The burning building

December 5, 2011
By Anonymous

In the morning I thought of what had happened the day before. They had said I was different. Weird. I thought of my life and how it had been so far. I wanted to move away. Far away from anyone I knew. I could do it. I could save enough money over time. But to get money I needed a job and I knew that Sir would never allow it. But I decided to try anyway.
"Excuse me sir?" I asked.
"Yes, boy?"
"I was wondering if I could, well, get a job."
"A job? What on earth do you need a job for?"
"I just… would like some money."
"Hmph. Well, I’ll think about it."
After a few minutes of hopeful waiting, he came to my room and handed me a paper.
"Okay, I've decided that you should get a job at the big white building at the corner. It’s not an easy job, but I am certain that you will be good at it. I know the man in charge; he will let you in if you give him this paper."
I quickly rushed to the building he had told me to go to. When I got there, I saw a huge man with a big moustache reading some papers behind a giant desk.
"Whaddaya want?” he asked loudly when he saw me.
"I-I was thinking of getting a job here."
He laughed loudly.
"You!? You can’t be more than twelve!"
"I'm thirteen."
"Whatever. What makes you think you can get a job here of all places?"
I handed him the paper. He unfolded it, still chuckling. He started reading it, then his eyes widened in surprise. It made me wonder what was on the paper, but it had never occurred to me to read it. He folded it slowly and said "Very well. Go through the hallway and take the first door to the right. You will find a room with a door. Don’t go through the door, sit down and wait for me there."
I thanked him and followed his instructions. The room I came to was all white, like the rest of the building except for a wooden bench and a yellow door. I waited. And waited. I waited for over an hour. Finally I stood up to go ask the man when he was planning to come and talk to me, and a speaker in the corner crackled to life. "There is a burning building through the yellow exit door! Come quickly! Anybody! There is someone in it!"
I looked around. There was nobody coming. "Quickly anybody!" the voice pleaded. I looked around. There was still nobody there. I bolted through the yellow door. There was a tall building in flames. "They're on the third floor!" I heard the voice shout behind me before I ran through the doors of the building.
The first floor was empty. The walls were red and there wasn't very much fire anywhere. As I ran up the stairs, one of the steps broke under me and I almost fell into the flames, but I managed to grab on to the rail and was able to make it up the stairs, coughing heavily from the increasing smoke. The second floor had more fire and a big gap in the middle of the room. I took a few steps back and hesitated. The gap in the floor was huge, what if I fell? But then I decided that it was worth it, ran, and jumped over the gap easily. I made it up the stairs without a problem. The third floor was identical to the first, except that there was an unconscious body on the floor. I picked up the body, which was luckily surprisingly light, and raced back down the stairs. I jumped over the gap on the second floor and over the broken step on the stairs to the first. As I was about to run out the door, a large wall of debris fell from the ceiling and blocked my path. There was no way around it. I looked around to see if there were any other exits, but there wasn’t. The smoke and heat were getting worse by the second and I realized that I had no other choice but to climb it. I put the body on my shoulder and started climbing up the pile. Parts of it were still burning and after a few steps my shirt caught fire. I panicked and pat it until it went out, falling off the pile in the process. I climbed back up, more carefully this time. Step by step I got to the top without getting hurt, jumped off and raced out the door.
I set the body down, and lay down on the floor, exhausted, and looked down at my burnt clothes. Amazingly I hadn’t been hurt at all. After a few minutes of resting I sat up and turned the body around to see who it was that I rescued. It didn't have a face. It was a mannequin. Shocked, I turned around and looked at the building. The fire had gone out like a light bulb, as well as all the heat and smoke. The door behind me opened and the man I had seen earlier walked out. "He shook my hand with a huge grin, and said "Good job kid, you passed your first test."

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This article has 3 comments.

eric said...
on Mar. 6 2012 at 10:08 am

well done alex. quite the cliff-hanger. you gotta do a sequel. I'm dying to know what kind of a job the test was qualifying him for..

great details in the story. and the dialog is very realistic.

sophie said...
on Mar. 6 2012 at 9:37 am

JWWE Texas said...
on Mar. 3 2012 at 9:40 pm
I enjoyed this piece.  I like suspense & this kept me reading.  It reminded me of suspenseful dreams/nighmares I've had when my subconscious was trying to work out things my conscious mind was unable to deal with.  I enjoyed it.  Good piece!


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