White and grey smoke seeped from cracks surrounding the upper cabinet doors to my nine year old sister, Robin’s closet. I was seven. “Mommy!” I hollered from where I stood in the hall, near the bathroom.
Mother answered my fearful sounding shout. When she reached me, I pointed to the bedroom at the end of the hall. She yelled to my stepdad watching television in the living room. “Rex! Robin’s closet’s on fire. Hurry!”
Rex came immediately, saw the smoke, spun on his heels, and sprinted to the kitchen. That cabinet was far too high for any of us to reach without assistance. In half a minute, he stood on a chair beneath Robin’s cabinet doors, the evidence of fire billowing around him. He gripped the door handle and pulled. A huge quantity of thick, inky smoke and fire rushed at him through the open door.
Right then and there, I had the sensation of all the blood rushing from my face. My heart thumped madly against my chest and my mind went blank. Instantly, without knowing how I got there, I stood outside on the front step and screamed like a child does when she’s run over by a car. I caught my breath, inhaled deeply, and screamed out words, “Fire! Fire! Call the fire trucks! Fire! Fire! Fire!”
Someone reached through the open front door, slapped my face, and I stopped screaming. Then a hand gripped my arm and yanked me back inside the house.
Life, Death and Forgiveness
* * * *
JoyRide reads like a novel. It’s the dramatic, true story of a little girl’s quest for her mother’s love in the midst of tragedy and of her remarkable redemption from severe neglect. Some of the greatest lessons in life are found in JoyRide. Watch for its publication, mid-summer 2013.
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JoyRide © 2013