My one day, Sunday.

I am in Malibu. I had traveled there, but now it seemed I lived there with three other blond ("The Hills"-type) girls.

We're inside the home and then somehow transported outside the home for a bit as I feel a warm Santa Ana brush by me, smell (the lovely scent of) firewood in the air, and see a grayish plume rising in the air above a hill...way too close by for comfort.

That looks like a fire, I think to myself. A man runs by and confirms that it is indeed a fire, "I saw it myself, right over the hill."

I better call the office and let them know, I decide. For some reason, my phone won't let me find the right number, and then I realize...I know the number by heart anyway, why am I searching for it. So I try dialing the number. I keep dialing wrong, and then look down at my Blackberry and realize all the numbers are backwards, as if reflected from the inside of the phone outward. I figure out that I need to put my Blackberry in its holster so that the numbers are facing properly outward through the holster, and then I can dial.

Sounds bad, one of the editors say. And that's about that.

By then, I feel light-headed and woozy. I start seeing yellow spots whenever I look around, feel nauseous, and very sluggish. Dehydrated, I think. But I don't fully realize it.

I tell the other girls that we need to get out of there. But for some reason, they decide we should take a nap instead.

And for some reason, (I think maybe because of the "Acceptance" in FACETS) I decide that I don't want to be the nerd who says no, despite the fact that the home will soon burn down.

After about 10 minutes or so, I wake up feeling feverish. The house is literally on fire--a few wood shingles have already caught.

I tell the other girls that we have to go. I'm standing by the door and realize I have nothing on me but pajamas and socks. And my bed is in the corner of the winter cabin-like house (with triangle roof) that is closest to the actual head of the fire.

So I dash over and grab my green backpack filled with work papers and head for the door. I start feeling very sick. I feel like vomiting as I try to martial my willpower to remain focused on getting away from the fire.

We all run out, but on the way the girls get tired. They decide to stop in a deserted, entirely wood cabin less than 1/2 a mile away. I worry as they sit resting, because 1/2 a mile is not much of a distance when a fire is raging downhill with Santa Anas behind it.

For a moment I think about the home I left, and what I had on me. Not much. No money, nothing other than the clothes on my back. Oh yeah, and a backpack full of papers for work. My stomach crumples on itself as I realize that I didn't take my stuffed animal or my laptop or photos, or any other keepsakes. And I recall with a clammy dread, the fingers of the fire burning into the corner of the house near my bed, where all my things sat.

But I refocus on what is happening around me.

I can see the licks of flaming eating up other homes and I tell them that we've got to split. I launch myself off the side of the door, down what looks like high-rise emergency fire ladders, my hands hitting upon rows of slightly loose nails along the edges of the wood ladder. The scene is very video game-esque as I and the others slide down rows upon rows of ladders. My hand almost slips off at one point as I balance myself on the way down, but the adrenaline allows me to hold on and I don't feel the pain when I grab onto a rusty nail for support.

When we all hit the floor, we start running, fast. (Or at least I did.) Downhill, toward cement and away from all the chaparral. Meanwhile the entire area is being doused by water and fire retardant. It is already muddy and there are tons of debris flows from the previous storm as well as these new drops.

A man I recognize as a teacher's assistant from an English class my senior year goes running by covered in mud with a black backpack on. I ask him if we're going the right way, and he says no, and points around another corner that will lead to a paved parking lot and an area where Sheriff's deputies are escorting people to an evacuation area.

We take off in that direction. Running.

And I wake up in my West Hollywood bed, burning hot.

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