Emerald is caught in a fire. She escapes with her little sister, Dixie, and gets rushed to hospital. Her parents get killed in the fire and Dixie later dies in hospital. Emerald runs away with the few belongings that she still owns.
As fire was doing it's damage round the house, black, bellowing smoke swirled round me in a haze. My only thoughts were Dixie, Mum and Dad. I didn't know what to do, my phone was downstairs and the heat was unbearable. Coughing... Coughing... I couldn't breathe.
Only the crackling of fire could be heard. I managed to hold my breath for a few seconds. All I could hear was the crackling of the raging fire and the distance cough. It was continuous and it was Dixie. "Dixie!" I croaked helplessly. Only her muffled coughing answered me. I couldn't breathe in the smoke. I knew if I took too many breaths of smoke then I'd fall unconscious and eventually die either because of the thick black smoke or I'd burn to death. That was it. I had to open a window. But Dixie needed me. No. I had to open a window. I opened the largest one and took deep breaths of air, gulping it as if it was water and I hadn't drank anything for days. Now, I had to save Dixie. Her room was directly opposite mine so it was a short run, take Dixie out of her cot, take her to my room and jump out the window. Easy. Or not.
I took a deep breath, opened my door and immediately ran into Dixie's room. Orange flames licked the ceiling. It was her light. Dad hadn't turned it off. The bulb was too many watts. The plastic had melted, dripped to the floor and set the carpet on fire. I raced in, pulled tiny Dixie out of her cot and escaped back to my room, shutting her bedroom door and then slamming mine and blocking the underneath with my pillow as my ceiling was turning black. I threw my duvet, dressing gown, spare pillows and soft toys onto the soil below me. My bedroom was at the front of the house so I clasped Dixie to my chest. I leaped.
Plummeting to the ground, I screamed and woke half the neighbour hood. I survived. Pain surged through my body. But Dixie was fine. I took a breathe of fresh air. Then I looked up. Black bellowing smoke belched from all of the windows other than mine. I thought of Mum and Dad stuck, unconscious probably, with no chance of surviving.