Firefighters on foot turn you around; collect people in the K-Mart parking lot—a giant treeless open with no wood for raining embers to rape. You huddle among cars without regard for painted lines. Panic and time and questions. You trust, chat, wait for instructions and they come: Abandon your cars. You follow the crowd of thirty-odd to the antique store—Needful Things—​to shelter in place. You close glass doors. You clench and breathe time like nutritious determination. Every hour made of final moments.

You hold someone’s crying child while firefighters hose down your storefront cave. 30 hours, keeping it from catching. It’s a hose storm within a fire storm. 30. Concrete floor and the heat. No restroom for you and the thirty-odd. Sometimes you catch a first responder’s eye as she shifts feet to keep standing, lifts her heavy hose for dear life; her strained face through plate glass mirroring yours in the orange.