It was hard to sleep. The sound of rain in the night usually helps me sleep, but tonight was different. There was something in the air. There was something cold and wet brushing against my foot. Then something heavy fell on my bed. “Li Li go to bed!” She let out a low whine and started licking my face. I couldn’t help but let out a laugh. “You always know how to make me laugh, girl.” She hopped off the bed and stood in front of the door. Her nose was high in the air. “What is it, girl?” I watched her as she started barking at nothing. I got out of bed and walked over to her. I bent down and started petting her, but she gave me no kind of response. Then it hit me. There it was. That’s why I couldn’t sleep. Smoke! I could see the pillows of smoke making their way under the door. I pulled on her collar to get her away, but she kept on barking. “If you don’t come on, we are going to die!” At the sound of die, she finally budged and made her way to the window. I removed the wooden panel under it and pushed the window out. Without hesitation, she rushed out of the house leaving me behind. I slid my way out behind her and made my way onto the lawn. Rain was now pouring down but there wasn’t enough to out the fire. I stepped back and watched in horror as my only home burned to the ground. Who did this? I turned to see Li Li lying in the rain behind me. I started towards her but something hard struck the back of my head. I felt myself floating. I hit the ground with a hard thud. I felt the blood trickling down my neck. It was warm. Even though the rain was beating down on my body, I could still tell it was there. I rolled over to see a dark figure standing over me. Li Li was barking at it louder than ever. All of a sudden, another figure came out of the bushes and took a pipe to her head. It went quiet. “Where is the money?” The voice sounded far away, but I knew it was from him. “Yeah, and the stuff!” the second voice added. How did they find me? Then it came to me. Mom! What did you tell them? I closed my eyes and prayed this was a dream. “Hey! You think I’m playing with you?” I heard his footsteps getting closer. “Where are they?” I opened my eyes. “She’s worthless!” At that, the sound of a gunshot rang in my ear. Once again, it went quiet.
May 13, 2009