“Papa! Help! It’s Angel!”
But it wasn’t Papa, it was Penny. She came bounding down with a small baseball bat in her hand. She was in T-shirt and panties, too.
“Good! You’re here! Grab her other leg and help hold of her. She’s kicking the shit out of me!” Angel yelled at her without looking. Penny ran up to us with that bat drawn and cracked Angel across the head with it!
I wanted to kiss her!
Angel grabbed his head with his hand and turned to Penny. Then blood ran between his fingers. He came at her and she swung at him again. Angel lunged at her a second time and she cracked him across the knuckles. He looked around for something to block her. He spotted what he wanted. Under the stairs was three big green metal cans. He danced around with her until he could jump over and grab one. He got the can and held it in front of him then advanced on Penny.
She swung at him and he blocked it with the can. The bat on the metal made such a loud noise I thought everyone would come running. He stepped closer. She tried to get to the side. I went to help.
“Get back!” she yelled, “I got this!”
She circled Angel real fast and came low. He dodged and then crashed the can down on her back, but something happened that neither of them expected. The cap came off the can and whatever liquid was in the can splashed out everywhere as Angel swung at her and she blocked. When he hit her, the liquid gushed out the top, splashed over by the heater, then burst into flames. I backed up by my door. Flames raced all over the floor in a whoosh.
The fire ran up Penny’s back and then all over Angel. I screamed. I cried. I didn’t know what to do as I watched the two of them fight the flames that overtook them. Penny’s hair burst into solid fire. Her face contorted into so much pain that I couldn’t bear to look. She looked over at me and waved for me to get back. The flaming torch that was now Angel tried to get around her to get to me, but Penny wrapped her arms around him and they both burned together. Then they both slumped to the floor beside each other.
Penny was dead. I cried. The drama of them dying in front of me shocked me so bad that I didn’t notice that the stairs and the ceiling had caught fire and those other two cans were still under there. The heat and smoke was choking, the fire got higher and closer to the cans. I got in my room quick and closed the door. Smoke was getting in my room, too.
BOOM! The whole house shook. My door bulged, but it didn’t pop. I was standing on my bed with my back against my wall, coughing from the smoke. My boobs! All I had on was panties so I hopped down to my drawer and grabbed a shirt and threw it on. I felt relieved. This house is burning down! Now what? My new vanity! I need to get it out! A hundred things raced through my head.
I looked at my little window above my bunk and hopped up there and opened it. Air sucked into my room and flames licked in through the top of my door. I need to hurry. Sirens wailed in the distance. Oh, good, Mama called the fire department. My little window didn’t open down all the way like Billy had it that day. How did he do it? I pulled and pulled, but it only opened three-fourths the way. I even lifted my feet and swung on it. Skinny little me swinging on it wouldn’t make that much difference. There’s got to be a trick.
I had to stop and cough from the smoke. Sweat trickled down my back from the heat. I pushed, then pulled down, no luck. Then I pulled toward me, then down and it folded down perfectly! That worked! I would not have known it did it at all if it hadn’t been for Billy that day. The heat