DOZ Issue 35 September 2018 - Page 33

A Sister’s Determination Judy Doyle Silently and without warning the room began to fill with black, poisonous smoke. Clarice and Charles gasped wildly for fresh air, but none was available. They were frightened and lost in an apartment they had known most of their lives. It was almost impossible for either one to speak; but Clarice finally shouted, “Charles, we’ve got to get out of here. Here, put this cloth over your mouth.” She handed her ten-year- old brother a cold, wet cloth adding, “We’re going to crawl along the floor until we find the door.” “Then what?” Charles demanded. “Don’t be scared! Just follow me! D’ja, hear me?” It was unlike Clarice to be the leader. “Stay close. If we can find the fire door by the stairwell, I think we can get out.” “Sis, I’m scared.” Charles choked out the words. “Don’t be scared! We’re going to get out! Now, let’s go!” She sounded more confident than she felt. Carefully the two inched their way to the wall and crawled to the doorway. The smoke hung heavily in the hallway but was not as thick as in the apartment. As they crept down the hallway, in the distance, they could hear the sirens. “Help is on the way, Charles,” Clarice shouted. “I ddddon’t thththink I can make it,” he answered hoarsely. “Ya got to! Ya, hear me, Charles! Ya got to!” She shouted and reached back and pulled him closer. DOZ Magazine September 2018 33 «