By D.T Chun
“It was dark out. My dad had just left for whatever job he was on at the moment. My little sister, Wendy, and I stayed home and played. I say home, but it was just a hole in the ground. A rundown building dad had paid for with everything we had. I think I was around ten, and my sister was eight. Anyway, it got late. Dad hadn’t come home yet, which wasn’t too out of the ordinary. His boss was an ******* who worked them to the bone. It was close to midnight, and someone knocked on our door.”
“Hey! You *******! I know you’re in there!” A loud voice said from behind the door. “Open up!”
Franklin and Wendy hed under the floorboards. It didn’t take long before the door was knocked off its hinges. Wendy cowered in her brother’s arms. “It’ll be alright, Wen. They’ll go away, and Dad will come back,” Franklin whispered.
“Y-You promise?” Wendy asked.
“Yeah, I promise. Keep quiet, okay?” Franklin looked up and saw the men enter their home.
“Huh, guess the sorry ******* isn’t home,” Another man said. Franklin could smell the alcohol coming off of them. “So, what now? Do we wait?”
“In this ********? Not a chance. I came to teach that sorry ******* a lesson, and I will,” The man said, taking a swig of his drink and throwing the rest on the floor, right above Franklin. The alcohol trickled down onto his face. “Since he can’t be bothered to come home, then he doesn’t deserve one. Let’s get out of here before we get contact, poor.” The men laughed as they left.
“A-Are they gone?” Wendy asked, looking up at Franklin.
“I think so?” Franklin said, smiling. “You did so well.” Suddenly, he smelled something. “What’s that smell?”
“Huh? I…what’s that? Wendy asked before coughing.
Franklin put her down and lifted up the hatch. A raging inferno had engulfed everything they owned. Bottles of alcohol crashed through the windows making the fire bigger. A bottle smashed into the hatch causing Franklin to let go and crash back down onto the floor. “Ow!” Franklin said, rubbing his hand. “Okay, Wen, I need you to be brave okay? I’m gonna open the hatch again. I want you to run as fast as you can. Don’t stop running no matter what.”
Tears filled her eyes. Wendy was small, but she understood. “But what about you?” Wendy asked.
“I’ll be right behind you. Just keep going. Show me how fast you are,” Franklin smiled even though tears ran down his face. “I’ll count to three. Then you run out the front door.”
Wendy closed her eyes then nodded. “Okay, you better behind me.”
“You got it.” Franklin put his hand over the hatch handle. He could feel the heat coming off of it. This was going to suck. “One…two…three! Go!” He grabbed the handle and pulled it. Wendy rushed past him and out the front door. Not stopping for anything. “I knew you could do it,” Franklin thought. He pried his hand off the handle and wrapped it in a rag. He wasn’t ready to see it. He knew his hand was ruined. Coving his nose, he tried to climb up, but the smoke started to get to him. “No! Not now! I said I was going to be right behind her. So move!” His body wasn’t listening. The way towards the door started to become a wall of fire. The roof began to cave in and fell directly in front of the door. Franklin closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and bolted out of the hatch.
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