Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:
As he got into his fire suit he thought back to the event, fifteen years ago, that shaped his life and put him in this exact position today.
He had been sixteen at the time, tall for his age, but a slim build. “Built for speed” his father used to say. He had gotten home from school a little bit later than normal and was talking with his mother in the kitchen when the front door bell rang. Curious as to who was visiting them he followed his mother to the front door.
“What can I …”, she started to say as she opened the door before she stopped and took a quick breath in. Fire Chief O’Malley was standing on their doorstep, with two other members of the Cincinnati fire department, all of them looking quite somber.
“Mrs. Hardesty, it is my great sorrow to inform you that your husband, Captain Hardesty, while saving members of his crew was struck by a burning beam and …” The Fire Chief didn’t manage to finish as his mother collapsed in front of him. He managed to catch her before she hit her head but could do nothing but hold her as the crying commenced. From both of them.
And now here he was, donning a fire suit to run into a burning chemical factory so that he could save a couple of his fellow firefighters. The symbolism of the moment was not lost on him. If he shouldn’t make it there was no one to mourn his passing for which he was disappointed, but also thankful. After one last check of his equipment, he patted his partner on the shoulder and they entered Hell.
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