• emkate_utter

Day Twenty Four: Warmth

In the days, weeks, and months that followed, Sara’s parents removed everything they associated with fire from the house. They blocked up the fireplace. Threw out the matches and the candles and had an induction stove put in to replace the gas. They even put safety locks on the taps so that the water was just above lukewarm.

She supposed later, that they were trying to avoid triggering her in any way… her memory of what had happened, or her inclination to play with fire? But in the process they made the house very cold and uninviting and Sara took to warming herself with the hair dryer when her mother was downstairs. She’d pull out the waistband of her pyjamas and pump the legs full of hot air, then sit down and hug the fabric to her skin. The same ritual worked well with a nightgown - she could heat her whole body, then, by inserting the hairdryer into her collar and closing up the hemline by holding it down with her feet.

When they moved south this practice became redundant. The weather was far warmer and by then candles and hot water had long since been reintroduced to the household. Once they knew for certain fire wasn't - she wasn’t? - a hazard.