Fuck. Got careless, got sloppy, and it's ended badly. Shrody and I have come out of this with our skins intact, anyway, and Frank's still being his usual loving self, so it could be a lot worse.
Still, I lost half of my notes, including all of Alice's notes AND her notebook itself. Not to mention the fear that comes when you get stupid enough to think you might be safe and something terrible happens.
See, we hit a motel a little early tonight. I know I haven't been sleeping worth shit, and taking care of a new kitten means Shrody's not sleeping as well as she could be either. I think all three of us were relieved to see the inside of our rooms-two, with the connecting door wide open, as usual. I took first watch, it's not like I was going to sleep anyway-apparently suddenly sobering up will do that to a girl.
In any event, when they called the alarm over the intercom, Shrody and I were up and moving in a flash, grabbing what we could and out the door. The other guests-not that there were many of them- followed us out shortly afterward, followed by the staff, the manager carrying his ledger and doing a head count.
The motel was going up FAST, from several different points, but it looked like no harm had been done to any of us. I motioned for Shrody to follow me to the car and started loading up. It was only when I turned to ask for her bag that I noticed she was gone. And then I immediately realized that Frank hadn't made it out with us.
It was stupid of me not to grab him and stupid of me to let Shrody out of my sight when her kitten was in danger. So, I did something equally stupid. I ran in after her. Because like hell was I going to risk anything else happening to her.
If you've never walked into a burning building, it's a little pointless to describe the suffocating heat, the smoke everywhere, sometimes thin enough that you almost wouldn't know there was a fire, sometimes so thick you can't see a foot in front of your face. Mostly I stayed clear of the flames, but trying to get through the hotel occasionally I'd hit a stretch where the flames bloomed above me or to the side and made the entire place look like some crazed artist's rendition of hell. It's the sort of thing you have to live to really understand, and trust me, you don't want to.
That said, it didn't take me long to get to her, it just felt like it. She'd made it to the room, but she was OUT. The ceiling was starting to cave, and something fell on her-though I'm not really sure what, there was nothing nearby that looked like it fell. Looked like it was on fire when it hit, but for whatever reason it went out quick-which was good for her. Even better, Frank was there, nosing at her, trying to wake her. I grabbed her and Frank and got the fuck out of there. Once we were out, the Manager started fussing over us and trying to insist on calling an ambulance. I'm not ENTIRELY sure how Shrody's condition works and I didn't think she'd want doctors peering at her if she could help it, so I stalled until she woke up.
Oh that was such a relief. I'm willing to admit now, now that we're safe and far away, that I was terrified. I was so worried that something serious had happened-or worse, that I'd lost her completely.
She seemed to be in a lot of pain, but she insisted the man not call an ambulance, and so he FINALLY left to deal with his other customers. After that it was a matter of waiting until she was alright to move and then getting the fuck out of there.
Though I will say. The smile on her face when she saw Frank safe and well made it all worth it.