Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)
TITLE: But One Escape
By J. C. Lamont
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Smoke spewed into the room from under the crack in the door. The walls blistered as the paint bubbled and streaked. She could hear the fire outside the door, overhead, behind the walls --cracking, hissing, popping.
Angie assumed it was an electrical fire; the old office building had always been the bunt of corporate jokes. Her mouth and throat were parched with gritty ash as she frantically gathered her files, backup drives, and notes that comprised her life’s work.
The sweltering room swam in and out of focus as she tore threw filing cabinets, struggling to cram everything she could into her briefcase. The windows behind her shattered, spraying slivers of glass across the room. Plumes of smoke stifled her screams as charred chunks of debris pummeled the floor.
She was going to die. Panic set in. Her heart hammered in her chest. Angie gagged for breath, choking on the ashy air. She could taste the noxious odor of melting plastic, scorched dry wall, and burning rubber.
Suddenly the office door splintered as an axe hacked through the wood and a fire fighter burst through the fractured remains of the door.
“The building is crashing down all around us!” he shouted over the tumult, extending his hand towards her. “Follow me.”
“Wait,” Angie cried. “I’m not ready yet.”
“There is no time!” he said. “The route, which I have forged, is the only way out.”
Angie rummaged through her desk drawers, her fingers searching for her portable hard drive. “Don’t you think that’s rather intolerant of you,” she said, “to claim there is only one way?”
“There is but one escape.”
Angie could barely see him now through the haze of smoke and flames. She tried to carry her over stuffed briefcase but the snaps burst open from the weight, spilling papers and documents all over the floor.
“Leave it behind,” the fire fighter said. “We must leave now!”
His voice was fainter as though the smoke had conjured a thick wall between them. For a moment, she hesitated and groped for his out stretched hand, but then scrambled to gather the fallen contents of her briefcase. “I don’t need you,” Angie said. “I will find my own way of escape.”
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
No one comes unto the Father but by Me.” - Jesus (John 14:6)
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