Jared stood in tip-toe stance, on the precipice of the stacked wood as if he were on a balance beam. His eyes darted around the tiny space, stopping briefly to meet Kelsey’s eyes, a glint of daring excitement dancing in them.
The wood clattered as it tumbled down and rolled across the floorboards of the tree house. Jared’s battle cry reverberated around the walls, and Kelsey laughed. “My turn, my turn.”
Two little hands stacked the long wooden prisms back into a fortress, the ultimate block castle, and Kelsey took her turn jumping over the streams of lava that separated brother and sister. They each took their turn over and over again until the falling of wood roused Cameron.
“How many times are you two gonna play that game?” The older boy rubbed the sleep out of his eyes.
“Till we make it safe over the lava,” Jared replied matter-of-factly.
“You don’t need to imagine a natural disaster,” Cameron said. “We’ve got enough around here lately.”
And just like that, the floorboards became just that: floorboards. No more lava seeping into their sanctuary.
Kelsey and Jared exchanged looks before all three siblings turned their gaze to the raging fire devouring the world beneath them, outside the window of the tree house.