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Blazes of Orange

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Blazes of orange stood out against the black night sky. The smell of smoke filled the air, attacking the eyes of those near it. A line of firefighters stood outside the house, shaking their heads in dismay. 'There is no way we can save this house. The best we can do is to try and control this fire' Captain McAgger dismissively shrugged his shoulders and turned to go back to the truck. 'At least we got everyone out.'
Rusty turned to leave with his fellow workers, disappointed in that night's work, but eager to get home to his wife and children. A sudden movement caught his eye, and he turned back for another glance at the apartment building. He barely caught a pale frantic face in the fourth story window, banging desperately against the transparent prison wall, trying to get anyone's attention. Rusty glanced quickly back at the other firefighters, already packed into the truck and ready to leave. He turned back to the building and looked once more at the frightened girl in the window, perhaps breathing her last few breaths. If anyone could save her, it would have to be now; the only one who could get to her in time would be him.
He hesitated for a moment, thinking of his beautiful wife and their three spunky children. They needed him more than ever at this time as they had just lost their last baby. His wife was forever haunted by the vision of seeing little Sarah turning blue, unable to make a sound, passed out on the floor. Having reached the curious age of two, she had been crawling around and exploring downstairs while Maggie, his wife, was doing some laundry in the other room. Sarah had evidently popped an attractive red marble in her mouth in the hopes of discovering a new treat. By the time Maggie noticed that Sarah had been too quiet for too long, it was too late. Sarah lay sprawled across their living room floor with the cold marble lodged in her throat. Rusty had come home immediately, tears streaming down his own face, to comfort his distraught family. No, he could not leave them now.
But yet he had taken an oath, swearing upon his honor to save any life that he possibly could; how could he go back on his word? And if he decided to turn away, to pretend he had not seen this girl gazing desperately at him, how could he live with that? To know he had intentionally sent someone to a premature death would be terrible. He would not only be sending her to die, but he would be sentencing her parents and family members to experience his same aching pain of having lost a loved one.
All of this raced through his mind in a few precious second, and he knew he had to make his decision immediately. With a quick prayer for safety, Rusty bent forward with determination and burst through the scorched door. His vision blurred with the smoke; the sulfur taste of burnt dreams and hopes would forever leave a bitter taste on his tongue. Too late he realized that he had left his oxygen outside. Desperately holding his breath, he knew that time was critical. He could not hold his breath forever, and he did not know how long he had before the ravenous flames consumed the girl upstairs. No more time to waste, he looked hysterically for the stair well. Rushing up flight after flight of unending stairs, he wondered what he would find when he found the girls room. He pushed all thoughts out of his head ,his only motivation was 'Save the girl, save the girl, save the girl''
At last he found the room, and a wave of panic swept over him; it was empty. Was all of this for nothing? Had he risked his life for nothing? But wait, there, in the corner he caught a flash of unseemly cheerful cloth. Breathing only when necessary, he sprinted across the room to find the girl on the floor in the fetal position. 'Not again!' his mind screamed. 'You cannot let this happen again!'
Rusty crouched down and lifted the young girl; her sunny yellow jumper matched the color of her long blond hair, and together they draped over Rusty's sooty arms. Rusty could feel his strength giving away, but he couldn't give up yet, not when he had come so close. He clutched the fragile angel closer to his chest and vowed that he would give everything it took to save this ray of sunshine. 'God!' he cried, 'Save her life! What has she done to deserve this? She's so innocent, so perfect! Lord, take my life if necessary, but don't let her go!' Fresh tears of sorrow and hopelessness sprung anew from his piercing blue eyes. Darkness began to cloud his vision; his breath was becoming labored and slow. 'Just one more flight!...one more flight' got to make it''
Outside the captain was pacing. After realizing that Rusty had not entered the truck to leave, his friends had quickly assumed the worst. Worry was etched on their helpless faces. Sending other firefighters in after him would be a futile risk since none of them knew where he was. They stared hopefully at the broken door, yet saw nothing but billows of black smoke. Then, suddenly, there was a flash of bright cloth, and the outline of Rusty and a little girl appeared in the doorway.
Thankfully Rusty saw his friends anxiously waiting for him. He thrust the little girl into the nearest person's arms, and the last thing he registered before the blackness closed in was, 'She's safe, she's safe.'





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jojo360 said...
Mar. 19, 2009 at 3:07 am
Hey everyone, please feel free to comment on this.
I'd like tips on how to improve my writing in any way, so whether its good or bad, I'd appreciate it! Thanks!
 
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