The sound of an alarm rang. It was a small, brightly lit room, filled with whirring machines. A man stood in the middle of the room, his eyes gleaming with excitement. His hair mussed and his long, white lab coat covered in coffee stains. He had been working non-stop for the last five months in a desperate attempt to return his life to what it used to be. 

“This is it.” He stepped towards the long tube like machine in front of him and pressed his palm to the sensor. The doors whooshed open, the air sending his mussed hair every which way.

Five months ago

The man stood in the middle of his lab and sighed. These last few months had been rough, a lot of long hours and very little time for his family. Things had gotten so bad that his wife had mentioned divorce. He couldn’t stand the thought of losing the woman he loved. With that thought in mind, he took a break from work and planned a family vacation.

The trip was supposed to be fun; a fun, family weekend getaway. They packed their bags and piled into the family station wagon. The couple sat in the front, holding hands across the empty seat between them, the young girl in the backseat, singing along with the music playing on the radio. In no time at all, the family found themselves at the small cabin hidden in the woods.

The cabin sat on the edge of the sparkling lake and was surrounded by dense forests. It was their favorite vacation destination and they had been visiting for years. Little did they know, this would be the last family vacation they ever took.

He retired to the bedroom early, after a long day of work and then driving he was exhausted. His wife and daughter sat in the living room, a bowl of popcorn between them and a movie playing on the small television. The day had been amazing. The family had spent a few hours fishing, he had grilled hot dogs over the firepit and then when they couldn’t stand the persistent mosquitoes they retreated into the cabin and played board games until he couldn’t hold his eyes open anymore. 

The man woke, a burning smell tingling his nose. He jumped from the bed and ran to the door dividing the bedroom from the living room. He grabbed the doorknob and recoiled in pain. The heat coming from the door was overwhelming, sweat ran in rivulets down his face. He could hear their screams, but he was trapped in the bedroom. In a moment of panic, he jumped out of the window and ran around to the front of the cabin. The yellow flames licked the front window, causing small spider web like cracks to form in the glass. Grey, putrid smoke plumed from the roof as the flames made their way through the small wooden cabin. 

He ran for help, but when he returned, only the roaring fire could be heard. There were no more desperate screams coming from inside the cabin. He watched as the men in fireproof suits carried out the lifeless bodies of his wife and daughter. They were gone. He collapsed on the ground right where he stood and buried his face into the dirt. It wasn’t fair. He pleaded, he cried, he screamed, but it was no use, they were gone.

The steam coming from the machine cleared and the man dropped to the ground. His eyes traveled from her bare feet, up her long slender legs and rested on her angelic face. She was alive. 

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