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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)

TITLE: 22 Floors
By sharron pete


I remember like it was yesterday,
Though it was many years ago
It was a cold, damp night with a chance for snow.
I just finished eating and George had too
As we settled in to watch the evening news
In my mind I knew that something was wrong
As George sat their humming his favorite song
I had this keen sense and it never seemed to fail
Quickly glancing the room I thought, ‘What’s that I smell?’
George oblivious to everything, didn’t have a clue
Regretfully I hesitated, not the right thing to do
A few seconds passed by and I could wait no more
I jumped to my feet and started to the door.
‘My God, George’ I cried. ‘I see smoke’
As I peered down the hallway, I began to choke
‘We’ve got to get out!’
I shouted as loud as I could.
Poor George, hard of hearing, not a word he understood.
I grabbed him by the hand, and headed for the door
We ducked to our knees and crawled on the floor.
As we crept along the floor I said a little prayer
‘God please spare our lives; keep us in your care
Please don‘t leave us now in our moment of despair’
The smoke was so thick I could barely see
And my eyes were beginning to play tricks on me
‘This is it, it’s the end’ I thought to myself
‘’We’re on the 22nd floor and there’s no sign of help’
George and I got separated; I called out for his name
But with his bad hearing he heard nothing just the same
I rested for a minute, praying George was alright
Asking God to protect him on this horrible night
My mind began to reflect on what life had been like
The tears, the laughter, the fun, the fights
We had many good years, but some bad ones too
Like the day we buried Bobby in his first pair of ‘big boy’ shoes

I cried so hard that night; George didn’t know what to do
Or the day we found out, George’s was going deaf
He played the strong, tough guy but underneath he was a wreck
I could see flames now, the fire was near
There was no way out, none that I could see clear
Just in that moment when I had given in
I felt a tug from beneath and small gush of wind
I was lifted up from off the ground
He made no noise, not a sound
My time… had not yet come.
‘Oh thank God, you are here’
Joy formed in my heart to replace the fear
In a matter of minutes we reached the bottom floor
Headed down two steps and were out the front door.
Then with just as much haste as the man had come
He placed me on the ground, his job now done.
Safely, I sat there no one else in sight
As sounds of fire trucks filled the night
It seemed like an hours, but only a few minutes had passed
When a fireman saw me sitting, staring, at last
‘Ma’am’ he said ‘Are you alright?’
I hesistated,but managed, ‘What an awful night!’
‘This fire, it’s destroyed everything I own’
‘My husband, my life, and even my home’
‘How did you get here’ he asked with care
‘This fire’s taken the whole building there’s nothing there!’
His words, they struck me like a knife deep
I stood, shaking, barely supported by my feet
What I saw, when I looked was a horrible sight
Fire lit the sky and piercing darkness with light.
I’m the lone survivor of 26 floors
No man, no woman, no boys, or girls
My George, gone, as were our hopes and dreams
Nothing left now but memories it seems
Of that peculiar night and that strange man
Who came out of nowhere and guided my hand
This mystery man no one could explain
He arrived before the others, they didn’t know his name
I described as best as I could
But they all shook their heads, no one understood
How a middle aged woman with one bad hip
Could escape a fire with but one cut on her lip
I knew that day, though they did not
That God rescued me from the fire and hot
He sent someone, an angel I suppose
Cleverly dressed in fireman’s clothes

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Member Comments
Member Date
c clemons10/12/06
A very nice story, and if it's true nicer still. I don't think I would have tried to put it in free verse though. I think it would have had more punch in just the telling of what happen that night.
Everest Alexander 10/12/06
I believe you have the potential to be a good, maybe even a great writer! Your work does need some editing and a little polishing here and there. But a good piece none the less! Keep on writing!
Jan Ackerson 10/12/06
What a wonderful story! I would love to have read this in narrative form; it would lend itself so well to that format. As it is, a very long (almost epic) poem, it's difficult to maintain a consistent rhyme and meter scheme. Very charming...a good read.
Marilyn Schnepp 10/13/06
A suggestion, for what it's worth; break up this epic into smaller verses...thus making it an easier read for your audience of readers...or, as others suggest, make it into a narrative. Keep up the good work.
Donna Powers 10/15/06
A very nice story and it touched my heart.