Firestarter

fireplanter.jpg
The remains of the planter. Wonder if I’ll still get my security deposit back?

I was making dinner when I heard a popping noise. At first I thought it was the cats, but it kept going, so I went to look. Following it out to the porch, I saw that the (empty) wooden planter next to the porch was on fire! I ran to get the hose, dragged it over, and started spraying water on the blaze. As the water gushed over the smoldering planter, I wondered how on earth the fire could have started. The planter doesn?t have a plant in it, I haven?t been using the barbecue, there was no lightning or stolen car to dispose of. Do I have a secret enemy or an neighbor whose hobby is arson? It?s a mystery.

All evening, I kept checking the planter remains for sparks and smoke, even though I had thoroughly soaked it. I looked at the dry lawn and the weeds in the driveway in a new light, imagining the fire spreading, the house going up in flames. I was glad that I had been making dinner and had the back door open. What if I hadn?t heard the noise, hadn?t gone to investigate? Later, I watched A Letter to Three Wives, one of whose stars, the beautiful Linda Darnell, perished in a house fire at the age of 41.

I did not sleep well.

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