The fire was getting closer, and Simon scrambled backwards on hands and feet. The smoke was starting to make it hard to breathe and he was starting to panic. He saw the fire reach from his race car bed to the ceiling and knew it was too late to do anything about it. He got up and opened the door, stumbling out, slipping on his footed pajamas. He slammed the door shut and caught his breath. The smoke was starting to come out through the cracks in the door frame.
"Mom! Dad!" he yelled, running to their bedroom door. He pushed it open and turned on the light. The bed was empty. He ran to his parents' bathroom and saw that it was empty too. When he turned back to the bedroom, he noticed the dresser's drawers were open and empty. Confused, he ran back to the hallway. The fire was now visible on this side of the door as well. Time to hurry.
"Cally!" he shouted as he ran towards his sister's room. "Cally! Get up!"
He opened her door and flicked on the light. Empty. He noticed that Cally's closet had been emptied too.
They must be in the living room, he thought, so he ran there, grabbing a sweater as he did so. But the living room and the coat rack were both empty.
He shouted one last time, "Mom! Dad! Cally! Is anyone here?" but got no response.
He grabbed his mobile phone from the charger and started for the front door. He looked back, unsure whether it was okay to leave, but if nobody was responding, all he could do was get out and call the fire department. He turned the front door knob.
He grabbed it, twisted it and pulled it but it wouldn't open. It was locked. He looked for the keys, normally in a bowl by the door but they weren't there.
Now truly panicking, he tried turning on his mobile phone but it was out of battery power. He noticed the charger lights weren't on either. The power was out.
He went to the living room window and looked out. He didn't see anything, no fire truck, nothing. He grabbed a chair and tried to throw it through the window but he wasn't strong enough. He tried again but it just wouldn't work.
Then he saw something. And if he was confused before, now he really was.
Outside, just beyond the front lawn, walking into view, were his mom, dad and sister. Dad was holding a jerry can. They stopped and turned to the window.
Cally waved to Simon, before mom stopped her, shaking her head no.
The fire had worked its way into the living room and Simon tried what he could to stop it from spreading. He'd been right, it was too late to do anything about it.
Outside, they hardly heard his screaming.