It’s a wonderful fire, made from aromatic wood that crackles like storybook fires should. The flames flicker and dance, orange ballerinas, warm and welcoming. I am entranced. I need to move away though, before it sucks me in completely and I fall into it and burn to ash.
I back away slowly, not looking behind me, the heat lessening. I bump into something, a bed, lose my balance, and fall onto it. It is warm, inviting, all in the purest, whitest linen, a feather duvet so light it feels as though it might flap its wings at any moment and fly away. I snuggle into it and it wraps itself around me, a cocoon of safety. I know I must get up from this too, it is wrapping itself tighter, smothering me. I push up, away and it lets go suddenly, propelling me into the fire.
I am suddenly covered in a layer of thick bark, impenetrable, over my whole body. My foot lands in the crackling fire and catches alight. I move away again, this time frightened. There is only the fire or the bed. I dive under the bed, into the corner. It is dark. I fold in on myself, my tears flow, dousing my foot, leaving just a smouldering ember, glowing beautiful orange in my huddled corner.
World Penguin Day
1 day ago