Prompt for September 11, 2016

Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:

“Lisa? Lisa? Where are you?”

He shouted as loud as he could in order to be heard over the sound of the fire as it made its way through the tinder dry apartment building. He had been walking back from the store with dinner – two steaks and some potatoes to be grilled – when the first fire truck raced past. By the time he got within a few blocks from home two more had passed and he had started jogging back.

When he saw the smoke pouring from the building he ran as fast as he could to the parking lot across the street where everyone seemed to be gathered. Looking around he saw his next door neighbours, Bob and Julia McKenzie, holding each other, soot staining their faces and clothes.

“Have you seen Lisa?”

They looked at each other and then at him. A quick shake of the head sent him rushing towards the building, the grocery bags falling from his hands. A firefighter reached out in an effort to stop him, but he quickly got passed, thanking his collegiate football experience for his agility. Up the stairs he went, the smoke getting thicker with every step until he reached the third floor and burst into the hallway. The smoke entered his lungs like a hammer, forcing him to bend over and cough.

“Second door on the left,” he repeated his mantra for finding Lisa. He stumbled forward, his hand keeping him next to the wall and counting the doorways. When he reached his own apartment he found the door closed, but not locked and he threw the door open, yelling her name as he crossed the threshold.

“Lisa? Lisa? Where are you?”

He stumbled into the kitchen and grabbed a tea towel sitting next to the sink. He quickly got it wet and wrapped it around his face in an attempt to keep the smoke at bay. The sound of the fire was loud and angry and he knew he didn’t have much time.

“Lisa? Lisa? Where are you?”

The smoke was thicker, seemingly coming from everywhere at once. As he looked down the hallway to the bedroom he saw the smoke thicken around a shape as it stumbled towards him. He rushed forward and grabbed the shape. Lisa! She looked up at him, her face covered in soot but her eyes bright.

“I knew you’d come back,” she said.

“I’ll never leave …” He never finished the statement as the apartment exploded around them.

Post a link to the story in the comments.

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