A furnace goes ballistic in your apartment building and a gas-explosion rocks your small room.
freeze in fear.
jump out of bed to escape.
Smoke assails you. Your nostrils become clogged. A sleepy coma pulls you into darkness.
You tear out through the street and shout for help. A passing neighbor runs to call 911. In back of you, the big building is blown in half, and the old wooden structure is blazing in heat. On the third floor, a stranded tenant is holding out a small bundle from the window.
rush over to the neighbor's, to help call 911.
head back toward the wretched inferno, knowing in fear what you must do.
Too late you hear the bloodcurdling scream from behind. The fire rises to the sky before the city's rescue sirens can even be heard. When you peek back toward the fiery blaze of the building, all you can spy is the smoke.
"Please...oh, God!" the woman screams down at you from the open window. "Please, my baby. The heat is...I - I can't hold on!!"
In the blink of an eye, time almost freezes still. A small wrapped bundle is descending through the ring of smoke. Your mind is sharp, a bare naked point.
swing your arms to form a cradle-like position.
reach your hands straight up, your palms wide open.
The force of your arms stretched out is too hard. There's no central cushion to break the impact. All that's left...is grief.
The force is cushioned by your arms and chest. The fall is broken. But the tiny figure, motionless in your fevered grasp...is not breathing.
apply the Heimlich maneuver.
do breathing resuscitation.
The child needed something.
The wrong action. The body remains still. Too still. The tiny form is still not breathing.
Life is granted. The child stirs. You exhale in nervous anticipation. The infant's mother, arms freed in desperation, is climbing safely down the trestle-wall. A squad of medics arrive with the rescue team.
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