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My eyes watered from the smoke and I coughed into my fist, feeling along the wall toward the door. The smoke alarm was blaring its annoying noise, and my brother staggered behind me toward the front door. The dog ran around our heels, barking like crazy, and I tripped onto the floor, coughing again. My brother walked past me, yanking open the door and flooded clean air into the house.
I got to my feet and walked with our dog to the porch, where I sat and watched as my younger brother opened all the windows in the front room, smoke billowed out and a person walking down the sidewalk stared. I just waved, smiling cheerfully, as my brother joined me on the porch with a glass of water.
“Sorry,” he said softly, rubbing his arm as I drank. I emptied the glass and shook my head, dumbfounded. “It was an accident.”
“Will,” I said, still disbelieving. “You are the only person I know who can catch a frying pan on fire when you were supposed to be making toast.” He smiled sheepishly, scratching the dog behind his ears. The absurdity of this situation caught up with us and we both started laughing. Once we started, it was nearly impossible to stop.
“It was an accident!” he protested again, holding his stomach from laughter. “It really was!” I just laughed harder, leaning back on the porch swing as I did so. The dog looked at us in slight confusion before jumping onto the swing between us and setting his head on his paws.
“Toast, William!” I choked through my laughs, “you were supposed to make toast!” my brother ran a hand through his hair, embarrassed, as the alarms inside stopped going off.
“It wasn’t my fault the oil got all over the place!” he defended himself, folding his arms sullenly. I just shook my head, tears of laughter spilling from my eyes.
“Why did you need oil and a frying pan to make toast?” I laughed again, burying my face in our dog's fur. My brother flushed a deeper red, smiling in embarrassment.
“uh...I was trying to make it like we make grilled cheese…” he said softly, “but we were out of spray oil…”
“We have a gas stove!” I said loudly, making the dog jump. My brother started laughing again and we sat there for a few minutes, letting the house air out, just laughing. “You set a frying pan on fire!” I said, lifting my head, and he dissolved into hysterical laughter once more.
“On accident!” he managed, then slid down on the swing, covering a hand with his eyes. “And you were the one that wanted toast.” I slugged him in the arm, rolling my eyes.
“We both wanted toast, it’s the only thing you know how to make!” I said, narrowing my eyes. He shrugged, then frowned thoughtfully.
“Do you think mom and dad will notice the giant burn marks in the kitchen when they get back?” he asked, and then the laughter started once more.