A/N:This is a companion to The Lost Colbas.
I jumped up to what I thought was the blaring sound of my alarm only to hit my head on something. As I glanced around the night before came rushing back. The licking flames had burnt my arm and I could feel the sting of the blisters. My youngest brother, Shar, was laying on a grass-bed I made for him and my other brother, Zach, was using my leg as a pillow. I gently shook Zach awake.
"Watch Shar, I'll be right back." I whispered.
I knew I couldn't go far because Zach was only eight, but I had to see it. I walked the trail out from under the bridge and to the road. It only took a few steps before I could see it. I stared at the wet ashes that took the place where our house once stood. I could see the flashing lights of the cop cars. They were pulling body bags out of the ash. One was for my mom and one for my dad. Les had stayed the weekend with a friend and would be there later. I had to get her before them. If we were put in foster care they would separate us and I couldn't let that happen. I went back under the bridge and looked at Zach.
"Follow me." I said, picking Shar up. Shar was only a year old. Yesterday had been his birthday. We all went to bed late. At three o'clock I woke up to the sound of glass shattering followed by a loud bang. I ran down the hall to Zach's room. Since he shared with Shar I knew to get them first. I grabbed Shar from his crib as I hollered for Zach to get up. With Shar in one arm, wrapped in his blanket, I grabbed Zach's wrist and drug him out of bed. He stumbled along as I pulled him from his room. By now the flames were blocking the way to my parent's room. My only option was the stairs. Zach had been fully awake by now. We ran down the stairs and I pushed Zach to the floor. I ducked as low as I could with Shar in my arm. The back door was the closet way out, so I hurried to it. I touched the door and it was hot, but I had no other choice. I pushed the door open. A wall of flames greeted us. I covered Shar's face and pushed Zach in front of me. I ran through with the baby hidden from the flames and Zach was mostly covered by my body. Once we were safe from the flames I took the boys to the creek just down the road. That's where we slept the rest of the night. I'd hoped that my parents would make it out, but they didn't.
Now I traveled the back streets to Les's friend's house. Were greeted by an older woman. Les came rushing out.
"Hi, Kar." She said and then turned to the woman. "Mom must have sent them to get me. Bye Mrs. Carson." She grinned.
The woman frowned. "Okay, but don't you want to say goodbye to Harely first?"
"No, ma'am. She's sleeping still. Tell her I said bye though please. Good day Mrs. Carson." Les smiled as the four left, "Why so doom and gloom?" she asked cheerfully.
"Just follow us and we'll explain later." I commanded grimly.
Les watched the ground, suddenly quiet. Her scared eyes darted to my face once or twice, trying to find a trace of what to expect. Zach was tensely silent. His tear filled eyes stared strait ahead, not really seeing anything. The baby shifted sleepily in my arms. His eyes snapped open and he let out an ear piercing, heart shattering cry. I knew what he wanted, but I also knew he couldn't have it. I checked my pocket and found I still had his pacifier in it from the night before. I also had my wallet with seventy dollars in it. I put the pacifier in my mouth to get the lint off of it. Then I gave it to him. His cries fell to a soft whimper. As we came to the creek Les started to round the corner. I grabbed her arm and pulled her to my side.
"We're going to the creek, Les."
"B.. but, why?"
"I'll explain when we get down there. Just come on." So she clung to my arm and walked with me; her eyes downcast and her heart beating in fear of what she knew was coming. When we got under the bridge Zach took Shar and curled up against a tree. I took Les down the creek and held up my burnt, blistering arms. "What happened?" She asked, tears welling in her eyes.
"Les, There was a fire last night. We were all asleep when it happened but…" I told Les what happened as calmly as I could. Tears spilled down her face.
"You're lying! Momma can't be dead. Momma! Momma! You can come out now! Momma!"
I pulled Les into my arms. "Sh, I'm sorry, Les. I'm not lying, but everything will be okay, Les. Don't worry, I'll take care of you all. I need you to be strong though, okay. For Zach and Shar, me and you, we have to be strong. Can you do that, Les, can you help me?"
She sniffled and nodded slowly, "I can try, Kar."
"Good. Come on, we need to get some food and some things for Shar."
We walked to the boys. Shar was silent now. Not sleeping, but staring as if he knew what was wrong. I took him from Zach and helped Zach stand. We walked the streets slowly. Les's blue eyes were fixed straight ahead. She tried hard to hide her pain, but it was evident. I put my hand to her back. "It's okay. You don't have to be strong yet. You can cry. I know it hurts."
"Who did it, Karey? Who killed Momma and Daddy?"
"I don't know. What matters right now, Les, is that we're all alive and safe."
"I hate them, the people who did this to us. I hate them all."
"Don't say that, Les. You shouldn't hate."
"Well I do, and you can't change that. I hope they die too!"
"Les." I said, shocked at the nine-year-olds demeanor. The hatred and anger dripped in her voice and shown deep and hard in her eyes. Pain was covered by it and it scared me.