“Memoirs of the Fallen”
Omnia quae incipiunt finem habent.
Everything that has a beginning has an end.
Luckily it was a quiet day in general after that. Alex had hard time focusing and she was mostly falling all the time to deep thoughts. She was thinking about her friends and that she had no family. All in all she felt she was all alone and that would never change. That is how she had felt all her life even if she was with people and friends.
Finally she couldn’t stand still anymore and she jumped up. Chris looked at her so Alex made an awkward smile at him.
“Heading out to the food cart. Does anyone else want something from it?”
“Bring me Beef and bacon.” – Chris
“Normal for me.” – Dusty
“Alright, I’m buying.”
Alex headed up running to get her wallet and then she headed out counting the money at the same time. She was so focused on it that she bumped into Chris that was waiting outside to talk to her. She almost tossed the coins and bills from her hand when he pulled her gently to the side a bit and talked to her more quietly.
“Alex, are you really alright?” He said with a worried tone in his voice.
If there was one person she hated to lie or not tell what had happened was Chris and he always noticed that from her if something wasn’t alright. Chris was the closest thing Alex could call her family even if he was her co-worker and friend.
“I’m fine Chris. I just needed some fresh air and some food.”
“Are you sure?” – Chris
“I am. Now don’t worry.”
Alex gave him a reassuring smile and she punched him playfully on the shoulder. Then she turned only to have her happiness flow off her face like ice. She walked to the food cart and made the order casually as usual.
“Hey Pierre, how’s it going? One salad, Beef and bacon and normal.”
“It’s going good little miss. Business is booming.”
“Good. How is Julie and the children?”
Alex nodded and while she waited Pierre to make the food she walked slowly to the side and she watched people walking around and continuing their lives. Her arms folded and she had a shiver going through her body. After last night she had felt slightly cold. Her eyes followed the bikers and the mother that was holding hands with her daughter as they walked over the street, the old man that was reading the newspaper on the bench. Alex sighed a bit but then she got again the slight vertigo feeling.
She closed her eyes. It was like her eyes would have made a trick to her brain. As she opened her eyes the surroundings flashed black and white and slowed down and speeded up a bit. Alex rubbed her eyes but still the effect didn’t go away. She saw the mother and child in white glimmering light and some people dark like shadows. The faces, they didn’t seem even human on some. And the whispers returned for a moment. Alex gripped her chest because her body reflected what happened by hyperventilating and the images vanished at the same moment like in thin air.
As fast as they came they were gone and she could breathe easily. Everything was back to normal when she looked around.
“Must be because I fainted yesterday…” Alex thought by herself.
“Here you go.” Pierre said and handed the bag to her. Alex heard his voice through her thoughts and it made her snap out of it.
Alex said fast and she walked backwards still staring at the people further away. Then she turned and ran back inside to eat. It was better to forget everything about it. She had lost her appetite so she forced herself to eat something. This is not how she thought she would welcome the new year after her birthday. That made her to remember something. She forgot to check the messages from her phone and as she ate her salad she shuffled through the messages.
“Where are you? I tried to call you a few times. Remember to come to the bar on Friday evening.
Alex smiled. Ariel was one of her best friends and she promised to have a party with her and the girls on Friday evening. Most of the messages were from Ariel so Alex scrolled the whole list down reading them.
Also her other friends send her happy birthday greetings, Kristy, Asha, May, Milli and many others. Then she found a picture message that was taken from a cliff and it had a beautiful sunset and calm view to the water of a lake.
“Happy birthday Weasel.”
Alex smiled even more. The picture was from her best friend Canan. They had known one another their whole lives. When other girls were playing with girls and doing girly stuff Alex had spent her time with Canan in the woods climbing trees and rocks and doing all sort of things that parents didn’t approve and what they would think was dangerous. They could talk about everything to one another and Alex and Canan always kept each other’s backs. After some trouble back home Canan had taken up his motorbike and left but he promised to her that he would send her every day a picture where he was and to keep in touch with her.
This time he was heading back home and Alex’s face turned sad again. She thought she could tell him everything until now, but she trusted he would be there for her even if she couldn’t. How she wished she was there with him and staring at that view. She would feel alive and free and she could vanish to that place.
“I miss you… I wish I would be there right now.”
She glanced through the other messages. Mostly they were wishing her happy birthday or if she was free on some point, same old same old. Alex slid the phone gently on the table. Could this day go any slower? She wanted to go home. Take Lady to a long run and after that take a long shower and after that just jump to bed and sleep this day over. Maybe eating some ice cream before that and watch a movie or something to lose herself into. Maybe she should call Ariel and say she couldn’t make it on the Friday evening even if it was her “surprise” birthday party but on the other hand it could get her mind off from things and Ariel made a huge effort to organize it for her.
Even those thoughts were interrupted as the alarm came for them. It seemed big because how Chris acted and all ran accordingly to jump in their gear and Chris ran to them giving the order.
“They are suspecting arson in an apartment building. 3D Zone control because auto extended fire. Two other teams are heading to the scene. Bad case guys! We have still people inside.” – Chris
The team worked fast to make themselves ready and they jumped inside the car. These situations were always so hectic so everything happened in reflex. You hardly had time to think. Magic fingers was their driver and he was the best for it because he has done it forever. The sirens were so loud today when they headed to the scene. Alex leaned to her hand with her chin while her arm was resting from her elbow on the window sill. She watched the scenery go by. Then she leaned back when they arrived to the scene and she saw the chaos and roaring fire. All of their gear and the water hoses needed to be made ready as the yelling and screaming filled the area.
The heat blasted out some windows and the glass rained down to the street. The flames were so big and consuming. This was the first time Alex saw anything like this. The sounds and even the mask made her slightly claustrophobic today but she needed to get a grip. They needed to head fast inside with pairs to find the people who were still inside.
As they headed up the stairs, in the smoke all the sounds of the roaring fire, complaining wood and metal, the creaking and crumbling was very loud and they were hitting the firefighters head on. The fire was flaming over the ceiling and Alex’s eyes caught it with fear. She was looking at the temperature card all the time if it was safe. She didn’t feel safe. Whole place made her uneasy. It felt like the fire was tossing them from side to side even though they were just dodging everything on their path.
“It’s too hot in here!” Alex yelled to the com.
“Hang in there Alex! We need to find the elder woman and the child. Everyone, come on!” – Chris
“Yes boss!” – All
They could hardly see anything. Magic fingers had found the woman and they were taking her out. Alex and Chris headed forward up the stairs and to the hall of the girl’s apartment. Chris kicked the door in and they headed inside. They heard yelling from the bedroom. The little girl had broken the window and she was sitting on it to get some air. Her face was almost fully covered with ash but it had lines from crying. The curtain was engulfing her on the window sill. The ladders could not be delivered to the window so Alex took the fire blanket and grabbed the girl to it. They headed out fast as Chris used the water on them.
Unfortunately the fire had already done its course and on the way back the floor had fallen down. Alex held the girl tight in her arms while she examined their situation with her eyes. But something else entered her mind, her ears. It was like somebody was whispering her name. For a short moment she heard only the whisper but Chris’s yell brought her back. Chris jumped over the hole on the floor and Alex handed the girl to him. She used the hose on both as the flames were almost in full rampage around the place. The temperature of their gear started to be in too high.
“Jump, Alex. Now!”
Chris yelled to her and she retreated to take some speed. When she ran and just about when she was going to jump the ceiling from above came crashing down in front of her and she screamed out loud and fell on her back. She saw Chris vanishing behind the rubble with the girl. The rest of the team had followed in to get the girl. And just when they were there they heard their boss scream and that scream made every one of the team have their heart jump from worry.
“Little Sis! We will get you out of there! Guys, Alex is trapped!”
“Chris! Guys! Cough, cough.” – Alex
Alex mumbled. The trip had broken her mask and the com wasn’t working. She followed the crack of the mask with her eyes. The smoke was getting in her lungs already as she slowly rose up and eyed around. Everything felt like it was moving in slow motion. She heard the same whispers again but louder even over the roaring sounds of the fire.
“Great… Awesome… So, this is how it will end?”
Alex was on this moment totally done. Like things couldn’t go any worse than they already had. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to escape. All she could see was burning wood and flames going on the wall of the hall and stairs. The flames were gaining up on her. She wiped her mask to her glove and her eyes looked forward. She tried to focus as the sound of the flames mixed to the screaming of her team. It was getting very hard to breath by now. She was giving up. There was no way out of this. At least she saved a life with her final act. That comforted her and it meant so much to her to think she made a difference. Her eyes drifted to the flames in front of her and then her eyes narrowed.
“What now?” She mumbled.
The flames from the walls, ceiling and floor seemed to flow together in the middle of the hall in front of her eyes. They pulled all the coal and smoke and ash with them to float around them. Alex stepped slightly back retreating and she would have wiped her eyes if she could. No, she wasn’t seeing things. The flames flew to the middle and they formed… a person. At least it looked like a person but the figure was made from full fire and most of all it had a face. The thing stepped towards her and then continued to walk straight at her. This final thing was Alex’s breaking point. She had enough. What she said next sounded annoyed, angry and then scared all at once.
“That’s it… STAY AWAY! KEEP AWAY FROM ME!”
Alex yelled scared and even with anger in her voice. She stepped few steps backwards before the rubble made her fell down on her back. Her face and eyes were full of fear and shock. The monster, or whatever it was, was still walking towards her bursting everything around it in pure flames. As it got closer to Alex she did nothing but scream from the top of her lungs and closed her eyes hoping her end would be fast.
Her arms covered her eyes as the scream came but also something else happened. A blast of white light erupted around her and like a blast wave it swept off the figure of the flame. It blasted the flames off like they had lost the air where to survive and even her friends on the other side were blasted on their backs. The fallen rubble also blasted away so that it fell down making a bridge over the whole that was there before that. Nobody knew what had happened when the dust settled and Alex fell unconscious on the floor.
It seemed like all sounds had vanished or they were talked like through a wall. Alex’s team stood up and they made their way and ran to her. Her suit was totally done and her mask. They carried her out fast and got her out of her gear. Alex got glimpses from what was happening while they were carrying her. She could hardly breathe and her ears were ringing. In the glimpses she saw friendly faces yelling and worried, her team mates. And as they got to the ambulance Alex stopped breathing. She seemed unharmed otherwise when she was lifted to the stretcher. Chris took off his helmet and dropped it down on the ground.
“Take good care of her, please!” – Chris
He yelled and the medics nodded. They were like one big family and they knew Alex too so they lifted her up and to the ambulance and started the CPR. Chris slammed the doors closed and the team watched as the ambulance left to the hospital. The whole team was shocked and worried. Chris kicked the helmet angrily and ran his hands through his hair holding them on it.
“What the hell happened…” – Chris
End of Act 2
To be continued…