Larry Alive

Larry couldn’t believe his fortune.  He’d come to New York to try and convince someone to help him get a grant for an idea he’d had for a business to get him out of the shop he worked in.

The first two places he’d tried had laughed him out of their offices, with taunts of the economy ringing in his ears.  However, the third place, a financial solutions place, had taken a chance on him and not only helped him with the structure of his idea, but also gave him a grant themselves.

He was on cloud nine, and it wasn’t even nine am yet.  What a great way to start his day, and week.

His wife had told him to just believe in himself like she did, and he couldn’t have come in here with confidence if she wasn’t so supportive of this decision.

He’d have to give her a call from the elevator, so she wouldn’t spend any more time worrying about how it had gone.

Larry was walking down the corridor towards the 103rd floor elevator bank, pulling out his cell phone when he felt an earthquake shake the entire building.  He was not the only one thrown to the floor, and he heard screaming and then from below somewhere a smell erupted into the air, a burning stench.

He could feel the heat from a fire underneath him, and was confused, apparently not the only one, as most people were running around and trying to figure out what had happened.

Then the news started coming through the crowds, a plane had just crashed into the building and Larry thought to himself, ‘a plane crashed into one of the twin towers?  huh? How far off course was it?’

He heard some woman shout out that the stairs were blocked by fire and smoke, and then heard someone else yell that the elevators were not working, and then panic ensued.

People were racing in all directions, knocking others down trying to find some escape from the building.

Larry wasn’t sure what to do, but he knew running in circles wouldn’t help, so he went into the nearest office and walked to the window.

He looked down and saw a black plume of smoke stretching into the sky.  But it was another plane coming out of the smoke that chilled his blood, and he watched almost in slow motion as it plowed into the other twin tower.

Thinking about the stairs and elevators being blocked, he knew there was only one other way out of this building, and that was to jump out the window, but he knew that was ludicrous from 103 stories above the ground.  A person would be dead before they hit, and even if they survived the fall, the pavement would liquefy the body at that speed.

He called his wife and talked to her about where he was, and tried to stay calm through her panic and terror.  He told her to keep her faith in God and they’d see each other in heaven, he told her he loved her, then told her to make sure their daughter knew the same thing.

He hung up the phone so she wouldn’t hear him die, and he went to sit in the best chair he could find.  Larry wasn’t sure where this serenity had come from, but it helped him take in what had befallen him and his place in time.

He sat back in the chair, and watched the smoke billow past the window, and he went to sleep.

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