Kess Melanie Edmonds

When an apartment building catches on fire and traps a number of its residents on the roof, the fire department calls in some aerial support. They call her the Fire Angel. Can she help them get everyone to safety before the fire brings the whole building down? Challenge: the story must be completely told through dialogue.

Drama Not for children under 13.

#TheAuthorsCup #TheDialogue
Short tale
reading time
AA Share

The Blazing Tower

“Station 42 to the Fire Angel. Come in, Fire Angel. Please respond.”

“Hold on, just one—”

“Station 42 to Fire Angel.”

“Give me one— Station 42? This is Fire Angel. Uh, over?”

“Fire Angel! We’ve been trying to call you.”

“Sorry, I was out of range. What do you need, Station 42?”

“Got a situation that we could use some aerial support for. Can you offer assistance?”

“Yes! Yes, no problem. Where is it?”

“Castle Tower Apartments, on the corner of Blythesdale and 78th.”

“Castle Tower… yes, I know where that is. I’m a few minutes out…”

“Fast as you can, Fire Angel, we’ve got a bad situation here.”

“I hear you. I’ll need a couple of minutes to pick up my gear. Be with you in about 6, 8 minutes?”

“See you then, Fire Angel. Station 42 out.”


“This is Gail Rotherham, reporting for Channel 13 news. We’re live in downtown Seattle today, where a twenty-storey apartment building has caught fire. As you can see behind me, the Seattle Fire Department is on the scene and struggling to get control of the blaze that has taken over the building.

“The call came in about fifteen minutes ago and the firefighters have already evacuated everyone they can from the building and its two immediate neighbours. Their efforts are being hampered by the fact that the fire seems to have penetrated through the whole fifteenth floor, cutting off the floors above it. They’re currently trying to find a way to get to the people in the apartments above, which include women and children. They advised the trapped residents to get to the roof and—

“Wait, something seems to be happening. Is that the Fire Angel? Can we get a closer look at her? Yes, I can confirm that the Fire Angel has just arrived on-scene. That’s Seattle’s own flying heroine, who sources say has a direct line to the fire department.

“They must have called her in for this. And look at that! She just picked someone up off the roof. Looks like a child. She’s coming down near the ambulances - we’ve got two ambulances on scene already, so she’ll be dropping the child off to be checked over right away.

“I’m hearing that we have about a dozen people on the roof, waiting for a rescue. That’s an awful lot of people for one person to carry down. Do we know if she can do that? How many people can she carry at a time on those wings? We don’t know how stable the building is with so much of it currently on fire, so the families on the roof might not have time for twelve trips.

“We’re going to keep you posted, live here in downtown Seattle. Stay tuned to Channel 13. Back to you in the studio, Dennis.”


“Hi Chief.”

“Fire Angel! About time you turned up. You scoped the situation already?”

“Yes, there’s nearly twenty people on that roof.”

“Twenty? Ar you sure?”

“I am. A bunch of them are teenagers.”

“Probably having a party. Great.”

“It’s gonna take me some time to bring them all down one at a time.”

“Fucking hell. I can’t get a ladder up that high and the chopper is twenty minutes out. And— fuck!”

“What the hell was that?”

“Just a window blowing out. You okay? Got some glass on you.”

“I’m all right. Nothing I can’t get out of my feathers later.”

“Good. So, the roof. What can you do?”

“Do you have one of those inflatable cushion things? That might make it quicker to drop them off, if I don’t have to land and take off each time.”

“We don’t actually carry those. It’s more of a movie thing.”

“Oh. Uh… There’s a roof across the street that’s lower.”

“You want to drop them there?”

“No, I was thinking a zip line might work? The street’s too sharp of an angle, but another roof should be okay.”

“A zip line, huh.”

“Do you have anything that’ll reach? That’s what… forty, fifty feet?”

“I think we can find something. You need anything else?”

“A firefighter at each end, and I’ll carry down anyone who can’t go across on the line.”

“Can you get ‘em up there?”

“Wings go up as well as down.”

“I’ll take that as a yes. Jones! Tictac! Get over here. You’re going up with the Fire Angel. Ditch your tanks and get ready.”

“Yes sir!”

“Hey, Halliday! I need a line, about forty, fifty feet…”


“Thanks Dennis. This is Gail Rotherham, reporting live from the scene of a massive blaze in downtown Seattle. Tonight we have three fire crews on site, along with the Fire Angel, all trying to get the fire in the apartment block behind me under control.

“Reports say that the fire started on the fifteenth floor and has spread to completely cut off the upper floors. No-one is sure what caused it at this stage. Residents at home when the blaze began have gathered on the roof, rumoured to be as many as thirty. From what we can tell from here, the fire department is setting up a line to get people off the roof of the burning building and across to the roof on the opposite side of the street. It’s a risky undertaking but we have full confidence in our fire department.

“The Fire Angel has been helping the fire department set up the emergency zip line, but in the last few minutes, we’ve seen her peel off to start bringing people down one at a time. She has been taking her rescues directly to the ambulances on site, so she’s likely bringing down those too injured or too young to use the zip line.

“We saw her talking with Fire Captain Blomsky earlier, so we know she’s working directly with the fire department. Other than that, we know very little about her. As you can see from the footage we’ve captured of her so far, she keeps the lower part of her face covered, though that might be just a measure to deal with the smoke. The fire department has refused to release her real name and any details about what she can really do. We do know that she has wings that are, by all accounts, real, can carry a person in flight, and is apparently here to help. It’s also rumoured that she’s impervious to fire and can lift a couple of tons.

“But everyone wants to know: who is the Fire Angel really?”


“Hey, Tictac. Is this the last one?”

“Of the kids? Yeah. The rest should go over on the line.”

“Okay. You go over when the last one is good, and I’ll release the line.”

“You sure? It’s getting dangerous up here.”

“Then better it’s just one of us, right? You sort them out, I’ll be right back.”

“Okay, Fire Angel.”

“All right, kiddo. You ready to get outa here?”

“Y-yeah. You’re really gonna fly me down?”

“Sure am. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe. I’m not gonna let you go.”

“I’m not— it’s really high.”

“I know. If you like, you can close your eyes. All you’re gonna feel is the wind, and I’ll tell you when you’re down and good to go. How’s that?”

“I- I… I’m scared.”

“I know, honey, but we gotta—”

“AH! What was that?!”

“It’s getting a bit tricky up here. We can’t stay. Come on, I promise, you’re gonna be just fine. Close your eyes.”

“I, I…”

“There, that’s good. Hold onto me. Just don’t grab the wings, okay? We need them. I got you, I got you, here we go, just a bit of wind… it’s not far at all, just a little hop down. It’s real noisy down here, huh? And here we are, you can open your eyes now. On your feet, there you go, all good.”

“Woah. I think I’m gonna hurl.”

“Well, try not to get it on anyone’s shoes. Paramedics will be with you shortly. …okay, bye, you’re welcome.”


“Yes, Dennis, we’re still here on the corner of Blythesdale Street and 78th Avenue at the Castle Tower fire. We’ve got confirmation that our brave fire fighters have got all the families off the roof, with the help of the Fire Angel.

“The fire crews seem to have the blaze under control now, and they’ve prevented it from spreading to the nearby buildings. They’ve got everyone out, so it seems like this scene that could have gone so wrong is going to have a happy end— wait, wait. Something’s happening… oh no.

“It looks like the line from the roof is giving way while someone’s on it. Is that a fire fighter? No, no, the line broke! Someone is falling, this is awful, oh my g— what was that? Did you get that? What was— Uh. I’m not sure what just happened. Can we play it back? Can you get a better look in the studio, Dennis?

“She caught him! The Fire Angel caught him, in mid-air! We didn’t see where they came down, but she caught him! Is he okay? Can we get a shot of them? Where are they?

“Wait, there she is! She’s okay, the Fire Angel is okay, and she’s heading back to the roof of the building, which is now completely engulfed in fire. She seems to be okay after that mid-air rescue. We haven’t seen the person she just plucked out of the air yet, but we’ll find out what happened and update everyone just as soon as we can.

“And I think the Fire Angel is going back onto the roof! The whole thing is on fire and she just flew right in. This is amazing. Is there still someone up there? We’re… we’re going to an ad break right now, but stay tuned and we’ll be right back with the latest.”


“Hello? Is there someone in here? Hello?”

Hello! Fire dep- department!”

“In here! Help, in here!”

“Okay, I hear you, I hear you. I’m here to help.”

“We can’t open the door, it’s too hot!”

“All right, no problem. Stand back from the door.”

“Okay! Please hurry!”

“Hey, it’s okay, I’m gonna get you out now.”

“Holy shit, how did you do that?”

“I’ll tell you later. Is it just you in here? No-one else?”

“Yeah, just me. Part of the room collapsed just after the others got out…”

“I heard a baby.”


“A baby. I heard it crying. Do you know where it is?”

“No, I haven’t heard anything like that. The fire…”

“Yeah, it’s getting really bad here. Just took out the roof, I had to climb down through it to get to you.”

“That’s three floors away.”

“There’s not much of them left. There’s too much fire back the way I came; we’re gonna have to go out of the window.”

“What? You want to jump, are you crazy?”

“No, we’re gonna be fine. Come on. I’ll go first.”

“Hold up, are those wings? You’re the Fire Angel!”

“Yeah, and we’re… we gotta go. Come on, it’s okay, climb out.”

“It’s a long way down.”

“Unless you’re as fireproof as I am, you’re gonna have to trust me.”

“I- I’m not sure I can do this…”

“Don’t look down, look at me.”

“But you’re just hovering there! I can’t do that!”

“I’m doing it for both of us. Just climb onto the ledge, you can do it. I’ll do the rest.”

“I… oh god, I’m going to die. I’m gonna die right here. Ohhhh god.”

“There, see, you’re out. That wasn’t so bad now, was it?”

“It’s a fucking long way down. Oh god.”

“Okay now, I’m gonna take hold of you. Just don’t grab my wings, okay? Not the wings. You understand?”

“Uh, not the wings, okay… wait what are you ahhhhhhhhhhhhh….”

“…you can let go now. We’re down.”

“Wait what, are you serious? …oh. Wow.”

“There you go.”

“I, uh, thank you. I don’t even— thank you.”

“No problem. You’re welcome.”

“Hey, are you okay? You don’t look so good.”

“Fine, I’m fine. Just hang out here— and someone’ll check you out.”

“Okay… I’m just gonna sit… sit right here…”

“Fire Angel! There you are. What the hell was that?”

“Hey, Chief. Uh, what part are you— asking about?”

“You going into the building. You’re not supposed to do that. You all right?”

“I’m— fine.”

“Smoke’s getting to you? I thought you were immune to all that?”

“I’m immune to fire. Smoke, not so much.”

“Dammit. Come with me. And what’s wrong with your arm?”

“What makes you—”

“I know when one of my people is injured.”

“Hit Tictac a little too hard in the air. Just a little… I’ll be okay. Don’t worry about it.”

“Right, you’re a tough girl. What made you go in there?”

“I heard a baby crying.”

“A— what? Rhonda, got a spare oxygen mask?”

“No, it’s okay, I don’t need—”

“Yeah, you do.”

“Here you go, Chief.”

“I can’t, my mask…”

“Thanks, Rhonda. Get up in the back of the ambulance, then. Grab a few lungfuls while I get someone to check the headcount again. I thought we got them all.”

“I know what I heard, Chief.”



“Chief to Fire Angel, where the hell are you going?”

“Hi Chief. I’m going after that voice I heard.”

“That fire isn’t anywhere near under control enough for anyone to go in there, and didn’t I tell you to get some oxygen?”

“I took a few lungfuls, exactly like you asked. I feel much better now.”

“Oh for— get back down here!”

“No, Chief, I can’t, I… wait, I hear it again.”

“Are you sure? A baby?”

“A baby or a child maybe… someone is crying, I can hear it. I’m just trying to find….”

“…find what? You cut out there. What are you doing?”

“Trying to find the best place to hear it from. The wind’s carrying it up to me. I can follow the airstream to the source.”

“I… don’t know what the hell you just said. Get back down here!”

“No, there’s someone still in there, I know it!”

“You’re the one who said you couldn’t go inside!”

“Got it. It’s coming from the fifteenth floor.”

“No, that’s the source of the fire. It’s an inferno in there. It’s too dangerous, you’ll get yourself killed.”

“There’s someone still alive in there, somehow. I’m… I’m the only one who can go inside. It’s gotta be me, Chief.”

“Fire Angel, don’t do this.”

“I’ll be all right. Please trust me. Don’t let anyone follow me.”

“You keep this goddamn radio on! You stay on this channel, you hear me?”

“Yeah, I hear you, you don’t have to shout. I’m… I’m going in.”


“This is Gail Rotherham, reporting from the Castle Tower fire in downtown Seattle. The blaze is continuing to burn down here, and part of the roof collapsed about ten minutes ago. The fire department are still trying to get control here, and they’re working hard to keep the fire from spreading to neighbouring buildings. They had hoped that the fire would have burned down by now, but it seems to be still going strong.

“The good news is that it looks like everyone has been rescued from the apartment building. So many homes have been destroyed but the families that live in them are out. Two people have been taken to hospital in a serious condition. There are some minor injuries and a lot of smoke inhalation, but between the fire department and our resident Fire Angel, the worst of the danger seems to be—

“Wait, I’m seeing some movement here. We’ve got some activity down here on the ground, and it looks like the Fire Angel is heading into the building up at roof level. She pulled someone out just minutes ago and now it looks like she’s going in again. Let me see if I can find out what’s going on. Captain! Excuse me, Captain Blomsky!”

“Get out of here, you’re supposed to be behind the cordon.”

“Captain Blomsky, is there someone still in the building?”

“Come on, you know I’m not going to comment on that. We’re doing everything we can to make sure the building is clear and everyone is out of danger.”

“So the Fire Angel is just going in to check? Isn’t that dangerous?”

“What’s dangerous is you getting in the way. Now get back behind the cordon before I have someone remove you! We’re busy here!”

“Well, there you have it, Dennis. Looks like the saga of the Castle Tower fire is far from over. Gail Rotherham, reporting live for Channel 13 news.”

June 27, 2019, 2:27 p.m. 4 Report Embed Follow story
Read next chapter The Fire's Source

Comment something

No comments yet. Be the first to say something!

Are you enjoying the reading?

Hey! There are still 1 chapters left on this story.
To continue reading, please sign up or log in. For free!