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Wildfires This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

The shots of red and orange burst into the sky with such energy, such power, like I’d never seen. The heat was so intense that one’s eyes would water if they stared for just a minute. But I didn’t care. I could stare at them forever.

I knew that I should run like the others. I knew that I shouldn’t stay. I knew that they’d be calling me to move my feet and get the heck out of here. But no, I was going to plant my feet and gaze at the mesmerizing site forever.

They seemed like jewels to me. Like beautiful gems steaming into the sky, releasing their beauty into the air as if here wasn’t good enough.

I stared at the tiny bubbles, the little bursts of crackling smoke within the flames. They reminded me of cherry soda and how the bubbles fizzed in the cup, rising to the top and then sinking to the bottom only to rise up again.

I saw how it ate everything. Like an unstoppable force with no boundaries, nothing stopping it at all. I envied its force. I wished I could be like that.

It wasn’t like in the cartoons. There was no layer of red and orange and yellow. Only one mass of red and orange force, as if it couldn’t decide which to be, red or orange, and chose to be both.

It numbed me as I stood there. I was consumed in all its beauty. It seemed so majestic, like a wild horses mane flowing in the breeze, whipping back and forth. I wanted to and curl up in its warmth and beauty and power and perfection.

I breathed in the embers in the air, filling my lungs with the ash and warmth and love of it all. And I could hear them yell. And I could hear them scream for me, telling me to come back and run and get away. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay here forever in this perfect world of red and orange. And so I could feel myself melt away into the fiery wall of the wildfire.



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