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Fat and Sassy: Fire on the Ridge

Its TUESDAY TALES. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘hill’. Return to TUESDAY TALES for more great story snippets.

Fat and Sassy:

The Jones’ family has finally settled in one place without several moves a year. The newest addition, Alvin, brings the children up to six – three girls and three boys. The spring of 1947 introduces a new threat to the young children – Southern California wildfires.

Spring 1947

glendora forest firePlumes of black smoke billowed over the ridge before lifting off in rolling waves upwards as high as the children could see. One by one they stopped running and playing. They stood mesmerized – heads tipped back, gazing at the advancing monster creeping over the crest of the foothills north of their home.

Little noses wrinkled in response to the acrid smell filling the town, replacing the usual sweet scent of orange blossoms.

Bill propped a hand over his eyes, shielding them from the bright afternoon sun. “What’s that?”

“Fire,” Mae replied. “It’s a forest fire. My teacher told us about them last week.”

“Mine too,” Helen said. “She even put a poster up in front of the room.”

“Mine didn’t,” Bill said.

Mae shook her head. “You probably weren’t paying attention. I’ll bet you were talking to your friends again. The posters are all over the school. You know, the ones with Smokey Bear that say ‘Remember – Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires’.”

glendora old fire engine 2The faint hint of sirens in the air sounded louder. The children gathered on the sidewalk. Their heads turned to the west in time to see the city’s two fire engines racing up Glendora Avenue, lights flashing, horns blaring.

“We’ve got to tell Mama,” Helen yelled. They ran towards the front door, falling inside pell-mell over each other.

“Mama …. Mama … there’s a fire on the hill,” they shouted in unison.

Alvin’s startled cry rose from the crib inside the front bedroom.

Bea sat her mending down on the air of the sofa and pushed a wisp of hair away from her eyes. A soft sigh escaped her lips. “Now see what you’ve done. You’ve waked the baby up.”

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