A Farewell To Alarms

That summer I lived in a house that looked out over the road that my parents' house was also on. In fact, it was the same house because it was my parents' house that I lived in because my parents owned the house that I lived in and they lived there too and it was their house and we all lived there together and the house they lived in overlooked the same road and it was a lovely road in the summertime and the fuzzy white sniffly puffs from the cottonwood trees lined the road that my parents' house overlooked and made it look like a road lined with snow except that it was the summertime and there isn't any snow in Oklahoma in the summertime. Our house was red.

The day my alarm clock rang and rang and rang until I dreamed that it was a holiday and got up in my sleep and turned it off was not the day the yard was on fire. That was when school was in session which would have made it the spring or the autumn or the winter or the winter before the spring the following year, because the bus was coming down the road and we saw the fire just before we got on the bus even though Mom had been yelling at us at the top of her lungs for hours while the fire raged and consumed the yard and nearly the neighbor's yard and fence and pasture and cows and horses and sheep. We did not have sheep. We did not have cows or horses either.

I was late for work that day - not the day of the fire because that was not in the summertime - but nobody seemed to take notice because I was not a salesman. I somehow awoke, probably because Mom jostled me out of bed, knowing that my alarm clock had not gone off properly enough to wake me. She probably thought about how difficult it is to get my attention like the day of the fire although my little brother was with me at the bus stop and he did not hear her yelling at the top of her lungs either. It is odd how we waited there for the bus for a long time not knowing the yard was being consumed by fire and then just as the bus arrived we turned around and ran back to the red house that my parents owned and went in the front door and out again at the back door and started beating out the fire with wet blue jeans Mom gave us. We were always a close family.


While reading A Farewell To Arms, I was inspired to attempt a story in the remarkable style of Ernest Hemingway. This one combines two actual events into one compact package, almost entirely devoid of commas.

© 2015 Dane Tate