United States

Christian/writer (obviously)/musician/
mischievous/talkative/all lives matter

Message to Readers

My last one didn't save right. This was the one I originally meant to publish.

The Real-Life Nightmare

November 17, 2020

    The familiar feeling of helplessness returned as I ran through the burning house and up the stairs, searching for any signs that the little girl might still be in here.
            “Victoria!” I yelled as loudly as my burning lungs permitted.
            “Help!” An tiny, almost inaudible voice croaked back. I ran for the room that the voice had come from. Placing my hand on the door, I pushed it open. I ran into the room to see the petite young girl shaking with fear as the sharp tips of the flames shot up like knives in the corners of the room.
            “Hi Victoria.” I said as soothingly as possible. “My name is Erica, I'm going to help you get out of here.” I tried to calm her though I was probably more terrified than she was.
            “I-I can't.” She replied, a constant stream of tears streaming down her face. “I'm stuck.” Only then did I notice that her foot had been cruelly ensnared by the floor boards of her room that had caved from the heat.
            “Alright, let's get you out, ok.” I said in my calmest voice, though inside I was screaming in terror. She nodded and I reached my hand down to her tiny ankle to find where she was caught. Finding the snare I punched it as hard as I could, slowly feeling it loosen, then fall to the ground beneath.
            “There!” I exclaimed and pulled her out. “Now, let's get out of here!"
            The smoke hit us full force as we ran for the stairway, coughing as we went. I could feel Victoria's fingers tighten around my hand as I guided her.
     Looking down the stairs brought back vivid pictures of the past. I shook them out of my head, determined not to lose my focus.
            The stairs sagged from the burned supports that were holding them up. I was unsure of using them but then suddenly, Victoria broke free from my hold on her hand and dashed onto the stairs, panic written all over her face. A splintering sound was made as the stairs gave way under her feet. A reflex I didn't know I had launched my arms out and caught Victoria under the arms and pulled her back to the top.
            The stairs would never hold our weight.
            “Come on.” I coughed. Victoria and I ran to the nearest room, the master bedroom. I slammed the door on the pursuing flames. What do I do, what do I do?! All the training I'd had abandoned me and I was left to my own foggy mind to find a way to save us both.  
    Flames crept under the door, groping like long, evil fingers searching, and coming ever-closer.
I ran over to the window and pushed it open with all my might. I looked for any escape route through which we might find safety. Nothing.
            “Victoria, are there any trees or anything we could climb on near the house?” I asked frantically.
            “No.” She said, her big, pleading eyes wide with terror. In a way, that was a relief because I'm not entirely sure that I could climb down a trellis while holding the girl.
            “Ok, ok, let me think for a moment.” My brain whirled. There aren't enough bedspreads in this room to make a rope. We can't climb down. We can't use the stairs. The situation seemed hopeless. We can't get out! But I can't let this girl down. I took a deep breath and tried to erase everything I had just thought, trying a more optimistic perspective.
            I decided that I had to try something so I heaved the mattress off the bed and shoved it through the large, bay window, watching the king sized mattress fall to the grassy backyard before.
            “Alright Victoria, we're going to have to jump onto that mattress.” I told the young girl. Victoria came and looked down at the mattress fifty feet below. She backed away and shook her head, looking more terrified then before. I didn't fight with her about it because the brave girl I though I was had disappeared and I realized I wasn't to thrilled about the idea of jumping out the window either. I kept thinking.
            A high-pitched scream rang out. I spun around to see a jagged hole in the floor, smoke streaming through like a chimney. I dashed over and looked into the gaping mouth in the floor. Below lay the seven year old girl, unconscious, surrounded by flames.
            “Victoria!” I yelled. Oh boy, how am I supposed to get to her now? I stared at the dancing flames on the floor below me. That's a long fall. I tried to get a hold of myself and jump down, but my legs seemed frozen to the floor. My choice was made for me however, as the floor beneath me gave way and I tumbled through to the ground.
    Landing painfully next to the unconscious girl, I brushed the soft blond hair out of her face and hoisted her into my shaky arms and limped to the where I hoped was a door.
    I remembered this feeling, running for a door, hoping, hoping to wake up from a nightmare. But that was no nightmare and neither was this.
            I felt like every part of my body was filled with smoke. I couldn't breath and could hardly see. The heat consumed me and my brain seemed clogged.
            I'm going to pass out! I can't make it! I'm going to let...Victoria...down... The room blurred. I took a deep breath and surged ahead, miraculously coming to a window. I set the limp girl down then pushed the window open with what felt like all my muscles. Six feet in front of me lay the mattress I'd chucked out the window. I lifted Victoria and carefully tossed her out the window onto the cushy mattress.
            The room faded, the flames becoming only blurred flashes of light. Darkness engulfed me and I blacked out.
This is an excerpt from partway through my novel. I love intense moments! Hope y'all do too!

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

1 Comment
  • cloudi

    This is so good! I love the ending... and the descriptive words you used were excellent!

    6 months ago