Red blinded me and covered my sight; it came from every direction, every angle, and every degree. The heat grew, grew to impossible intensity. It surrounded me. Caged me in a fiery pit of hell, gagged me and held me back. My heart thumped louder, faster than I could ever imagine possible. It raced, wanting to escape, to be free.

Although the deafening sound of my accelerated heart rang in my ears and of the place I called home of for sixteen years creaked and moaned as it fell around me in clouds of dust and debry, there was still a shriek piercing wail that was audible. It cut right through me, and was like taking a rusted, ragged knife, slicing my chest open, puncturing my delicate heart.

 I struggled to escape from the barriers the cage forced upon me, trying to break free of it, to find a way around the raging walls of red -which grew taller, wider, as I approached them- , and to follow the direction of where the wail had come from. The thick, heavy fog burned within my body, choking me.

I bent down, hands on knees gasping for the oxygen I so desperately needed. My coughs scraped up through the inner walls of my throat and brought the taste of blood to my mouth. My knees wobbled, my body wanting to collapse.

 ‘I could do this, I can do this. No! I will do this!’,  was all I thought, repeated thoroughly, continuosly, constantly.

There was no other option. I was going to save her, or die in the process. This decision had always been a part of me it made the very essence of who I was.

Imagining her ceasing to exist was torture. I couldn’t even bring myself to even think in such a thing, it caused too much pain.

I heaved my head spinning, searching in every direction. Searching for her. Mum... Red. Orange.  Red everywhere. No escape.

A gap in the wall of red surrounding everywhere, everything. I searched the very fibres of my soul, finding exactly what was needed...courage. I ducked down to the floor and sucked in a deep breath of the clean air, I closed my eyes and forced myself to feel no anxiety,  no dizzying stomach churning uncertainty, no fear. I grabbed a piece of clothing up from the floor beside my feet and shoved it in front of my nose and mouth-hoping to smother the toxic grey mist that was now reaching the contours of the floor from which I still stood crouched.  I sprung up-the smoke burned my eyes- stepped back until I had the edge of the window sill pressed up against the small of my back and hurled myself through the doorway-the door hung wide open. Flames licked the skin of my bare ankles, and singed holes in my hair and clothes.

I was out in the landing, danger zone. No exits of gaps in red.

An uneasy creak, directly above from where I stood half crouched. I stumbled, disorientated when huge slabs of black- belonging to the attic-crashed down beside me.

I swirled around, finding the room in which I was in previously, swiftly being filled with the torturous substance. No way of going back now.

Flames were swiftly approaching me-there was no safe place for me, death was waiting for me, waiting, staring-I was surrounded. Glancing up at the main point of fire, where it was strongest and thrived, a jolt of fresh horror rocked me and sent my body down hard on the floor-I was useless and limp, but still held on to the numbing hope and determination.

 I kept an endless stream of shrieking pleas and instructions flowing towards my mother’s direction as she howled in agony. She was buried within the toxic clouds of smoke and flames, I couldn’t see her but I could however hear the gut wrenching noises she mad. She was being tortured, burned alive. Tears trickled and spilled over the corners of my button,  brown eyes- and blurred the redness which filled my vision.

“Mum!”

“ Mum, don’t leave me! Don’t go! Climb out the window! Do something, anything!” the voice scraped through my throat and sent vibrations in the choking red fog surrounding me.

The only responses were that of my mother’s choked off, gargling screams of agony. In the next moment, I saw her. Cowering, defenseless, terrified mummy, curled in a ball in the far corner of her bedroom cradling herself. The fire was closer to her than I’d thought. It closed in, inch by inch until it was actually on her, dragging her down to hell and consuming her.

The glow provided her face to be seen. Her thin, crimson red lips formed a circular shape of horror. Her once gleaming, emerald green eyes were clouded and staring, locked on something-I didn’t know what... The magnitude of agony which lay there in the depths of her eyes was beyond my knowledge.

 “I love you!” I screeched, voice seethed in determination-worthless determination, and hope.

I wasn’t letting go. I couldn’t I wouldn’t.  

 In the very next second after I said those three words, she let out a moan, her eyes rolled back in to her skull, her head tilted back and her body went lifeless.

The flames buried her.  

 

 

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