I can’t remember how long their bodies burned, but I do remember the sun setting before it was over, not far off in the distance, just beyond the still and dismal outline of downtown San Diego. Its flame-colored glare hit the Pacific Ocean and slowly melted beyond the horizon as smoke drifted up in dark gray coils into the sky. The fleeing sun took the heat away with it, and as the first stars of the night made their appearance, the crisp chill of January returned.
Ash settled all around me, resting on my eyelashes and the tip of my nose, threatening to choke the oxygen from my lungs. I kept vigil over my dead family while sitting at the edge of the garden, slumped forward with my legs crossed and my hands resting loosely in my lap. A steady breeze from the approaching night collided with the draft from the fire, sending hot gusts of air in my direction. My face and arms stung from the warmth, but the smell was worse than the heat. The strong odor of burning flesh kept my nostrils flared and stomach turning.
I knew that day it was true what they say; one can never forget the smell of a dead body. I know, I’ll never forget.
Book 1 of the Find Me Series
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Fire can’t destroy everything, not even hope. Follow Riley’s journey today – for free – at the retailers below. Happy reading! Don’t forget to leave a light on. *wink*