We’ve almost reached it. I can’t see it any more, black smoke fills the tiny stuga, my eyes are stinging, watering; I’m just pressing on, an inch at a time. One arm clutching around his chest, the other behind me, steadying us, feeling our way across the burning floor. His head lolls to one side. Should I cover his mouth, stop him breathing in this smoke? If he is breathing. A wave of hopelessness washes over me, but then we hit something. The coatrack crashes down over us, I cover his head. We’re at the door. I slam myself against and it gives; a sweet rush of fresh, cold air. I want to cry with relief, but not yet. We’re not out yet.
The metal doorframe sears white hot pain onto the palm of my hand. I’m branded. But we have to get across it. I grit my teeth against the scream of agony, with one last burst of strength haul Anders over the threshold. His weight throws me off balance; we’re tumbling down the rickety wooden steps onto grass. Cool, rain soaked grass.
Anders hasn’t moved. Thick, black looking blood oozes from the wound in his head. Pulse. Is there a pulse? I don’t know; I can’t tell, my hands are shaking.
There’s a crash from inside the stuga, a thick cloud of smoke billows out the open door, the fire enraged by the fresh oxygen we let in.
She’s in there.