It was the smell that woke Evelyn Blackwood from the silence of darkness. The sound of screams pierced into the air, growing closer now to the window beside her small bed. With her bleary eyes, she could almost see into the pitch black, only to find an overwhelming color of fiery red and gray making their marks in the air.
She rubbed her eyes, the panic of reality still not occurring to her as she slipped out of the ivory covers. The two babies in the crib beside her bed started to cry, and Evelyn rushed forward to hush them. The clock read way past midnight, and although Evelyn did not know how to read the clock, she was sure that her parents did not want to wake up.
The sound of screams still grew seemingly closer to her, and Evelyn finally felt the first stab of alarm as her two sisters bawled even harder. Unsure of what to do, Evelyn ran to her parent’s room, barging in. Her parents were still sleeping after a long, weary day working at the library— Evelyn hated to be the cause they couldn’t get a good night’s sleep, but she had no choice. The screams were getting closer still.
Evelyn shook both of her parent’s arms, desperate now. Her baby sisters’ cries could be heard from her room, and she was fully scared now. The smell of smoke reached and was now everywhere. The seven-year-old screamed her parent’s name to wake them up to no avail.
She didn’t know what to do. Little Evelyn gasped and shook as she ran back to her room. Grabbing the straps used for carrying luggage, she strapped them onto her little frail body. Heaving one of her sisters on her back and one on her front, Evelyn tied them to her as fast as she could. She’d watched her mother do it every day, and she was sure this was how to do it.
Rushing to her parent’s room again as fast as one could with two babies strapped onto the body, Evelyn found the door frame of the room awash with bright red. The flames were spreading so fast and it was blazing hot. Evelyn felt as if it scorched her skin inside and out.
In the midst of the crinkling air and smoke, she heard her parents shouting.
“Mother! Father!” she screamed as she desperately tried to find them. Evelyn heard her name screamed out to her.
“Evie!” she heard her mother cry out in pain, “go,”
Little Evelyn shook her head, crying. It was that sort of ugly crying where one hyperventilated, for grief was too much for breathing. “Mamma,” she wailed as she clawed at the air. Her sisters were coughing so badly that Evelyn had to take a step back from the threshold.
“Evie!” she heard Papa cry out. She couldn’t stop crying. Tears streamed down her cheeks like waterfalls.
Evelyn knew that she had to save her sisters, yet, she couldn’t take her eyes off the blazing room.
“Please,” Evelyn whispered, “someone help me.”
At that moment, it was as if the world stopped to consider her pleas.
Then, Evelyn was not alone.