I looked around in circles, but couldn't see any fire anywhere. It was then that my eyes fell on the door to the garage that was right next to the stump I'd so thoroughly doused with gasoline and then set ablaze.

I reached out a small, shaky hand to the doorknob. It was hot.

When I opened the door, my jaw dropped. Flames were crawling up the wall, licking the ceiling. My dad's workbench was turning black. And there, on the other side of the garage, were hundreds of costumes that we were storing for a local theatre company. Costumes that were primarily made of plastic.

I ran, once again, for the hose.

Obscenities I didn't know I knew flew from my eleven-year-old mouth as I sprayed the garage like a sprinkler gone berserk. I doused the costumes first, shoving my thumb deep into the metal opening of the hose for extra control. I put out the wall and extinguished the workbench like a pro. Even the can of gasoline, which I'd left out on the bench, was saved.

It was just as the last of the flames were extinguished that my mother opened the door to the garage from the house.