Smoke slowly began to fill the attic, no not an attic, a prison. It was a seemingly normal room, with a big stuffed bear that would keep her company in the long, horribly lonely days and nights.
The smoky smell became more intense. As she inhaled it through her nose, it choked and squeezed her throat, eliminating the viable element she needed to survive. She shot up from her bed and immediately looked around with her one working eye. She threw herself off her bed, pulling her body towards the door. She panicked as she could not find her wheelchair and she was forced to drag the dead weight of her legs behind her.
“Mother! Father! Where are you? Help me!” she screamed.
Over the roaring of the fire, it was impossible for her to even hear her own voice and she knew it was impossible for them to hear her, as well. Though, they will come looking for her, right? They had wished they never gave birth to her, to never have a child with special needs but they wouldn’t just leave her in this room, would they?
She slammed her arms onto the floor, using her skin and bones to pull herself farther towards the door. She was under the smoke now, the black smog lingering above her, scouting out the room before the fire would crash through the door and consume the area.
“Help me!” she screamed again. She blinked her eyes rapidly, trying desperately to make out a clear picture of the door. Her one eye only hindered this effort and she cursed loudly, pounding her fist into the ground.
No one was coming for Athanasia. They had, unknowingly to her, fled the mansion and were now outside wondering if she was going to make it out alive. They hoped she wouldn’t but they would never admit such a heinous truth to each other.
Tears began to accumulate and the slithering smoke slowly made its way into the moisture of her eyes, burning them. She clenched them shut, trying to disallow the smoke to have any more effect on her. She couldn’t die like this, all alone and abandoned. She knew her family hated her, but enough for them to not have any pity on her? She did not mean to cause so much trouble but she couldn’t help the disabilities she had since birth. They treated her so harshly and just saw her as a troubled child. It was obvious they wanted nothing to do with her as indicated by her isolation in this room. They threw her into this room with only her stuffed bear as a companion and she knew that her stuffed animal was her only real friend.
She slowly opened her eyes, rubbing them with her hands but it only spread the burning. She could hardly see anything around her but she continued to crawl as swiftly as she could. That was when she reached the door. She looked up towards the towering barrier that kept her from getting free, but it was also a barricade that kept the ravenous fire beast away from her. She had to make a choice, regardless. Would she risk dragging herself out of the house, through the flames to stay alive or would it better to just stay in this room and slowly suffocate to death? She needed oxygen but understood opening the door would let the beast in to possibly consume her. She was still at a loss of what to do, so she acted without thinking.
Athanasia threw her body up and stretched her hand out as far as it would go, making contact with the door knob. The beast taunted her, denying her exit by burning her hand on the knob with its sheer influence.
She screamed and fell to the floor; the momentum that she needed, left her, just like her family. The sizzling sound of the flesh burning on her hand imprinted itself in her ears. The fire outside roared, growing more powerful while she grew weaker.
The beast roared at her, slamming into the door, sending more smoke underneath the doorway towards her. Following the orders of their master, the smoke now completely consumed the room and added pressure to the door and walls. She began to hear the breaking of the thick wood that separated her from the fire’s deadly talons. The inferno was red, lingering right outside the door. Its flaming arms began to spread until the blaze began to completely knock down the entry.
Athanasia twisted her body away, pulling her arms against the floor, dragging herself as far as she could from the beast that wished to ingest her. She was far too young to die and it couldn’t end this way. Her life was just beginning and although she had been born with special needs and to parents that were reviled by her, it did not mean this fire could wrench her away from the living. She didn’t want to die, so she screamed, loudly and profoundly.
The smoke around her seemed to settle, as if staring at her, eying her down. She exchanged glances with it, biting her lip. It remained there for a couple long seconds until it began to acquire movement once again. She watched as the bodiless entity draped itself over her face, caressing her forehead and rubbing her tears with its hazy fingers, as if it was apologizing to her.
She felt the warmth of the beast’s minion as it tried to calm her but Athanasia knew there was no comforting someone who knew their fate. She was destined to die here, forgotten by her family and cared by no one. What did she do to deserve such a sad ending?
Athanasia looked around and faintly saw her large teddy bear, the smoke wrapped around its body. She closed her eyes as she heard the cracking noises of the door and then a loud bang. Her eyes jolted open just in time to see the smoke billowing and screeching as it was sucked in by the ravenous fire brute. A loud popping nose erupted around the room, as the fire now entered, hovering around the floor, trying to find her. It was hungry and Athanasia knew that it would soon consume her. There was no way out now.
She cried softly and lost all hope. Turning her head slowly back towards her bed, she saw her bear. The fires blazing hands poked it, embracing it fully, engulfing it in a fiery brightness.
Athanasia watched, tear-stricken as the bears delicate fur erupted at the hands of the merciless fire. There was no more hope for her and as the flames began to spread up the walls, she knew her death was eminent.
She heard another loud pop followed by a resounding crunch. She arched her neck upwards, feeling the heaviness of her head ache from the inhalation of all the smoke. That was when she saw it. It was too late to move as a large pillar that once decorated her room fell from the ceiling, crushing her instantly.