Third Place Winner
Jacob von Kutzleben Memorial Writing Contest 2017
I've got you. You're okay."
The fire fighter cradled the tiny patient as he administered oxygen, a life-saving antidote for smoke inhalation. She gripped his large hand and rested her head in the crook of his arm, feeling safe at last.
Her family's home had burned to the ground. No one knew how or where the fire had started. Lt. Brian found his delicate patient in the ruins of the nursery, crying piteously.
Miraculously, her tiny body received only first degree burns on her back and head. The officer found her covered in ash under the crumbled wreck of ruined furniture. Thankfully, she had been on the floor and not in the crib, or smoke inhalation would surely have killed her.
He imagined the terror she felt as she huddled alone in the burning house. Where were the ones who loved her? Where were those she depended on? She must have wondered why her family didn't come rescue her.
"Tiny Dancer" read the tag on the sleek gray cat's tag. Lt. Brian chucked her under her velvety chin as he held the oxygen mask over her muzzle. The mask was scaled down, designed for cats and small dogs. "Your people will be so glad to see you," he cooed.