They had been sitting for about half an hour when a commotion arose.  A thousand tiny shrieks rose up into the air and along with them hundreds of birds from far around flew up in a cloud of flapping wings and panic.

Carla turned, and her eyes were greeted with a blaze of fiery orange majesty rising above and before.

Carla ran down to the clearing, to the shed.

Everything was a dream from that point on. Sweets scattered. Carla stood paralysed, moving towards the fire if she moved at all. What was it that kept her standing there? Smoke made a haze of her filling eyes. The rush of an imaginary wind tore at her ears, deafening them from any other sound. She breathed normally, inhaling gallon after gallon of that deadly drugging smoke. Carla stood there, petrified, awaiting the tearing flames. Though her thoughts were as clear as her eyes, her one idea was to get it over and done with, whatever 'it' was. She took a step towards the flames. Where were her friends? Who were her friends? It was her fault, all her fault. She took another step. The immense heat on her face caused her to take a small step back. She was shivering from hair to toe. No, she must wait. SHe had not entirely lost her reason.

Carla was intoxicated with smoke by this time. She did not know what she was doing or why. She continued her fixed glazed gaze and began to fall forward as she had when she had been staring at the moon. She re-lived things - encounters with forgotten or non-existant friends, experiences with attics in fire; water, ice, fire again; then music. It filled her brain comfortingly, and as someone seized her numbing elbow everything came alive again. Carla looked over her shoulder as she ran, half-dragged, by her saviour. She had been saved. Saved by music and this person who was rescuing her. Looking back into the licking flames Carla realised her peril and she ran faster until she was back in the trees, safe.

The End

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