• The girl couldn't breathe. Sitting up in shock, she looked around. She couldn't see a thing.
    Taking a breath, she started into a spasm of coughing. The temperature of the room she was in was rising. Fire? Fire! She could smell the smoke now. She knew that somewhere there was fire. But she had no idea how to get away. She didn't even know where she was. Getting up off of the hard floor she was on, she tried to call out for help. But no sound escaped her lips. She had breathed in too much smoke.
    Almost by instinct she used her shirt to cover up her mouth to minimize the smoke she was breathing in. Her eyes burning, she walked forward, not knowing where she was going. Her hand in front of her, she walked till she found a wall, which wasn't very far, and started looking for an escape. Walking around the small area she was in, she started to panic when she couldn't find an exit of any sort. The smoke was becoming overwhelming and she couldn't breathe anymore. Slowly falling to the floor, she curled up in a little ball in the middle of the small box type thing she was in and started to cry. She couldn't remember anything. Why was she in here? Why was there fire? Would someone save her?
    Her breath started to slow, and she felt very dizzy. The heat was intense, but she couldn't
    feel it anymore. Closing her eyes, she fell into a deep sleep, never to wake again.

    Rachel slowly drifting out of a light sleep, she smelt smoke and…and death? Jerking awake she couldn’t understand. Carefully she sniffed the air. It still smelled of smoke, but the other smell wasn’t there. Sniffing harder she smelt it. She knew the scent wasn’t there; it was almost as if only she sensed it. Sitting up in the bed she looked outside. Walking to the window she almost expected to see the flames. But all that she saw was a burnt house. The night before there had been a huge fire at their neighbours’ house. Rachel had been the one to first see it. She had called 911 and tried to help as much as she could. But all she could do was hand out coffee. The neighbours were gone away on vacation so they didn’t look hard for anyone. All that would be left would be a body. No one could have survived that. All she could truly remember about last night were that a firefighter had asked her numerous questions and the flames. The giant, dancing flames. They were so wonderful, yet so destructive. But all the firefighters were gone now, crime scene tape around the building and there was a guard sitting outside. Taking another sniff she could sense it. It was coming from the house; she had no doubt about that. But how? There was no one in the house. She decided that she had to check. She didn’t know why she trusted her mind so much. She knew she had to go in. Having been in that house a million times, she knew what should have been the best route. Exiting her back door she snuck to behind the house, opposite side to where the guard sat. Crawling through some rubble, she quickly found that this was going to be harder than she thought. A lot harder. Adding to the fact that there were burnt objects scattered everywhere. There was also water everywhere and it was it would have been pitch black if it had not been for the full moon. With the light shining from the moon she slowly made her way through. Sniffing she continued in the direction she sensed it coming from. But now it was as if it was coming from all over. The basement! It was coming from the basement. Making her way over to the stairs she quickly encountered another problem. There were no stairs really. It was more like a couple of random scattered boards badly burnt. Looking for another route to take she spotted some boards that had fallen over. They were leaning up against the basement wall. And they looked strong enough for her to put her weight on. The boards were almost at a 90-degree angle so she had to jump half way down. Falling down on the floor she stopped dead. Then she crouched in the corner for a good 10 minutes. She didn’t want to be caught down here. No one would believe her. They couldn’t sense it, she didn’t know why but she knew only she could sense it. She finally continued after her heart stopped pounding. Following the now strong odour it brought her to a dead end. Groaning inwardly she was about to turn back when she saw a small opening. It was open just a crack. Looking closer, she saw that it was on a small square sliding door. Squeezing her finger through the opening, she tugged. It didn’t budge. Looking over she saw there was burnt wood blocking the railing. Putting her other hand into the crack she pulled with a strong jerk. The door flung open, sending pieces
    of wood all over. It was too late to turn back now. She knew the guard would have heard that. Pushing herself into the opening she struggled through. The tunnel was about three feet long. Then it opened up into a hole. She couldn’t see a thing, but she sensed it. She knew it was there. She wished so much that she had brought a flashlight. Hearing the guard yelling she struggled backwards. Looking up at him she saw through the flashlight beam that it was the same man who had questioned her earlier. Apparently he noticed who she was too.
    “Hey! What are you doing down there? It’s way to dangerous for you to be there. Come here!” he shouted from the upstairs.
    “Throw me down your flashlight!” she yelled back.
    “What? Are you crazy? Get over here!”
    “There’s something in there!” she yelled back pointing to the hole.
    “What? How do you know that? It’s pitch black. Get over here.”
    “No. There’s someone in there. I can sense it. You’re to big to fit in the hole. Just pass me your flashlight!” she begged.
    She knew she was agitating him. “No. Girl, if you don’t get up here, I’m coming down and dragging you out!”
    Knowing he was serious she twisted around and crawled back in the tunnel. This time she didn’t stop where it opened up. She awkwardly jumped into the hole. It was a lot deeper then she expected and she fell into it. Not daring to move, because she didn’t know where the body was she waited. She knew he was going to come down, call backup or both. She hoped for both. Hearing him yelling and cursing she gave a sigh of relief when she saw the shine of the flashlight.
    “Where are you girl? Get out here!” he yelled.
    “I’m down here! The tunnel empties out into a hole. Pass me the flashlight and I’ll see if I can get out!” she begged, “I can’t see a thing.”
    Hearing more cursing, she almost smiled. She knew she had won. Hearing the flashlight crash against the walls of the tunnel she carefully stood up and reached her arm into the tunnel to grab the flashlight. Jumping up she just barely grabbed it. Turning around she looked around the box. Gasping she stopped the flashlight beam on a girl. And she was definitely dead. The room was still filled with the smoke that would have killed her. Falling to her knees in shock she started into a spasm of coughing, thus forcing her body to inhale the smoke faster. She couldn’t believe it. She had sensed death. But she didn’t know how. The smoke was a lot thinner down on her knees so her coughing eventually turned in to gut wrenching sobs.
    “Hey! Lady? You okay down there? Can’t you get out? Don’t worry backups on the way, there will be someone who can fit in there to help you.” The man yelled to her, who now sounded more worried then mad.
    Rachel squatted in a corner still crying watching the girl. The hole was above her head level and there was no source of grip anywhere, so she couldn’t get out. Her heart felt like it was going to be ripped out. The girl’s face looked so scared. She was curled up in the middle of the room, eyes closed, hugging her knees. Slowly looking around the room, she saw nothing. No blankets, no water jugs or plates for food, nothing.
    The only things in the room were her and the child. She turned off the flashlight so she couldn't see the girl anymore. Hearing more voices up ahead, she tried to listen to them. She slowly closed her eyes as she waited for someone to come. She eventually heard someone crawling through the tunnel, so she peeked through her eyelashes.
    Turning the flashlight back on she looked up she watched as boots started to wriggle out of the hole. The person got up to their waist, pushed back and fell, obviously misjudging the height he was jumping. He landed on his back just missing the body. Rachel gave a small gasp and the man turned to her. Noticing for the child for the first time he gave a small yell and scrambled away from the body.
    “We’re throwing the rope in now!” yelled the guard cop.
    The younger cop took a deep breath and yelled back up, “Guys, we’re going to need a body bag as well!”
    “What? Is the girl okay? I just heard her crying!”
    “Not her! I think she’s fine. But there’s another in here.” he finished looking over to Rachel, not believing what he saw.
    Rachel could hear the others outside talking loudly in shock and confusion. Suddenly a rope appeared.
    “Let’s get you two out of there for now. We have to call the captain,” yelled the guard cop.
    The younger cop helped Rachel up and slipped the noose at the end around one of her feet. Rachel grabbed on to the rope. With the younger cop supporting her and the others pulling her she got high enough that she could drag her self into the tunnel. Following the short tunnel into the bright lights of all the flashlights, she squinted her eyes. At the very end two cops pulled her out the rest of the way. As they wrapped a blanket around her shoulders and started leading her away, she watched as one cop radioed his captain and the other threw the rope back in. Calling back one of the cops with her, they began to pull the other guy out when she blacked out. She watched the ground come closer as she slowly crumpled.
    Ch. 2
    Waking up, she felt panic raise up in her throat. Looking around, all she saw was white. A couple tubes trailed from her arm, and she had tubes leading into her nose. Quickly sitting up she tried to take some of the wires and tubes off. But she stopped when her mother came rushing in. “Rachel! You’re awake! Thank goodness. Are you okay? Honey, lie back down. You inhaled some of the smoke. What were you doing? Why didn’t you tell anyone? Do you want a drink? No, you can have a drink, have some ice!” her mother spoke quickly looking slightly flushed. “You scared us. You should have said something to someone. That was very dangerous.” her mother-finished face was mixed with concern and a hint of anger.
    As her dad came in she gave an inward sigh of relief. She knew she wouldn’t have to answer any of her mother’s questions. Lying back down she watched them cautiously. As she watched their faces she tried not to remember all what happened the night before. Before she opened her eyes she had wished that it had been a dream, but it was obvious now that it wasn’t. She couldn’t understand how she knew the girl was there. Her father and mother watched her with concern.
    Her father was the first to speak. “Rachel, how did you know the body was there?” he asked timidly.
    Her mind swam with so many questions. She didn’t know how to answer him. She couldn’t even answer that to herself. “I-I’m not totally sure,” she whispered hoarsely.
    “Rachel. I’m going to ask you this one more time. People don’t just have sudden urges to wander into deep dark holes saying someone’s dead in there. They need a reason. So I’m asking you again, why did you go down there, Rachel?” he said his voice raising high with concern.
    “Robert, calm down.” her mother hissed silently to her father.
    “I don’t know, dad,” Rachel said again ignoring her mother, “I felt as if I had to go down there. It was as if I knew someone was there. But I also knew that she was already dead.” She died off in a whisper as the images of the young girl flooded her mind.
    “Rachel,” her father sounding slightly annoyed and panicked said, “people don’t just have premonitions to crawl into a burned down house to find someone that they didn’t know was there. That noone knew was there.”
    “Robert!” her mother hissed once more.
    Rachel closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Her eyes immediately snapping opened again and she looked around.
    “She’s here!” Rachel choked out, her throat now much sorer.
    “Who, honey? Who’s here?” her mother asked, confused, looking around. “Rachel, there’s no one here. Honey, try to get some more sleep. Your sound so tired, and your voice sounds very hoarse.” she said sounding worried.
    “Mom. She’s here. The girl who I found. She’s here! In this hospital. Or at least she was. I can’t sense her nearly as well now.”
    “Rachel,” her father said, nearing her. “How did you know that?”
    “I told you, dad. I don’t know.” she pleaded. “I woke up, and it was almost as if I sensed her. As I followed it, it became stronger and stronger. I followed it straight to the wall. I could feel her inside there. Dad, please believe me,” she begged.
    “Robert…” her mother urged.
    Her father finally getting the hint, came over, kissed her on the forehead and told her that they should go. She needed rest, as did they. Showing her how to get crushed ice for her sore throat, they left her.
    Once again alone in the room she couldn’t help but picture the little girl in there. How she found her. The burned down house. Everything that had happened in the last 48 hours came rushing back. Feeling overwhelmed she started to cry. Slowly at first, the tears just slid down her face, escaping forever down her face. But soon she was sobbing. It hurt so badly, but she couldn’t stop. Her throat burned so she grabbed a small handful of ice and shoved it in her mouth. Sucking vigorously she tried to calm down.
    A short while later a nurse came in. Quickly scrubbing the tears off her face she watched him. He didn’t say a word for the first while. All her did was check her charts, and a couple other things. After a while he gave a small smile and said, “For a girl your age you’re causing quite a ruckus out there. There are police officers just waiting to jump you, reporters are baffled, and every one is wondering the same thing. How?”
    “Girl my age?” she choked out. “You don’t look a year or two older than me.” she gave a half smile trying to ignore why she was here. “Are there really people wanting to see me?”
    “Yeah, they are. But if I were you, I would stay in these hospital corridors until you’re really ready. You’ll need all your strength to fight off the police officers, never mind a pack of hungry reporters. How did it happen anyway? With finding her, and all.” he asked.
    “I don’t really know. There was a fire next door; after the firefighters had gone home, I woke up from my sleep and I could almost sense that there was someone in there. I just followed something that was almost like a scent to the body. I blanked out, and I’m here because I inhaled some smoke, I think,” she coughed out.
    “Well that sounds like quite a night. I don’t think I could have gone in. Well, I’m not here to interrogate you. You’re going to be getting enough of that pretty soon. As soon as you’re ready you’ll be talking 24/7. The police are trying to fight their way in here already. Everyone wants to know how you found the body no one else could,” he said almost accusingly as he walked out the door.
    Rachel slumped down from her half sitting position. He thought it was her. Her parents thought it was her. Everyone thought it was her. How was she going to get anyone to listen? They didn’t know what happened. How could they? Rachel didn’t even know what was happening. She closed her eyes and wished for sleep to overcome her.

    “Sarah? Sarah, where are you? Come back please. Come sit by mom” said a woman’s voice.
    Looking around through the dark Sarah could hear her mother but couldn’t see her. In the small dark room Sarah knew her mother was slowly going crazy. She wasn’t sure how long they had been in here, but she knew they must have been down there a full day or two.
    “I’m sorry mama. I was just looking to see if we missed a spot. I’m thirsty.”
    “Give it up.” hissed her sister. “We’ve scavenged every inch of this room. There’s nothing. No food, no water, no beds. Just us and this small empty room. We’re all going to die and you know it.”
    “Kate Lynn! Stop that now. We’ll get out. He’ll come back and we’ll be fine. Stop scaring your sister!” croaked out their father, very mad.
    “No, we won’t! You know it! Why would he just leave us in here? If he wanted us to live he would have been back by now.”
    “Kate Lynn!” rebuked her mother.
    “Fine!” sulked Kate Lynn.
    Sarah, still through out the quarrel, now slowly moved to her mother. “Mom?” she whispered, “Is Kate Lynn telling the truth?”
    Her mom gave a sign of defeat. “I don’t know baby, I really don’t know.” she said clinging on to Sarah.