Lost and Found
Nate coughed as ash and smoke filled his lungs and eyes. He wanted to give up, but he couldn’t. He had to find his sister.
Everything he touched was steaming, and his whole body ached.
“Gaby,” he called once more, though the fire screamed louder.
Nate dodged an incoming piece of flaming ceiling. “Gaby, where are you!”
His feet burned with each step as he hopped through the hallway in which the party had left.
Then right in front of him was a wall of fire, perhaps some ten feet high, laughing and jeering at him.
Nate took a deep breath and ripped through the flaming wall.
Once out of the wall, he was quite relieved, until he saw what was lying on the ground.
His heart skipped a beat. There lay Gaby’s pale and ashen corpse, peacefully sprawled across the ground, tongues of fire licking her hand and feet.
Judging by the fact that Gaby had no severe burns, Nate reasoned that she had probably been smothered.
Nate picked up her feverish body and stumbled through the smoke and flames. His feet burned and he was feeling weaker by the minute. Would he too pass, like his sister had so cruelly died?
Nate felt his sneakers fizz and melt under the sweltering heat. The smoke now felt like a hot blanket with lead weights pushing on him. Nate tried to push it off, but realized in horror that he was unable to.
The sirens screamed warnings but the fire was overpowering, and the screams sounded like meer whispers.
Nate wanted to give up. The smoke filled his mouth and nose and his lungs felt parched dry and smokey. He couldn’t breathe.
Then, he tripped over a hot doorstop, and was sent flailing into the smoke. Falling with a thud, Nate tried to get up, but he couldn’t. He realized that he, too, needed to give up. Like Gaby, he couldn’t make it out alive. It would only take a few minutes, and then he would see himself with Jesus in heaven. Wouldn’t it all be like a blink of an eye?
Muffled shouts were heard and Nate felt strong arms around him. He felt like he was flying.
And then, darkness.
Beep, beep, beep.
What was that? Where am I, the thoughts flooded into Nate’s mind. Wait a second, was he actually thinking? I’m supposed to be dead. Wait, am I?
The horrible scenes poured over Nate as he tried to move. A sharp pain pierced his body. His arms and legs hurt. It even hurt to breathe. Everything hurt.
Nate heard a woman that just had to be Mrs. Grey gasp. “Look,” Mrs. Grey said. “He’s woken up! Nate, are you awake?”
Nate tried to respond, but he found that his throat was swollen, and he couldn’t speak. Instead, he lifted a finger.
“Yes,” she continued. “You’ve been sleeping for four days!”
Nate found himself groaning. Could he talk? He decided to give it a shot.
“Gaby… Die… She… Is… What?” Nate gasped.
Mr. and Mrs. Grey’s eyes moistened a little. “Gaby,” Mr. Grey cleared his throat. “She was, uh…”