A House of Flames: Inspired by The Leap

April 27, 2011
I remember, so clearly the day the house caught on fire. It was the day before my seventh birthday and I was playing with my dolls in the sewing room. I could smell a whiff of smoke but figured my Aunt, who was watching me was just cooking lunch. I remember waiting for a long time, waiting for my Aunt to shriek, and yell up the stairs that she was burning the food. She was not a good cook after all, and everytime she came over to watch me I ended up either eating one of her charred delicacies, or a peanut butter sandwitch.

Downstairs my Aunt, a clumsy sleep walker, was napping in a chair in the living room. It was when I heard a crash that I knew something was wrong. I ran to my bedroom door but when I opened it I was too late. I could see flames making their way up the stairs, the living room looked like the inside of an oven. I heard my Aunt yell my name and tell me to stay calm. She then proceeded to use the phone and run outside. It was then that it hit me, I was all alone in a house full of fire.

As I laid on my bed I could hear the sounds of the firetrucks making their way down the street. The smell of smoke was becoming too much to bear. I opened my window for fresh air and I saw both my Mother and Father waving frantically for my attention. In one edge of the lawn there was six firefighters, each tugging on a big hose and pulling a ladder toward the house. I had pictured this all before, in one of my favorite books. A book I had read at the library about a brother and sister who were trapped at home while the house was on fire. They were all alone and as they called 911 they could see their parents coming to rescue them. They had both been rescued by firefighters that put out a giant net. And there it was the giant net right on my lawn. Eager to be rescued I jumped out of my window, anxious for the embrace of both of my parents.

I now know my Mother was right, during my fall I had plenty of time to think. Plenty of time to realize I was about to miss the net completely. The impact of my fall would surely kill me and as I watched the crowd of neighbors and firefighters I knew my time had come. I could see myself moving closer and closer to the bright light that stood before me. Was it heaven, I wondered. Was death really this peaceful? I closed my eyes and allowed myself to be blinded by the light. But as I opened my eyes I could feel my Mother's warm touch. I could see everyone around me clapping with joy at my rescue.

It had been my Mother who had saved my life. With elegant strides she had calmly leaped and caught me in mid-air. My heart beating wildly, palms sweaty, I was safe.

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