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Suddenly, without any kind of warning, fire and smoked roared down from above, directly in front of the fire-fighter, and obliterated all the sights and sounds of the people trapped in the house. Instinctively, the fire fighter jumped back, but did catch heat through his gloves that would have made any other person scream. He did not.

Like candle wax he watched the walls and objects around him dissolve and turn into dark smoke. He was standing in the center of the room with many chances to save himself, but the voices calling from the rooms kept his adrenaline elevated.

Something touched him as the flames kept biting like a wild dog. He turned around and saw a spirit floating in the air like smoke. He felt the spirit's hands on his shoulder as it was keeping him upright. It was holding him in balance so that he could continue saving lives.

Pushing through the flames one body at a time he knew that the destruction of human life would be minimal. That was his plan, that was his goal.

The spirit steered him gently toward a small room that use to be painted pink and now was covered in darkness. He saw a small baby in a crib gasping for air. He cut through the flames like a jet stream of water and carried the baby out of harm's way. He was exhausted but deeply fulfilled. The fire fighter paused and closed his eyes for a moment, trying to gather enough strength to go back into the burning house and continue to do his job. The spirit that helped him was etched indelibly in his mind and that gave him courage. The courage he so much needed as he raced back to help save lives.

The fire was breathing heavy like a dragon on a rampage. Just then someone called his name and the fire fighter recognized the voice. It was his grandmother, the person who raised him and gave him a foot up in life. The person who was there when his own mother abandoned him for drugs and the company of men. His grandmother, God rest her soul.

She ran to him and she made a big embrace as she shrieked with delight, closed her eyes while hugging him tight and over-exaggerated kisses all over his face and head.

“How could this be?” He whispered.

“You saved so many lives today,” she said through kisses. “The only person who didn't make it out was...”

The firefighter paused as he looked into his grandmother's face. Life was missing, his constant companion, the living that was inside him was gone. It was as if it had been burned and carried away with the smoke. The absence of life felt odd, and even uncomfortable. For years life made him feel important, normal and defined.

As he watched only smoke rise into the sky, with the absence of spirits, he knew he saved so many lives. Normal was a myth, life was no longer a part of his identity.

He grabbed his grandmother's hand and they walked past the shadows and into a bright light. As he entered the clearing, he saw Jesus Christ, and nothing was obliterated. Nothing...

© 2018 Frank Atanacio


Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on May 19, 2018:

thanks Peggy for visiting my flash

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 19, 2018:

I loved this one Frank. According to all the near death experiences that I have read about in various books, no one dies alone. Generally loved ones are there to meet us and escort us through that tunnel of light. The firefighter and his grandmother can now spend eternity together in heaven.

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 22, 2018:

thanks Jack for your continued suppport

jgshorebird on March 22, 2018:

Tugging on the heart strings.

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 21, 2018:

thank you so much Peg Cole

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on March 21, 2018:

Frank, this one is amazing. In fact, it gave me goose bumps of delight. I love the way you portrayed the rescue, the spirit's guidance, ending with the reunion with his grandmother and our Lord. Beautifully done!

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 21, 2018:

Eric Boyd the email questioned you sent me.. I think you're talking about Geena East.. that was the hubber you guys liked.. I'll send this comment to my flash fiction blog too..

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 21, 2018:

Yes Cory Bolo it is called flash fiction.. I first heard this term through a fellow Hubber years back Chris Mills.. and I jumped on board.. thanks again for visiting my blog and this page...

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 19, 2018:

thanks for stopping by manatita..bless you bro

manatita44 from london on March 19, 2018:

I can't find my comment. I thought that it was a brilliant piece with a loving ending in Paradise. Sweet!

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 19, 2018:

thanks Eric and Cory for visiting my page

Cory Bolo on March 18, 2018:

This short fiction, what is it called? Flash? Obliterated my mind. I just couldn't handle the story-line because of the death of the fire fighter, and then the ending engulfed all of me. A powerful piece of fiction.

Eric Boyd on March 18, 2018:

This piece really grabbed and held my attention Frank, sad yet promising for one who loses their life on the job. I love how it fell together. Boyd

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 16, 2018:

thank you MsDora..:)

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 16, 2018:

What? You never cease to amaze me with your surprise endings. This one is good in many ways!

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 16, 2018:

Flourish thank you

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 15, 2018:

This was simply beautiful.

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 15, 2018:

thank you Nell Rose

Nell Rose from England on March 15, 2018:

Wow! That was awesome! I loved the ending, and the feeling of him being inside that heat, great stuff Frank!

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 15, 2018:

thank you Shyron for that wonderful comment

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on March 15, 2018:


I held my breath

But I could breathe

I walked into the destruction an inferno leaves

As all who knew the Fireman grieves

Meeting Jesus our grief relieves



Awesome hub, as the Fireman's grandma leads him home.

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 15, 2018:

thanks Eric for your support

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 15, 2018:

Really really good. A little hair raising. Somehow the words seemed unimportant as the story bypassed that need to think, but rather just be in the story. (if that makes sense?)

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