at Seabreeze High School to receive her acceptance letter to the University of Florida. Her incredible intelligence sent her application straight to the front of the line. Her life was everything anyone would want. Emilie’s parents were both doctors—her dad an orthopaedic surgeon and her mom a cardiothoracic surgeon. They always worked long, strange hours which left Kacie at home by herself frequently. This didn’t bother her. Emilie enjoyed time alone. It gave her time to think.

The night of the fire was seemingly normal. Emilie came home from feeding the horses, ordered dinner from China Chef, and settled in to do homework. Around 11:00 she began getting ready for bed. As she climbed into bed, she thought she saw a figure outside her large bay window. Trying not to work herself into frenzy, she set the alarm, checked that all of the doors were locked and moved into her parents’ room for the night. There was just one thing she hadn’t done—lock the bay window. Emilie snuggled into the down comforter on the king sized bed trying to avoid the lonely, scared feeling she had in the pit of her stomach. She clicked off the TV and the light and drifted off into her dreams.

The bay window was the only window that was disconnected from the alarm system. Emilie had done this so she could let Simba, her kitten, in and out without hassle. Simba was in for the night. He always slept right under the window that acted as his door. He perked his little ears and opened one eye. There was a rustle in the leaves outside. The hair on the back of Simba’s neck stood on end. The window slowly creaked open and entered a figure in all black.

Emilie was rudely awoken by an icy hand on her neck. She struggled to breathe. Thrashing, kicking, trying to scream, she was unable. Everything began to fade away as she drifted into unconsciousness.

The smell of smoke and the sight of fire could be recognized from miles around. As the Carmichael’s house went up in flames, emergency personnel rushed to the scene. By the time the fire trucks arrived, it was too late. Both the house and the girl had suffered the same fate.

I never like Emilie Carmichael; she was too perfect. But I did like her house.





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