A rolling fire, rampaging about at the speed of sound. Through New York to San Francisco, and now in my own backyard. I can’t say I’m surprised, I saw the warnings. But what can a warning of the inevitable really do? I guess they provide that which so many people want to know, the exact time and place of their death, but that isn’t the kind of thing I really enjoy hearing. Everyone wants to hear the bad news until they hear it and they rather wish they hadn’t. I had enough time to sit and watch the world burn from the comfort of my couch, I guess. I do prefer that to dying while waiting in rush hour traffic, at least. I could call my family and tell them I love them, but I’m not sure if they’d appreciate me hogging up their last bit of lifetime. I could shoot myself, as an act of rebellion or whatever, but that just seems redundant at this point. Unless somebody’s secretly filming me, I don’t think anybody will be dying to learn how my body turned to ashes. I’m left wondering what of me or my possessions will be left in the aftermath. What will the people who find the remnants of this house think about the person who lived there? Will the doghouse still be standing? Will they think I died with my dog, it serving as my companion even to the grave? Or will they realize that it ran away earlier that day, and a have a stifled laugh about the irony? Will they find my remains in the bathtub and wonder if I was there because I knew what was coming or if I was just taking a nice bath? Will they find the remains of a vintage car in the garage and wonder if it was always a busted up junker, or if it was all finely polished and fixed up? Will they bury my remains, or just keep heading along the wastes? Will they know my name, the name of my street, my town? Will they know there was a bomb, or will they think we did this to ourselves? Did we do this to ourselves? Well, it’s too late for guilt and it’s too late for apologies. There’s just enough time left to sit, wait, and watch the flames as they roll in.
Daniel Hampton is a writer/rambler born and raised in Bakersfield. He’ll write absurdist stories about sandwiches with the same zeal he writes heartfelt poetry, much to the befuddlement of others. He envisions himself as a jack of all trades kind of creative writer but has extreme difficulty in talking about himself in the third person. Oh well. You can find him at danielhamptonauthor.com.