• Prudence

    Prudence: Chapter 9b

    Dante sits in the middle of the road, knees folded up to his chest. His hands –red and blistered, burns scarred into the flesh – shake. Police have already spoken to him and commended him, as have firefighters. He is a hero. But when he closes his eyes, he thinks not of the fire, nor of how he could’ve died, or of the lives he helped saved, but of Flavia. She sits at the back of an ambulance, a blanket draped around her shoulders as a paramedic examines her. She is not hurt. Dante knows that. At worst, she is miffed. That is a good word for Flavia; life miffs…

  • Prudence

    Prudence: Chapter 9a

    Sirens highlight the night: police have used their cars to block off the street, as well as cordon off the crowd that has gathered. Ambulances are parked haphazardly, paramedics scurrying frantically as they tend to the injured, triaging who needs urgent attention and who can wait. Four fire trucks are parked end to end as firefighters direct their hoses at the blaze. They are too late, though. I feel my flesh incinerate, pluming into thick black smoke that blots the starlit sky. My bones scorch and groan and crack. Floors collapse in surrender. Electrical equipment explodes like an array of fireworks. But for as much as each of these losses…