You Did All You Could – My WWBH Story

Disclaimer: I am not super familiar of how things work on a fire-scene and apologize in advanced for any misrepresentation. Also, I did take some creative license on things that may be unlikely to occur.

Scary doll

Jennifer stared in disbelief at the glass case in front of her. It had been the only thing to half-way survive the terrible fire. Inside the case lay a bunch of broken, soot-covered, doll heads. They were all that were left of Jennifer’s life-long dream.

Thanks to a new system that she was trying out, Jennifer was able to monitor her small business via her iPhone even when she wasn’t there. Using that system Jennifer had noticed that there was something wrong at the back dock and had immediately called it in to 911, already heading towards the factory as she did so.

The fire department had already arrived on-scene by the time Jennifer got there. Already working hard to put out the fire. She could only stand by and watch in dismay at the scene in front of her.

Now she stood in front of the glass case. As quick as the fire department had been, it had been too late. In an instant the smoldering fire had practically grown into an inferno. How the fire had even got started was a riddle. During preliminary overhaul, nothing had been found to answer the questions of “why?” or “how?” that were dancing around in Jennifer’s head. She had been promised that she would be notified as soon as anything was learned.

One of the firefighters put a gloved hand on Jennifer’s shoulder. She could smell the acrid smoke still wafting off of the PPE he wore.

“I’m sorry” was all he said.

Jennifer turned towards him and gave a small smile, recognizing him from the fire station that she rode by every day on her way to the factory.

Jim was always making her laugh with some comedy act or another. But right now he wasn’t smiling or laughing. A sign of just how bad things had gotten in the fire.

“Thank you. I know you guys did everything you could”. But it didn’t change anything. In an instant her dreams had literally gone up in flames. Jennifer once again turned her gaze back to the glass case, blinking back tears. She wasn’t going to cry, she WASN’T going to cry. Tears wouldn’t change what was….

Jim gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze. “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help” he said before heading off to finish overhaul and secure scene, once again leaving Jennifer alone with her broken dreams.

Here are the words used in this story:

Factory

Dock

Comedy

Sign

Riddle

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11 thoughts on “You Did All You Could – My WWBH Story”

  1. Tena,
    Nicely conceived and written piece. Had you not inserted a “disclaimer” in your blog I would have never been tipped to any lack of knowledge the author may have had regarding a fire department’s work. I invite you to “own your worlds” with the same conviction and strength that you display in the words you use to write of them, which are powerful and poignant. You have written a strong piece here, and as Leanne wrote, you have taken a different direction than most of us. Strange though that this pic, even for you, prompted only dark stories of loss and despair.
    I look forward to reading more of your work, Tena.

    ~Christopher

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    1. Thank you Christopher. I greatly appreciate your kind words. I have not had the opportunity to read through all the stories, but I have noticed, as you say, there seems to be an element of darkness in all of them

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  2. Aw. So sad. I want to stand next to Jennifer and put my arm around her… let her know it’s okay to cry and grieve broken dreams. I can’t imagine how much harder it is to deal with loss without knowing the why and how… seems like understanding what happened would help with closure, you know?

    Nice job on the prompt, friend. You went a completely different direction than the creepy/horror, yet the emotions and imagery in your story line are just as strong and compelling. I love it!

    (By the way, did you know Sally’s main character’s name is Jennifer too in her story? Ha!)

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