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Footprints In The Ashes
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Footprints In The Ashes
Little Lena Walker had no idea who Osama Bin Laden was. She didn't understand politics, or revenge, or things like that. She was living in a new city and now she was alone. Trapped beneath the rubble created by a madman with only the love of her parents to guide her. And the Lord...
Mark G. Brittan. PT English tutor at a local community college; PT Sports Stringer at a local newspaper; 27 years old, brown hair, brown eyes, 5'11"; Interests include sports, horror movies, comic books and writing.
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A Matter Of Life And Death: Batman And Michael Myers (Short Stories) Michael Myers had been pursuing his sister, Laurie Strode, relentlessly for 20 years. Attempting to flee the country, and ultimately her psychotic brother, her escape was delayed in Gotham City. Mic... [7,825 words] [Fan Fiction]
Fear The Reaper: Batman And Michael Myers Part 2 (Short Stories) Bruce Wayne had not had a restful night of sleep since his encounter with the serial killer, Michael Myers. His dreams were haunted by images of the Shape murdering without remorse and himself powerl... [13,314 words] [Fan Fiction]
Or So He Thought (Short Stories) What happens when you lose the love of your life? How do you go on after you've been betrayed in the worst possible way? But worse yet, what do you do when you're still in love with the person who h... [1,727 words] [Relationships]
When Machines Bleed (Short Stories) All season long, the Sterling Heights Stevenson Titans High School football team had been ripping through its opponents en route to the Michigan Class AA state title game at the Pontiac Silverdome vs.... [3,286 words] [Action]
Footprints In The Ashes
FOOTPRINTS IN THE ASHES
BY MARK G. BRITTAN
The attack was unexpected. The damage, catastrophic. At 10:28 AM on
September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center towers collapsed. Rubble five stories
high. Neighboring buildings in danger of collapse. Fires. Several thousand missing or
dead. What just happened? Who? Why? How?
Rescue workers had been working for days clearing debris and searching for
survivors. Reporters from all over the world searched for answers. The American
public was saddened. Angered. Paranoid. And Vulnerable. Nobody to blame. Yet.
Was it Osama Bin Laden? Saddam Hussein? President George W. Bush vowed to
make terrorists worldwide pay. He vowed to learn the identity of the unknown author of
“You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard,” one reporter scorned.
Could such a heinous act possibly have a silver lining? Maybe. In the days that
followed, Americans nationwide united in a way they never had before in their history.
The country became colorblind. Nonpartisan. It lost interest in sports. And the stock
market. It brought out the very best humanity had to offer. People volunteered money.
Food. Labor. Blood. They hung American flags in record numbers. Even America’s
allies rallied to its cause. For the first time ever, the Star Spangled Banner was played
at Buckingham Palace during the Changing of the Guard. It played in Canada. It even
played in Russia.
But all of that has very little to do with this story. This isn’t a story about nations.
Or global conflict. It is a story about one little girl. Her name is Lena Walker.
Lena was four years old. She had curly red hair. Freckles. Dimples. And her
smile was broken by a gap in her two front teeth. She was the daughter of Christopher
and Renee Walker. The couple had recently moved to New York because Mr. Walker’s
company had offered him a substantial promotion. They didn’t like the idea of leaving
behind friends and family but decided it was financially in their best interest. Lena was
devastated. Her reaction broke her Dad’s heart so he bought her a new teddy bear to
help make her feel better.
Because both parents worked, Chris took advantage of the child care facility
which was available to all of the employees who worked in the World Trade Center.
Since he began work at 9 AM, he tried to arrive a few minutes early each day so that
he could drop Lena off. When the first plane struck the north tower at 8:48 AM, Chris
had just arrived at his office which was several floors up from the day care center. He
frantically ran down the stairs hoping to get to Lena before it was too late...
“DADDYYY!!! MOMMYYY!!!” Lena cried.
It had been days since the buildings had collapsed. She was battered.
Bruised. She had a deep cut across her forehead. The pretty pink dress she had been
wearing was filthy. Shredded. She was trapped beneath the millions of tons of debris.
Only tiny cracks of light let her know it was daytime. She squeezed her small body
through one of the fissures. She could hear people talking. Fireman. Policeman. She
looked around for anyone that could help her. And then she saw him.
“DADDY!” she said.
Chris had been sandwiched between two large beams. He was badly injured.
But still breathing.
“Wake up Daddy! Wake up!” she cried.
Nothing. She ran for help. She found a lone fireman not far away. He had
been digging when he heard her cries for help.
“You gotta help my Daddy! Please!” she pleaded.
He hurried over to where Chris was stuck. He immediately radioed for help.
“We gotta get you out of here,” he said, “This place isn’t safe.”
He picked her up and carried her to safety.
“I’ve got to go back and help your Daddy OK?” he said, “Stay here and
someone will come and take care of you.”
And then he was gone. She was still clutching her teddy bear and crying. Two
of the tallest buildings in the world were lying at her feet. Thousands were dead.
America was ready to go to war. But none of that mattered to Lena. Her daddy was
hurt. That was all that mattered.
And then a man began walking towards her. Not a fireman. Not a policeman.
Not a doctor. He had long brown hair and a beard. He was dressed in a long white
robe. And no shoes. The man walked through the ashes in his bare feet.
“Hello Lena,” he said.
“My Mommy told me not to talk to strangers,” she said softly, turning away.
“Did your Mommy and Daddy ever tell you about me?” he asked as he knelt
She studied his face closely. And then she identified the man.
“Are you a stranger Mr. Christ?”
“No, my precious child, I’m not a stranger.”
He offered her his hand and the two walked toward a portal of light that seemed
to come from nowhere.
“Mr. Christ, what happened to your hands?”
Renee finally located Chris after days of searching. Her eyes were red and
swollen from all of the crying. She hugged his broken body and broke down
completely. The fireman who had helped Chris approached the couple.
“You two have a very brave little girl,” he said, “We wouldn’t have gotten to your
husband in time if it hadn’t been for her.”
“SHE’S STILL ALIVE?!!?” Renee asked, “WHERE IS SHE???”
“I thought she’d be with you two,” he answered.
Two days later, the New York City Fire Department uncovered the remains of
Lena Walker. When they found her, she was still hugging the teddy bear Chris had
--September 16, 2001
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are
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"I think this was a well-written story, but I'm a bit surprised at the ending ("she was still hugging the teddy bear Christ had given her"). Why would our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ give a dead little girl a teddy bear? I think He'd get her something more useful, like a defibrillator." -- Ronnie Van Zandt, Boise, Idaho, USA.
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© 2001 Mark Brittan
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