Burn the house down

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~Stella🌑
Smoke. That was the first thing I smelled while running back to my home.

My brother Eric and I were on our way back from a run; when the smell of burning wood and fuel filled our noses. Sprinting back to the house with massive strides aided by our canid legs. We stopped just inside the tree line, making sure to use our pelts to our advantage in camouflaging us from the many eyes of firefighters.

Peering into the break in the trees I see a dozen or so firefighters surrounding the house obscured by smoke with my mother and father a few yards away. Eric nudged my shoulder with his nose getting me to retreat back into the woods away from our burning home and the humans tending to the flames.

We walked around a few trees until I came across a large plastic container with a pair of black basket ball shorts, a red sports bra and blue jog pants. 'Great fashion choice spider-man.' I thought to myself as I took the clothes container in my mouth. Trotting over to Eric I brooded it at his feet and began to shift back into my human form. Eric shifted as well and popped open the container, quickly shrugging in the basketball shorts that were just hair too loose from repeated use and many trips to the washing machine.

Rolling my eyes at his fumbling attempts to tie it tighter I slip into the jog pants that were a little stretched out making them hang from my hips, while the sports bra threatened to suffocate me even with my rather average bust.

Once we're both dressed we make our why around to the drive way, being sure to go up far enough to not make it obvious we were coming out of the woods, and head toward our parents.

"What happened?" Eric asks Dad while he stares at the burning cinders of what used to be our childhood home.

Dad's seven foot frame heaved with a sigh. "We're not sure. The firemen can't seem to find what started the fire. Your mother and I just pulled up not ten minutes ago to the fire department putting it out." He says while waving his hand over his shoulder at Mom on the phone standing next to Dad's silver F150.

"Who's she talking to." I ask. I can't hear her or the other person for the noise of the firemen and roar of engines.

Dad opened his mouth about to answer when Mom came over with a relieved smile. "Hey, I'm so glad you two are okay." Mom breathes out as she sweeps me and then Eric into a crushing huge respectively. Once Eric and I manage to wrangle ourselves free she turns and looks at Dad. "I just got off the phone with Stacy. I told her about what happened and she's offered to let us stay at her place until we find a new house."

Dad's shoulders slumped a bit as if a burden was lifted from his shoulders. "Stacy's human though isn't she?" Dad asks with some of the tension returning to his shoulders.

"Yes." Mom answers in a low voice. "But she knows." She assures before looking at the charred remains of our house as a fireman draws her attention when starts walking over.

"Ma'am, Sir," He says in a gruff voice, probably from years of breathing in smoke,"We've completely put out the fire and the remains appear sound. So if you'd like to walk around and see what you can salvage you're more than welcome to go in." After he finished he turned and walked to the fire truck.

None of us say a word but we all start walking to the burned house. Dad looks at Eric and I with a look that says we don't have to go in if we don't want to. But before he can say anything I interrupt by jogging up the still intact porch and to the open door. "Dad it's ok, we'll be fine." I assure with an encouraging smile thrown over my shoulder. He gives me one in return and follows me up the steps.

Can you imagine walking into the one place you've lived your whole life, the place you grew up in, and not being able to recognize any of it but at the same time recognizing all of it. The couch where you lounged and yelled at your brother to get off you as he sat on your stomach because you wouldn't move and he was crushing you. Now that couch is a frame made of cinders. The window you broke with a pan because you were mad. Just a huge hole were the wall used to be. The stair case you always ran up no mater how many times you were told not to. Disappearing into a crumpled heap of charred roof and stairs alike. Everything in the house the walls, the ceiling, the floor, all of it black and burnt into a husk of its former beauty.

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