Wednesday, February 17, 2010


The fear i have overcome started back when I was in fifth grade. It was a Wednesday morning, the sun was out and the embers were still burning from the bon fire the night before. My best friend Dillon Hall woke me up unaware of what was about to happen that morning. We crept through my house quietly, trying not to disturb my sleeping father, but anxious to get outside and fiddle with the extinguished fire. The sun was blinding as we opened the door slowly, avoiding the creeking noise that came from the screen door. As Dillon and I walked towards the back yard, we stopped at the garage. Curiously we looked around in the dim light for what we could possibly have fun with that boring morning. As our eyes scanned the different objects laying about, both of our eyes landed on the half-full gas can sitting in the corner. Even though we both were hesitant to grab the gas can, I ended up taking it thinking, what could go wrong? As I slid open the back doors of the garage i caught a glimpse of the smoke arising from the pit. Excited to get this fire going again I hauled the gas can down and set it on the concrete surrounding the fire pit. The wood stack from the night before looked low but i figured i'd only use a few logs to start the fire. Dillon suggested a cup to put the gas in before dumping it, but I insisted that I just pour it, also stating that, "I do this all the time." I glanced down at the pit I was now standing over. Picking up the gas can, i looked back up at Dillon who was also staring at the pit. I slowly dumped the gas on the burnt wood when all of a sudden, nothing happend. Bending over to take a good look at what was wrong, I thought of all the movies I'd seen where they blow on the fire to get more oxygen to it. Now even though there was no fire, i still gave it a shot. Kneeling down with the gas can in my hands I blew on the fire, and again nothing happend. Kicking around all the burnt pieces of wood, I didn't realize i had just reveiled all the little burning embers that were on the bottom of the pit before. Once again i bent down and poured gas on the fire, and thats when it happend. The sizzling sound and seeing the flames climb towards my face was the scariest thing i have ever seen. I jerked my head back and looked at Dillon who was staring at me in shock. I felt the heat of the fire all over my body and what felt like needles going into my skin. Dillon yelled, "Chase your on fire!" I hit the ground as soon as he said fire and began rolling in the grass. He hit me with his hat over and over again, finally I was extinguished. I stood up and looked towards the fire that had just caused me so much pain, and as i looked, the gas can caught fire. Dillon and I took off running, we ran through the pool area, and i wondered if I should jump in. I just wanted to get rid of the burning and the pain. Instead I ran inside and put a cold rag over my neck while Dillon rushed into my parents bedroom to wake my father up. My dad ran out of the bedroom and immediatly called my mother who was at work that morning. Dillon frantically searched for buckets and bowls to fill with water to put out the wild fire overtaking my back yard. Once everything was under control, my father rushed me to the hospital. I remember being layed down in a hospital room with a big bag of ice put right on my chest and neck. The doctors were trying to figure out how bad it was, and all i could do was cry. Finally, i heard the news, I was diagnosed with third degree burns on my neck and chest, and was also missing some of my hair and all of my eyebrows. I layed there, thinking about my life, my friends, my family, and most of all what I did wrong. The doctors needed me moved to Regions Hospital over in the cities, because my burns were too much for them to handle. After the incident, I couldn't sleep or even look at fire the same way. I would flinch or have to look away if I was around a fire, and had many sleepless nights, due to bad dreams and nightmares. Although i have overcome this fear, and have moved on with my life, I will never forget the day that could have possibly been my last.