Photograph by Mitch Moran
We took a picnic basket and a checkered blanket up Mount Poindexter and made camp in the parched golden brush. A baloney sandwich and hard lemonade for him, ham and cider for me. Five miles southwest, Shelby Peak burned in apocalyptic majesty, and we watched with perverted satisfaction as stormclouds of smoke rose from the brilliant yellow scrub that blackened and disintegrated in the advancing blaze.
For all I knew, in two days’ time the wildfire could extend its blighting arms and engulf our little city nestled below the big sky. The teams of firemen would surely halt the flames, he reminded me, but in the secrecy of my imagination I played out a fantasy of endless inferno fueled by golden sun and flaxen undergrowth, and let it all burn away.
Yvonne Wasson is a copy editor for a handful of magazines. When she’s not doing away with misplaced apostrophes, she’s misplacing her own.
Mitch Moran is a marine biology student at the University of Hawai’i. His studies often find him in interesting locales and so, to adapt, he has also become a photographer.