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Red. It’s a colour that represents many emotions: lust, love. But above all, red represents anger; violence. The angry flames, coloured bright red and orange, that dance across my vision are blinding, the embers flicker with a rage that consumes my family’s quaint house. My curtains are aflame, the once innocent looking butterflies adorning now burning. The fire peels the wallpaper from my wall and I glance at my bedding and pillow, also alight, thanking God that I left it.

As I sit, ass to the floor in my bedroom’s corner, my throat tightens, thick with smoke and I wheeze. My heart pounds so loud in my ears it’s all I can hear. Why has no one come to save us yet? Do they even know we’re in danger? I no longer hear my parents’ screams from downstairs calling for help whilst simultaneously reassuring me it will be all right. I know it won’t be. I can feel my tears stream down my face and I wish if there was one thing this fire could do, it would be to dry them because mummy says I’m ugly when I cry.

A bark draws me out of my deafness and my eyes snap towards my bed where our family’s German Shepherd, Zeus, sits in a crouch. His usually golden brown eyes reflect the red of the fire, but I can still detect the worry as he watches me. My parents got Zeus this year as a birthday present and the newest addition to our family could not have been more loved. The way he would bound around a room with no cares in the world could make anyone smile, but the look in his eyes now, clear and utter terror, that scared me as much as it resonated in my own bones.

My arms which had been stiff with fright, clutched to my chest, draw away from my body as I coax him to make the distance to me. After a cautious couple of seconds, he scampers towards me and into my arms while my eyes flicker to the fire growing around us, seemingly so close to where I sit. I continuously brush and Zeus’ fur, subconsciously hoping this will bring me some sort of calm. As I twist his fur around a finger I feel my eyes become heavy and droop. While I tell myself it’s important to stay awake, my body disagrees and I slump against the wall. Somewhere in the back of my consciousness I hear glass shatter and though I wish I could open my eyes to see what’s going on I can’t, my body refuses. So, I just lean there, body numb, praying for God to make it painless. In the back of my head I hear someone murmuring unintelligible words, repeating them over and over. Only later do I find out what they were.

“You’re safe.”

“You’re okay.”


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