Chapter 1 – Fire Zone
Indigo blue eyes watched as her friends walked around the party holding plastic red solo cups filled with alcohol with some type of soda or juice to mask the pungent flavor of the strong 75.5% proof Bacardi 151 rum. This party was going sideways fast. Everyone there was pretty trashed and there was a room for all the stoners as well. She knew her clothes were going to reek of smoke, pot and alcohol before the night was up. She was half tempted to just ditch her friends and let them find their own ways home. But she couldn't do that. They were her friends and she'd volunteered to be the designated driver.
Audrey Young liked to party like the next teenager and granted everyone was trying to get their last party on before their senior year started; but to her partying consisted of loud music, movies, food, dancing and even the occasional make out session with your boyfriend. She wasn't into alcohol and she wasn't into smoking pot or even cigarettes. Her friends all knew that but didn't try to get her into it; they knew it was no use and they didn't rag on her about it either.
"Audrey…Hey Audi…Are you still with us?"
Audrey snapped out of her personal thoughts as she looked over at her friend Aubrey or Bree for short; when they'd met in first grade and had similar names it struck a chord in them both and had been best friends ever since.. "Sorry I guess I zoned out there for a few minutes. What were you saying Bree?"
The fiery red head with the Irish temper gave her a look before clearing her throat and sipping from her cup. Bree smirked. "Is Toby going to make it to the party?"
Audrey smiled at the thought of seeing her boyfriend as she nodded. "Yea he's supposed to be here in a while. His parents made him go to some family reunion in Seattle a couple of weeks ago but he was supposed to be back on the rez tonight to come to the party."
"How could I miss the end of the summer party?" A deep voice said next to the two girls sitting on the couch.
Audrey's head snapped up as she saw Toby standing there with his jeans, polo shirt and sneakers with his brown leather jacket still on. Audrey jumped up from the couch and took a couple of steps before launching herself into her boyfriends waiting arms.
Toby chuckled as he caught her with ease. Audrey was not exactly the biggest person on the Makah reservation. He wrapped his arms around her as his lips were suddenly pulled down to hers; he couldn't help chuckling against her lips, but it was quickly silenced when he responded to her kisses.
Bree rolled her eyes as she groaned in complete disgust. "God you two are going to kill me buzz if I don't walk away now."
Toby laughed as he looked at his girlfriend's best friend. "You don't mind if I borrow my girlfriend for a bit right?"
Bree shook her head no. "Be my guest she could use a good tonsil hockey gaming." Bree waved them both off as she went to find the drink mixer in the kitchen, when she woke up in the morning she wanted the worst hang over she could possibly get so she could puke on her step dad's Gucci dress shoes and since she happened to be working on her seventh mixed drink she was well on her way to Pukeville.
Toby laced his fingers with Audrey's as he quickly lead her through the house, which happened to be his best friend Nick's place; who happened to be Bree's boyfriend. Toby led her upstairs to the spare bedroom and closed and locked the door behind them. They were the only other two allowed upstairs other than Nick and Bree themselves. Toby turned to face Audrey as he was quick to cup her face and kiss her lips as he guided her gently back and onto the spare bed. They'd only been dating a few months and hadn't had sex yet, but Toby didn't mind waiting he knew eventually they were going to get into the sexual side of their relationship sooner or later. Tonight it was 'get reacquainted with each other' time. He'd been gone for two weeks and actually missed her something fierce.
A few hours later, Audrey and Bree were sitting in the front seat of Audrey's Black Mazda 3 as they giggled and sang along with the radio, too loud and completely out of tune. "So I noticed you and Nick snuck some alone time in there." Audrey teased Bree.
Bree giggled and snorted; oh yea she was trashed. "Yea, you know we can't keep our damn hands off each other when we've been drinking. It's like wild kingdom mating season on the Discovery channel. But it's all good, that boy knows how to GIVE as well as he GETS." Bree let a knowing smirk plaster itself on her face. "What about you and Toby, ya'll were in that spare room for the whole night practically. Did you all bump uglies yet?"
Audrey shook her head as she laughed. "Nope, not yet; maybe soon." Audrey pulled into Bree's driveway as the girls hugged and Bree promised to text when she woke up the following day. Audrey watched as Bree stumbled up the walk way to the front door and watched as she made it in the front door. She waited as she finally saw Bree's bedroom light turn on and she practically hung out the two story window and waved goodbye. Audrey flashed her lights and backed out and took off to her house.
Once Audrey got home she quietly walked up stairs and into her room. She could smell the smoke and pot in her hair and as she pulled the clip out her unruly inky black curls went everywhere. The smoke and pot scent was stronger and made her crinkle her nose in disgust. Oh yea a shower was definitely in need. She grabbed some clean clothes and went into the bathroom downstairs to shower so she wouldn't wake her parents or her five year old little sister Claire.
Audrey had gotten dried off and was getting dressed in her shorts and t-shirt when she thought she smelled smoke. She shook her head and just figured it was her clothes that were in her arms. She opened the door and went wide eyed as she saw red and orange flames making their way around the living room blocking the front door. Audrey started to run up stairs but half way up her little sister Claire was running downstairs coughing and that was when Audrey saw black smoke pouring from their parent's room and down the hallway. Audrey lifted Claire and noticed the fire was basically blocking all exists. She knew if she broke a window it would increase the fire. Oxygen would always make a fire expand.
Audrey tore off back to the bathroom downstairs as she closed the bathroom door and got into the shower with Claire she grabbed a towel and ripped it in half and balled both halves up and covered her mouth and nose with it trying to not breathe in the smoke that was filling the small bathroom fast. She handed the other balls up towel to Claire and instructed her to hold it over her mouth and nose. She turned the water in the shower on which soaked both of the girls, but for some reason the water shut off on its own. Audrey pushed Claire behind her into the corner of the shower as the bathroom door basically exploded off its hinges; the force of it broke the mirror and shower doors.
Audrey kept Claire behind her. She was getting lightheaded from the smoke and when she looked behind her she saw Claire was unconscious. Audrey was trying to keep herself from freaking out but the fire was completely consuming the bathroom.
There comes a point when the pain is so bad you feel suddenly numb. You choke because the air your breathing isn't really air at all the fire is sucking the oxygen so you are forced to breathe in black smoke that has filled the air. Audrey couldn't help it as her eyelids got heavier and heavier. She couldn't force them to stay open any longer. Claire had been passed out for God knows how long. Audrey was quite surprised Claire hadn't passed out sooner, but Claire was a tough one earlier on in her life.
Audrey just had to lie down for a second – she was getting so sleepy. Her eyes snapped open as she felt pain as it zipped up both her arms and she realized her arms were on fire. She was screaming out as horrific pain enveloped her. She was trying to roll around and put them out but the fire but there wasn't enough room in the shower to move, plus she had to think about keeping Claire protected from the fire. She couldn't let her little sister get burned.
The sickening stench of burnt flesh was permeating the air as Audrey finally gave into the pain and let the darkness take her under.