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Cinnamon Madsen

The Old Garbage Cans

It was dusk, the sky a hazy gray, fading to black. I cautiously peeked around the wooden fence, looking for any sign of movement, my eyes scanning left to right, then right to left. It looked clear, so I gulped down my fear, and ran like the devil was chasing me.

“One, two, three,” I counted the steps in my nine year old mind, all the while my eyes guarding the path between the garbage cans, and me.

I screeched to a halt, safe! Flinging the bag of garbage into the old barrel, I reached into my pocket for the stash of dryer lint, and matches. I ducked out of the breeze, and scratched the blue headed match along the rusty, burnt side of the garbage can. Cupping my hand around the tiny flame, I peeked through a hole that had burned the entire way through the metal, making a plan in my mind of just where to stuff the lint, light it, and have a successful burn. Following the well-structured plan, I lit the fire, then crouched low again, resuming my fervent scanning. I had to wait just a moment, to make sure the fire got going before I could run back to the fence and on to the house.

A crack! I held still as a statue, listening intently, then decided the sound wasn’t between the fence and myself. One more scan, to be sure no rabid monsters were roaming the open area, and then I stood to look into the garbage can to be sure the fire was burning well. Just as my tiny face peered over the rim, a loud pop followed by a volcanic swell of flame and ash burst into my eyes.

“AAAAHHHHH!!!” I screamed, “AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!” No longer afraid of the roaming beasts of the night, I ran crying and screaming toward the house, when suddenly I crashed into something, and went flying through the air, ending up in a heap on the grass.

“AAHHHH!” But this was not my scream; it was my brother’s. And it was his reaction to my face: my eyelashes and eyebrows had been singed completely off!

Poor Rusty, he had snuck out behind me hoping to give me a good scare, it was I who ended up terrifying him that night!

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