I was returning with someone to an enormous brick manor house, which we saw was on fire. The fire, with flames leaping out of windows and into the sky, was somehow put out quite easily, and I walked around the house to survey the damage.
There was no damage.
There were no scorch or water marks, no burnt timbers, no structural damage of any kind. Even more interesting, the rooms, including mine, were bare. I loved this place and became afraid for it.
We would leave and return, each time to find the house on fire. It was always empty, and there was never any damage. The fire was always extinguished mysteriously and quickly.
Something must be causing these fires, I reasoned, perhaps an electrical problem. Some people volunteered to stay at the house to keep watch over it. Although they lived in it, too, I became suspicious of them.
I got into the car, cramming myself into the corner to make room for the many others I thought were coming. “We’re going to pick up your cousin, J.,” the driver, a registered nurse I work with, said. “That’s it.” I heard and understood her but did not believe her. I did not want to leave, and looked back fearfully at my beloved, empty house.