Read Chapter 1 here
One time, I was "house"-sitting for my grandparents. They had an old farm that they usually rented out. But, this one month, they didn't have any tenants, so they asked if I'd go look out for the place for awhile. It sounded fun, out by myself with the chickens. Who wouldn't want to play farm girl?
It was fun. I spent some time going through old closets and looking at things from my grandma's childhood. I wandered through the fields. I napped in the meadow under the sun. I fed the chickens (not as glamorous as it sounded). It was fun.
In the evening, I sat on the swing and watched the stars come out. My mind started to wander and I began to think about school. Rachel had been pretty mean that week. I could feel the stares of the other girls as I walked down the hallway and I wondered if I'd ever really belong, if there would ever be anyone out there who would be willing to jump past the weird to be my friend. To be my anything.
A tear spilled down my cheek. And then another. And then another. I didn't think anything about that... until I smelled the smoke.
I looked down and where each tear had fallen, the porch had begun to singe. One tear might have been okay. The ten or whatever was... not. A flame had sprung up out of my sorrow. A flame on my beloved grandparents' porch.
Panicked, I bent down and blew on the flames, trying to snuff them out like you would a birthday candle. But, it was the exact wrong thing to do. The air blew the flames higher, and they began to lick their way across the porch to the outside of the house. I ran around the side and tried to fill a bucket with water to douse the flames. But, by the time I got back to the front, the flames had-- There were just too many of them.
I could start fires. I just couldn't put them out.
Eventually, I gave up. I retreated to the top of the driveway and I watched what I'd done burn itself out.