The One Who got Away
by Meghan Feldman
Burning heat, all around me. I feel the heavy coat and helmet weighing me down. As I plunge deeper into the infernal house, I seem to be trudging through the bowels of the earth. The smoke stings, and ashen tears gather on my eyelashes. The toxic fumes threaten to smother me; thank God for my gas mask. I struggle through the wreckage, and hear a shriek. It’s a thin cry, weak and terrified. Through the crackle of flames, the moans and groans of collapsing beams, and the angry hiss of the water hoses, I'm unable to pinpoint the voice. Then I hear it again, this time from my left. I spin around, searching for the origin of the sound. I charge towards it, crashing through debris in the process. I see a young boy, trapped under fallen timber. Tears stream down his cheeks, and his pale skin and hair is stained and smeared with ash. He looks at me with hope swimming in his eyes. I rush to his side, tear the timbers off of him, and scoop him up in my arms. His head lolls to the side, and I fear the worst. I see in his face that his time is quickly dwindling. Fearing that I won’t have time to get to the door, I crash through the weakened wall into the cooler outside, bits of the structure crumbling around me. I blink my eyes in the bright sun, and fresh tears roll down my face, clearing the ash from my eyes. I glance at the boy’s face, impassive as ever. A medic rushes over and seizes the boy from me. I sadly watch as he is hurried to the hospital. I tear my helmet off my head, and hope the boy will be okay, even though I know that he won’t.
I awake from the dream, shocked, as always, by the vivid images. The memory has haunted me for the past week. I swing my legs off the bed, but I don’t have the heart to go anywhere. I just sit, remembering the little blonde boy, and his little glassy blue eyes. I take comfort in knowing that the last thing he saw was me, that the last thing he saw was hope. I sit and let the tears fall for the eighth time this week. I sit here every morning, the pain never lessening, never relenting. Each day, it feels like a new wound is opened. I glance at the picture of him that I tacked over my bed. The little blonde boy, the one who got away; the one I didn’t save.
I am a freshman in high school, and have enjoyed creating all kinds of art from an early age. I enjoy participating in writing contests, and express myself best through her creative writing.
Pieces Inspired by this Image
'Manolo, He Loves Fires'
'Enveloped in Haze'