Real Life Horror as a City Burns
Yes, I am a survivor of the 11/8/2018 Paradise fire. I got out of town with my laptop and all of my books in electronic form. And... not much else.
Winds gusting from 30 to 60 mph downed power lines and the resulting sparks started a fire. The raging winds spread the fire rapidly and nothing in its path was spared. Even the entire city of Paradise, California.
I awoke to the booming sound of wind, the faint smell of smoke, and a darkened sky. I checked news reports and they mentioned a fire in a neighboring community, a village, really. But soon those reports included another community and even portions of my town that bordered the canyon. They told us to be prepared to evacuate. Minutes later came to call to leave immediately.
So I packed my most valuable asset: my stories.
Traffic was jammed and moved slow. Soon I picked up a guy on foot with his cat wrapped in his coat. His car had caught fire and the cops told him to abandon it. The three of us ended up driving down the wrong side of the road as all lanes were used to evacuate. Fires popped up on either side of the road and at one point the heat threatened to ignite the gas tank. Some vehicles were not so lucky and we saw them burning to the side. It took us two hours to get through town--normally a ten minute drive.
The entire city is gone. My house is gone. But I saved my works and I hope to continue giving you tales of horror and whimsy for years to come.