I entered the lounge room and immediately felt its warmth; I could smell the dead eucalypt smell in the room and hear the crackle of the flames in the fireplace. Mum had been here before me. Traces of her morning ritual were still present. Her half empty cup of tea, the newspaper left open and a half attempted crossword left undone, the overflowing ashtray full of half smoked cigarettes. But she was no longer in the room.
I knew where she would be, in the garden. She was always in the garden, foriging through the plants. The room was almost silent except for the noise of the fire, crackling and hissing away. I stood in front of it longing for its warmth. I looked out through the window, the fog had not yet risen, it was the middle of winter, where the fog did not lift until lunchtime, and the air remained cold all day. I began to notice a strange noise, a low roaring noise that sounded as if it was coming from above me. It was like nothing I had heard before. It seemed to be getting louder. A sudden bang of the kitchen door scared me as Mum rushed into the lounge room.
“GET OUTSIDE” she screamed “The chimney is on fire.”
We ran outside and scrambled up the hill beside the house, it was wet and slippery from the dampness of winter. We stood and looked at the chimney. Flames were pouring out of it and there was a loud whistling noise. Mum yelled at me
“Go and get the hose.”
I lost balance as I went down the muddy hill.
“Hurry” I could hear Mum scream. I was. I knew she was worried our house made of logs and a roof made of straw was going to catch on fire. I turned the hose on at full speed and water came pouring out, going everywhere. It was cold and I had forgotten the warmth from the lounge room. I ran back to Mum pulling the hose with me, she was standing on the roof. I threw her the hose as water went everywhere, hitting me in the face. My clothes were soaking wet and I was shaking from the cold and the fear our house could catch on fire.
Mum shoved the hose down the chimney and the flames began to subside. The roaring sound became quieter and all that could be heard was a slight crackling noise. The fire had been put out. We climbed down the hill and I turned off the tap. We entered the house and I was like entering a misty forest. The house was filled with smoke. It took away my breath and we opened the windows, letting the fresh winter air inside. I noticed the fog was beginning to rise outside, as the fear within began to decrease. We were silent. Mum put on the kettle.