The Fire in Her Eyes

May 11, 2010
By , Manalapan, NJ
It was dark. The entire city was shrouded in pitch blackness. It was a sight almost no one ever saw: New York City with the lights out. The power had been out for about an hour, and Piper was reading in her apartment by candlelight. Her apartment was on the sixth floor and provided a great view of the city. She took advantage of it and kept the curtains pulled back.
There was a knock at her door; tt was Ryan. They had been best friends for many years. Ryan and Piper had moved into the same apartment, her directly above him. He was returning a book he had borrowed: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. He had to go quickly, but Piper didn’t mind.
She reluctantly went back to reading. While she was immersed in her book, disaster struck. A rat crawled into the apartment and Piper was scared to death of rats. She jumped out of the chair, knocking over a candle and sending it flying into the pulled-back curtains. The curtains willingly accepted the fire and were soon set ablaze. Shadows danced over Piper’s shocked face. She quickly retreated backwards. Forgetting where she was, she walked into another row of candles on her dresser.
The fire spread. Faster. Faster. Faster. It was a humongous, horrifying, heat wave crossing the room. Piper’s eyes and throat were burning. Her lungs felt as if someone was pouring boiling water in them, and she breathed just about as well. Adrenaline pumped through her veins and fueled her movement. Running to the window leading to the fire escape, she struggled with the latch. After what seemed like hours, she got the window opened. Her tearing eyes couldn’t see in the darkness of outside, and she stumbled forward. She fell over the railing.
Piper didn’t know she was falling until she was holding on to the balcony of the fire escape on the floor below her. She clung to the metal bars of the fire escape, five floors above the alley, and wondered, “How did I get up here?”
Suddenly, there was a figure about to climb out the window: Ryan.
“Ryan!!!” she cried, her lungs screaming in protest.
“Piper?” he replied, shocked that his friend was hanging there. The building, having being ablaze for many minutes, was becoming increasing unstable. CRASH! All at once, a large portion of the ceiling fell directly onto Ryan. He crumpled like a paper doll and groaned. Piper shrieked. She had to save him.
The blazing fire reflected in her eyes, turning them a bright crimson. “I hope I can still do this…” she mumbled to herself as she tried to haul herself over the railing to where Ryan was laying. She had been a gymnast for a while, but was out of practice. Pulling her legs up onto the platform and stood up. She threw one leg over the railing and then the other. Before she had a chance to breathe, she rushed to Ryan. He was out cold; his blonde hair mattered with dirt and blood. Blood! Piper realized he was hit worse than she thought. If he had a concussion, she had to keep him awake.
Ryan was not a small man. At six feet tall, he wasn’t skinny either. Piper, being 5’8”, was having an extremely hard time moving him out of the building. After trying, and failing to get the rubble off of him, she knew she had to wake him up. Shaking his shoulders, his eyelids eventually fluttered open. He coughed for a moment. Not surprising considering the amount of smoke in the air. Piper knew she had to get them out or they would both suffocate. She motioned to the rubble around him, unable to speak with all the smoke pervading the air. Together, they were able to move enough for him to stand. He almost fell down again, he couldn’t balance. Blood trickled down the back of his neck; she had to get him out of there. Piper pushed him out the window of the fire escape. She pushed him forward as he stumbled down the stairs. It took a while, but they were at the bottom of the fire escape. She knew he couldn’t get down the ladder without falling off, so she formulated a plan. She could feel the cogs in her brains kicking into to high gear and the nerves firing at light speed. She knew what she had to do.
Piper climbed a little bit down the ladder, and then swung around to the back of it. She told Ryan to come down the ladder. She climbed down the other side, keeping him from falling.
WEEWOO! WEEWOO! WEEWOO! An ambulance was coming.
“Look up there!” a man called from below. He was a paramedic.
The friends got to the bottom and Ryan was carries away on a stretcher. Piper insisted stubbornly to come with him, seeing as she had to be checked out for smoke damage.
That night, Ryan went into a coma. The smoke and lack of oxygen could’ve damaged his brain, but they couldn’t be sure, seeing as how he wouldn’t wake up.
Piper sat by his bedside for two days, leaving only when she was forced to by the nurses or by hunger. She didn’t want to leave him.
About noon of the second day, a pair of blue eyes slowly opened and a groan escaped a bone dry mouth. Ryan made a full recovery. His lungs were only slightly damaged, but with a two week recovery, he was good as new.
Piper learned never, ever, EVER, to play with fire.

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