FreeFall

Kim Blachard is 29 years old. Her boyfriend has just proposed and they are going to have the biggest wedding they can imagine. It's September 11th 2001 and Kim is at work, like any other day on the 105th floor of the World Trade Centre.

Today Kim will fight for her life and the lives of those around her but when she and two others become trapped in a small office whilst trying to escape and the oxygen starts to run out, Kim will face the biggest decision of her life....

Note: The characters in this story are completely fictional and do not represent any persons living or dead.

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It felt as if hours had passed since the explosion shook the building but a glance at the clock, now hanging crooked on the far wall, proved her wrong. Only ten minutes ago they were all yelling and panicking, Sharon from reception had just entered with post as the building shook. Her scream was the loudest, high pitched and almost like something from a horror movie, she had went to run back out of the office and down the stairs before a ball of flame caught her full in the face on the third step from the top.

Now they all sat along the back wall of the office prodding at their mobile phones, Sharon being held in the corner by the youngest of the office workers, Dan,  hoping that someone would get even the smallest of signals. She could her whimpering as the cold flannel made from Dan’s tie dabbed at the red burns on her cheeks and neck.


Kim could take the silence no longer and pushed herself up the wall to her feet, the smart black heels she would usually wear for work, now discarded somewhere in the darkness, were no use to her now. Barefoot she used the light of her phone to find her way to the desk she slaved at everyday. Maybe we can still access the internet! I have to tell Tom I’m ok.


“Someone help me find my desk!”, she only half expected a reply. Since it happened everyone had been silent, the distant wail of sirens far below and occasional sparks of electricity from floors underneath this one the only sounds they could hear. A few mumbles came from the six colleagues in the room with her, not one sounded like a confirmation of help. “I need to reach one of the computers, if its still connected we can get help and contact our families…….”, still nothing, the mumbles even less audible than before.


“What the fuck is wrong with you people!!”, Kim felt angry now and scared but mostly angry that none of these people wanted to help her to help them. “We will all die here if your just going to sit there on you’re a…..”, an arm reached out of the darkness to grab hers interrupting her rage. She screamed and tried to push away before realising that it was one of her colleagues.


Sam Howard, who worked at the desk across from hers had been the only one to speak at all since she asked for help. “Get off me!!, you have to help me to the computer, I can’t see anything properly and if I can just contact Tom then….”, the tears came all too quickly.


Sam fell to the floor with her and held her in his arms on the debris that was once the office supplies. “I know, I know Kim, it’s okay. Don’t bother with the computer, the power is down everywhere, you heard the sirens right? We are going to be fine”.


“For all we know there’s just been a terrible accident, we all saw the plane before it hit, maybe the pilot lost control?” They don’t even know what’s happened here! No wonder I’m the only one in this mess!  It was hard not to feel comforted by his words, but in the back of her mind Kim knew what they had all clearly missed. She had seen that second plane, the explosion, whilst the others were scrambling over each other in a panic, only she had known that this was no accident. Inside she felt that last bit of hope seep away from her bones and it frightened Kim more than anything had frightened her before.

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