The Flame | Dennis Cockerham

Mixed Family | Dennis Cockerham

The Flame

My pipe
An air chuck and some hose that I had just found and cut
Black tape to hold it all together
This would be my first time smoking weed

That is what my new guardians called it
When I would sneak and follow them
As they came to this same shed and smoked it themselves

Life was good today
6th Grade
I now lived with some neighbors
The family selling
Everybody agreed
I needed

They had dirt bikes
They had horses
And they had money

As I brought the flame up to stoke my marijuana
I reflected just how I got here

We had snuck out the back
The 2nd door of our current living arrangements
A tin 4x 70, 2×2 framed, green and white trailer
Owned by our youngest sister’s father

Me and my little brother
Out to explore the wilderness

By explore
I mean to see just what we could get into
Under the cover of dark
In our trailer park

Being located in the country
In between Norfolk and Madison, Nebraska
This even the more adventurous

We were surrounded by fields
Which connected to farms
Which usually contained unlocked barns
These in dire need of our attention

Something about tonight
My stomach feeling a little nauseous
It was that
Or the fact that my mother added a can of cream of mushroom soup
To everything that she cooked

Before we set out on our mission
I told my brother that I had to go

Number 2
Take a dump

No fear
I had a plan

Previous research had given me all the things that I needed to know

Top of the hill
In the little red Toyota truck
It will be unlocked
Open the glovebox
A roll of 2 ply

Last trailer on the left
A new addition recently built
A doghouse attached to it

Perfect cover
No electricity
No light

Plus I distinctly remember
A 5-gallon bucket in the shed directly ahead

My utilities assembled
I did the deed
My brother stood guard
Task accomplished
A new dilemma created itself
What to do with the doo-doo?
The evidence

Lucky for us
My brother
In gathering my necessities
Had found a lighter in the glove box of the Toyota

That and a gas can from this shed
We figured should do the trick
We would burn it

Having been the cub scout of the family
I explained to him how this was a particular job
Requiring the special skills which
I had yet to teach him
Stand back as
I proceed with the lesson

It was dangerous
I relayed to him
As I would pour out gas from the can
Lighting it with the lighter about mid-flow

The beauty and pure awesomeness of the flames lit up the night around us

The look of admiration and excitement that
I received from my brother
Each time I would
Just in time
Straighten out the can and stop the flow
Before the flames made their way back up and into the container
Had me brimming with confidence

This and his eagerness eventually won me over
I decided to let him give it a try
Under my watchful eye
And following my step by step instructions

He was a natural
Over and over
I was so proud

Tempting and daring fate I let him play
As I finished erasing the remaining details of this excursion

It happened so fast
The night was so much brighter!

I look over and I see
Fate had struck back
The gas can was completely ablaze
And my little brother was scared!

I took action

Solution number one:
Take the can from him
Save my brother

Solution number two:
Throw the 2-gallon gas can
Now a ball of fire
Standing over 1 foot tall
Into the dog dish

The dog dish

Located right in front of the entrance to the doghouse
Which was attached to the addition
Which had just recently been built
Out of wood!

Talk about a flame.

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