By Kaylie R. Klotz
It’s 11:05 PM on a Wednesday night, and you’re trying in vain to sleep so that you can wake up for your 8 a.m. class the next day. It doesn’t help that the group chat with your friends starts blowing up as your head hits the pillow. You screw your eyes shut and listen as your phone buzzes incessantly on your nightstand like an angry bee. With a groan, you roll over—eyes still closed—and grope around in the dark for your phone. Finding it, you squint with one eye as you turn on Do Not Disturb, but a text catches your attention. Your sibling sent you the link to an article, and it sends your world spiraling:
CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES DESTROY REDWOOD FOREST LEAVING NOTHING BEHIND
Your chest caves in. Your throat constricts. Your eyes burn. All at once, snippets of memories crash into your mind. Floating down a creek on your back. Building forts out of branches and moss. Laughing with cheeks full of marshmallow. You shut off your phone and close your eyes, an emptiness consuming you. A part of you is now burning too.
Kaylie R. Klotz is a chemistry major from the Bay Area, CA. She enjoys traveling and writing stories in her free time, and she hopes to one day write a novel.