Ever see the movie Backdraft, Father? By the summer of my senior year, everyone including me had. A good enough movie, it was mostly forgettable, except there’s this scene in which one of the fireman characters mistakenly opens a door without checking the knob for heat first. When he opens the door, his ass gets fried by a huge gout of flame. A backdraft, caused by the sudden rush of oxygen.

Now, I’m not exactly sure if that’s what I was trying to accomplish. Point in fact, I didn’t end up causing a backdraft. For that you need a smoldering fire that’s used up all the oxygen in a room. But hey—I wasn’t a firefighter or arsonist. I was a scared and pissed off (but mostly scared) eighteen year old trapped in a room with no way out. The door was guarded and it didn’t matterby whom, because I wasn’t gonna be waltzing by them any time soon.

That chanting was getting louder. Weirder. The words all jumbled and mixed together, like from my nightmare of what I’d seen in that clear
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