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She awoke to another hot day. The air was still thick with smoke from the nearby bush fires. They had witnessed four terrifying days with fires burning out of control and far too many houses not that far from them destroyed.
She stilled her mind for a moment before contemplating the day ahead. There was so much she had no control over, but right now she thought to herself “What is it I want?”
Some peace and quiet, some respite, not just from the heat as unbearable as it was, but from the stress of not knowing if they would have to evacuate, pack up what they could in the small amount of time she was sure they would be given.
Her husband was a wreck, long days out hosing the gutters, up the ladder checking for any debris that might have blown into them. Always on edge, coughing in the smoky air and snapping at her whenever she offered a word of comfort or advice.
She knew it was stressful for him, if the house burnt down they’d have nothing. Starting again at their age was not something they wanted to contemplate.
She turned over to see her man still asleep. She knew he was exhausted and today looked as bleak as the previous days. Not wishing to wake him as there was little they could do other than go through their preparations once again and wait and see.
She flicked on the morning news, images danced in front of her of firefighters, flames climbing the tallest trees with homes alight and crashing into twisted and unrecognisable ashes.
Outside in the early morning, the smoke was thicker. Across the bottom of her screen ran the latest evacuation warning. She took a deep breath as she read, Way Street, two streets away.
She ran to wake her husband, it was time, and this time her mind was telling her, “What I want is my life”.