For Fiction Friday, I am happy to post an excerpt from Hiding the Stranger: A Trilogy. My thanks to Joan Kelly, who is the author of Hiding the Stranger: The Trilogy, which is available from Bezalel Books.
Chris knew that Ben was going to go into the burning building to try to save the boy. She grabbed one of the motorcycle helmets and handed it to him. “Put this on. It may help keep the heat out of your face.”
“Thanks,” Ben looked at Chris for a second, turned and ran toward the apartment building. Before Ben reached the door a middle-aged man stopped him and threw a small blanket that had been soaked with water over his shoulders. As Ben ran through the door and disappeared from view, the man who had given him the wet blanket heard the boy say, “I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me.”
At the same time, Chris was asking the Lord to protect him. “Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.” She did not realize that she was speaking out loud until she heard the voices of the people around her joining in. “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done…”
Ben felt the intense heat as soon as he entered the apartment building. The air was thick with smoke making it hard to see. He located the lower section of the stairway and quickly headed toward it. Running up the stairs and stopping at the top, the boy bent low to avoid some of the billowing smoke. He counted the doorways as he moved quickly down the hall.
“Tony,” he called. “Tony, where are you? I’ve come to help you.”
Ben stood at the entrance of the room and listened. He heard a coughing sound followed by a small whimper. It was coming from under the bed.
“Tony, come out. Hurry, we have to get out of here!” Ben didn’t waste any more time. He grabbed the side of the bed and pulled it away from the wall. Tony was curled up in a ball on the floor. He looked up as Ben moved the bed, and his eyes opened wide.
When Tony looked up, he saw what appeared to him to be a tall man in a brown outfit. The man was wearing a cape draped over his shoulders and a helmet glowing against the background of smoke and flames. Tony sat up and between fits of coughing said, “Are you a super-hero?”
Ben looked at the small child and decided that anything that worked to get the boy out, to get them both out of there, was fine with him. He flipped up the face guard on the helmet so Tony could see his face and said, “Yeah, sure I am. I came to get you out.” Ben reached down and scooped the little boy up.
He headed toward the bedroom door, but stopped as an explosion sent flames rolling down the hallway. Ben slammed the door shut and looked around the room. Seeing the window, he ran to it. He quickly turned the lock and pushed the window up. Looking down, he could see the people watching the burning building.
“Over here!” he yelled. “Over here; help!”
Joan is offering a free e-copy to one of my readers. Please leave a comment below before Monday, June 6 to be entered.
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