Attention Is Embarrassing!

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Avatar for panterablack
2 years ago
Topics: Fiction, Life, Writing, Hero

"What were you thinking, offering to stand in when Dennis got hurt?!?! You're not a football player." laughed Nate, as he walked by on his way to the next class.

"I don't know... I guess I wanted to be a hero, just once." Rick replied miserably, as he limped out of the nurse's office. One of his crutches slipped on the freshly waxed floor, and he had to hop to keep from putting weight on his badly sprained ankle.

When he looked up, Nate was already gone. "Oh great... I'm going to be late for Chemistry." he mumbled, realizing that there was no way he could rush - unless he wanted to end up seeing the nurse again.

"Maybe I can just slip in quietly. Everyone will be interested in what they're doing anyway." he thought, remembering that they were going to start working with chemicals for the first time of the semester.

Rick quietly opened the door, and indeed he did get inside unnoticed. Then the tap-tap-tap of the crutches made Nate look up.

"Hey Rick, I hope you're okay!" he said, in a concerned tone.

Rick groaned inwardly. "He did that on purpose." he thought angrily, knowing that the other boy just wanted to draw attention to his late arrival.

"Ah... There you are. Thank you for finally joining us, Mr. Donner." said the elderly teacher sarcastically, as he adjusted his glasses.

"Sorry, Sir. I was at the nurse's office." he replied, as he stared at the green and white checkered pattern on the floor.

"Well... Let's get busy, then." said the teacher, as he handed Rick a pair of goggles.

After school:

"These crutches suck..." thought Rick, as he slowly made his way past neat little houses, with brightly painted picket fences. The lush green grass contrasted with the cloudless blue sky. It should have been a cheerful evening.

"What's that?" he thought, seeing strange light and movement from the window of the house ahead. Unable to take his eyes off of it, soon he was staring at a blazing fire. The blue curtains were almost gone, and the black smoke was streaming out in billows.

"Oh no! I hope nobody is in there." Rick thought, looking in the driveway. There was a yellow Volkswagen parked there, a car seat strapped into the back seat.

He clopped up to the front door, his crutches making him look and sound like an ungainly foal. Forgetting his ankle, he put all of his weight on his feet, as he set the crutches beside the door to ring the bell.

"Nobody's answering... Come on, hurry up!" he thought furiously, as the smoke escaping through the little window became thicker by the second. He tried pounding on the door. No response.

"There's no way I can fit through there... Maybe when I was five." he said, looking at the window. Idly he tried the doorknob, and to his surprise, it turned easily.

"Hello, if anyone is home, I'm coming in. You have a fire in the kitchen!" shouted Rick, as he charged into the living room, forgetting to grab his crutches.

The kitchen door was open a crack, and the smoke was slowly drifting in. A smoke detector was going crazy, making him wonder how he had missed it from the outside. Suddenly there was a scream from another room, which he assumed was a baby's room.

"I better see if anyone's in the kitchen first. That smoke looks awful thick." he thought, grabbing a small afghan off of the back of the couch, and using it to cover his face.

Rick's eyes stung as the full force of the smoke and heat hit him. He coughed violently, and immediately spotted a woman on the floor, a fire extinguisher lying beside her. He picked it up, and pointed it at the raging inferno which had surely been a cook-stove not long ago. The pin had already been pulled, so he squeezed. Nothing happened.

Rick dropped the afghan, and grabbed the woman's ankles. He managed to get her into the living room, then stumbled backwards, coughing as if his lungs would come out. Once he regained some control, he shut the kitchen door, then resumed dragging the unconscious woman outside.

The screaming inside continued, and Rick ran back inside, going directly to the noise. Soon he was back on the steps of the front door, holding a toddler, perhaps two years old. He set the terrified child beside the woman, and she stirred.

"Jacob? Hush, baby, hush..." she whispered, trying to sit up.

Rick glanced at the kitchen window, and with alarm noted that the flames were beginning to engulf the wall. He grabbed the toddler, and ran him into the middle of the yard. Then he went back to the woman.

"Ma'am? Are you alright? If you can walk, I'll help you over to your baby." he offered, helping her to her feet. Gently guiding the disoriented mother, he then made sure she was sitting before he pulled out his phone.

A half hour later:

"Young man, you saved their lives. We never would have arrived in time. Well done, but I do have to tell you that we discourage anyone from going into a burning building." a firefighter said, smiling.

"Yes, Sir. I didn't really think about that. I just wanted to get them out." Rick admitted, blushing.

"That's nothing to be embarrassed about." said the firefighter.

"I'll say!" spoke up a middle aged man, holding a large camera.

"Can you please stand over there, by the lady and her son?" requested a female voice, from the crowd which had gathered.

Rick turned around, and saw a young lady smiling at him. As soon as he looked, she nodded towards the spot she was referring to.

He complied, and then the photographer knelt, and a bright flash made Rick blink.

"Just wait until your classmates get the morning paper! Congratulations Rick, you're a real hero!" said the photographer, as he kept taking one picture after another. The final one was of Rick looking at the two people he had saved. He was blushing, but with happiness instead of embarrassment.

Cover image made in Canva using their gallery

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Avatar for panterablack
2 years ago
Topics: Fiction, Life, Writing, Hero