Drought by Nikki Crutchley

I present the box of matches sitting in the palm of my hand. The others crowd around, sly smiles on their faces.
We all know playing with matches is taboo, especially in a town that hasn’t had rain for a year, where the earth is cracked and thirsty, pleading for water.
Mikey grabs them off me and strikes a match.
With a grin he blows the threat out.
He drops the match to the ground. But the grass still catches. The flame streaks a burning hole in the ground, charring, smoking, forever widening.
‘Fire,’ I whisper.
And then, ‘Fire!’ I find my voice and we run, the flames at our heels.


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