Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)
- TITLE: The Fire Chief
By Kristi Wood
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“You remind me of Smith Tower. You sound just like he did before we knew what was wrong with him.” She had been telling me all about the last building she had lived in and now she thinks I’m like him. Unbelievable! It was my best friend who piloted the plane aimed at my heart! I guess she was the only one who could get close enough…who could recognize me for what I really was. She saw the ‘us’ I had become.
At first I thought I would recover from the impact, but as the fire raged I felt my internal resolve start to weaken. Then, as if in slow motion, one floor pan-caked on top of another and vanished. An unstoppable chain reaction had begun, and now it was all but over.
“OK, this floor’s clear. Let’s move down to the next one and get everybody out of here!” The Fire Chief led the methodical search through every floor and succeeded at His rescue operations on each one before it could collapse.
No, this wasn’t 9-11 but it sure felt like it to me. In my case it took much longer than a few seconds to go down, and the Fire Chief seemed to have the power to prevent any loss of life. I saw the way He cared for everyone rescued, and felt reassured they would find a new way to survive without my superstructure. That didn’t make it any less painful to fall down though.
As the evacuation team worked their way down they found more and more resistance from the residents. I had been built one floor at a time, and the ones near the foundation were the oldest and strongest. Eventually the Fire Chief stood with the building superintendent in the lobby talking to one very angry person. The super had been called in to assist with the evacuation near the end since he knew the more stubborn residents so well.
“My anger can hold this building up! If I leave, she’ll collapse…she can’t survive without me!” To try to prove her point she directed a few verbal jabs at the superintendent. He was used to her antics though and just stood there refusing to be drawn into a fight. Exhausted and defeated she finally agreed to the evacuation.
Finally finished with months of tireless work, the Fire Chief called for a short break so everyone could rest. Phase two would involve clearing away the rubble. That would also be hot and tiring work, but it was necessary. My foundation had to be exposed and swept clean to make room for the ‘me’ the Master Architect had originally designed.
The story I just related actually happened many years ago. Today there is a park with a beautiful garden where the skyscraper once stood. The man who wouldn’t fight me also stood by me through everything. He’s now my gardener. I am much happier and more peaceful now than I could have ever imagined back when I was full of activity and sleepless workers. Life is good, and I owe it all to my friend the pilot, my superintendent-turned-gardener, and the Fire Chief.
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