Burn: (v) to flame while consuming
Snakes and fire.
I believe these two are natural enemies of all humankind.
I’ve always been afraid of snakes, without shame. But I realized my apprehension about fire when I found myself staying at a cheap motel called “The California.”(Yes, welcome to the Motel California…)
I was there with my family and we were occupying a room in the front corner near the office. One afternoon, we were half asleep, watching television, when there was a knock at the door. The manager was informing everyone that there was a fire.
I stepped outside, couldn’t see anything, but decided it was a good idea to get my family and some of our belongings out of the room, load them into the van and move the vehicle away from the property, just in case.
We gathered with the other patrons of the motel in the parking lot, when all at once the second floor, as if on cue, burst into flames. It was so sudden that everyone gasped. In unison, we moved back about twenty paces.
The heat was intense, the smell stung our nostrils. and our natural fear kept pushing us all further and further from the inferno.
It wasn’t a large motel, so by the time the fire trucks arrived, the entire establishment was engulfed in flames–except for the lower level near the office.
The firemen told us it would be many hours before we would be able to get back in to retrieve any belongings that might remain, so we went out to visit some friends and took advantage of a free motel room offered by a kind establishment down the road.
Over breakfast the next morning, I couldn’t keep my hands from shaking. I didn’t know what was wrong. But now I realize that I was completely terrified by the experience, and horrified by what might have happened.
An hour or two later, when we returned to the burned-out shell of the motel, we found that our room was intact, and that our belongings were a little damp, but able to be retrieved.
I don’t ever want to burn.
I guess the worst scenario for me would be to die in a fire while being bitten by snakes.