leaky fire

I discover gaps in the side of the big stone and wood fireplace where flames have escaped and are beginning to spread—there’s a hanging cloth that’s bound to go up if I leave the fire to its own devices, so I reach out with my bare hand and smack the fiery patches to put them out—but they’re so hot I switch to stomping on them with my shoe—and then I run to get my bother and father to help—I show them the problem area, and my brother far too casually says he’ll take care of caulking it up.

the bike boy rides past my house, all bundled up in cold weather clothes, and calls out to me by name—and my stomach flips to know he’s taken the trouble to find out what it is.

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