Thalia and I were camping in Val Danga woods. We always did this in the school holidays, especially when we were sick of our parents and siblings. But, as always, there was no voiding the warning lecture of fire they gave every time. I think that when I arrived home and they explained the warning protection, I could recite it with them, word for word. This time though, their worrisome was doubled. Fir was a great significance to the town of Lankford. Going camping with Thalia was always enjoyable. I never worried about fire warnings, until now.
I saw the smoke before I heard her screams.
Roiling black smoke clouded the sky as fast as a cheetah. The crackling and hissing of the fire was overpowered the echo of the grasshoppers and birds. The orange and red flame was roaring towards us. It was only 6km away. But, that didn't help the slowing of my pulse. My heart was beating with the sound of a hammer on a cloth, pulsing as fast as the inferno. Before death could claw its ghastly cold fingers around Thalia and me, I grabbed a blanket from our tent, Thalia's wrist and the last of our hope.
As we ran for the creek, with the fire looming behind us, Thalia screamed "we're going to die Mel! DIE!" My speed picked up, I pushed harder, made my legs move faster and stronger. The wind howled through the trees all around us, vines and brambles pushed out away from the leaves in a tangled snarl. As we sprinted towards the creek I could see the inferno creeping up on us with speed of a slamming door. We only just had enough time to jump into the water, wet the blanket and place it above our heads when the fire and smoke engulfed the air around us. We were hyperventilating under the blanket which was beneath the burning, raging fire. I was focusing on multiple things, such as breathing properly, trying to control my blood-curling screams, and putting in an effort to NOT break Thalia's fingers. Suddenly, it left as quickly as it came. The fire was ahead of now.
Thalia asked me how I was doing, and as always, I say the first thing that comes to my head, mature or not. "Thank God that's over, I almost peed myself". Thalia giggled at my speech, I couldn't help myself, and I joined in.
As we lifted the wet blanket high enough so we could see what was above us, 'it' popped out. The fire had burned a pure innocent little baby bunny, leaving its fur as its only remains. Slowly, carefully, we pulled the red blanket, which was now black from the ashes, behind us. As we were debating wether we should start walking back, or stay in our safe little spot, we described the fire and its course as a game of hide-and-seek, a deadly game of hide-and-seek. Before we could decide on wether we should stay or go, a helicopter came into view. Soon, after, it swooped down and the man inside, driving the helicopter, asked us to come aboard.
When we landed, it was crowded. People in blankets, holding cups, being comforted, comforting others or news reporters explaining the incident behind them. As soon as I stepped off the helicopter, sorrow filled the air around me, along with the mist of sadness. It filled me to the point that I was crying with Thalia, along with everyone else in the showground.
It was a day that neither I, Melody Winnie, nor my friend, Thalia Beach, will ever forget.
By Madi McKewin