Note: I know nothing about treating burns (or any other wounds for that matter) so I had to take some creative license and make it all up. I hope it's at least believable!

Chapter 3

"I need water and clean rags," Michaela commanded. Sully immediately leapt into action. Michaela tried to put her emotions aside and to concentrate on just being a doctor but tears still welled in her eyes. Nothing could change the fact that her son was lying in front of her, dying.

Michaela kneeled beside Matthew on the ground, far from the burning house. She pulled up his eyelids and checked his eyes, which were rolled back in his head. She placed her ear against his chest but it did not rise. Sully reappeared with the water and rags.

"Help me sit him up," Michaela instructed. Sully got behind Matthew and leaned his limp body against his own to sit him up. "Now hit him sharply on the upper back every six seconds. We've got to clear his throat and get him breathing again."

Sully did as told.

Michaela dipped her hands into the bucket of water that Sully had brought and cupped her hands together. The water pooled in her hand and she brought it to Matthew's lips. She tried to pour water into his mouth but the water simply dribbled down his chin and shirt. The second cup of water again did nothing. As Michaela lifted the third cup to his lips, she closed her eyes and prayed.

Matthew's bottom lip quivered.

"Michaela," Sully whispered, noticing the movement.

Michaela opened her eyes as Matthew tried to take a deep breath. He began to cough, his whole body shaking.

"Nice and slow, Matthew," Michaela soothed, "breathe nice and slow."

He coughed a deep, hacking cough for nearly five minutes before Michaela was able to give him a real sip of water. His throat was burning but the water felt cool sliding down his throat.

"My legs," Matthew stammered with a raspy, quiet voice. "Dr. Mike, I can't feel my legs."

For the first time, Michaela looked at the rest of Matthew's body. She was so busy trying to get him to breathe that she hadn't really considered his other injuries. She took a look at his legs and then turned to Sully.

"We've got to get him to the clinic."

"My legs. Am I going to lose my legs?" Michaela could barely understand Matthew. She knew that he had an extreme amount of smoke in his lungs and it made speaking difficult, but she still understood what he was asking.

Michaela shook her head. "I don't know," she admitted, wishing that she had better news. She wanted to be able to tell Matthew that everything was going to be okay as if he was a small child sitting on her lap, but she couldn't lie to him.

"Sully, get the wagon," Michaela commanded. Sully gently slid out from underneath Matthew and laid him back on the ground. He raced off to get the wagon. Michaela began dipping the rags that Sully had brought and putting them on Matthew's legs. He winced with pain.

"The girl. What about the girl?" Matthew asked through gritted teeth.

"Andrew's looking after her," Michaela replied.

"Is she alive?"

Again Michaela shook her head. "I don't know."

Michaela turned to try to see Andrew and the girl but the smoke was too thick to see much of anything. Michaela then looked over at the house and noticed that the fire was almost completely out. The only thing left of the house was a pile of charred wood.

Sully arrived with the wagon and, with Michaela carefully picking up Matthew's legs, they were able to get Matthew lying down in the back of the wagon without too much pain. Michaela climbed in the back with Matthew while Sully hopped up on the driver's seat to grab the reins. As they were about to take off, Michaela heard her name being shouted. Andrew came running towards the wagon.

"The girl, she needs to get to the clinic. The hotel's too far away. She won't make it," Andrew yelled.

"We'll put her on the wagon," Sully replied, jumping down from the wagon.

"Hurry, Sully," Michaela called after him as he and Andrew ran yet again into the smoke.

"She's alive?" Matthew questioned, still coughing.

"Yes," Michaela responded.

Sully appeared through the smoke holding the girl limp in his arms. Michaela helped Matthew move over in the wagon and Sully laid her down next to him. Her eyes were open but her breathing was shallow and she was even more burned than Matthew.

"I'm going to stay here," Andrew decided. "There are still a few people who need help. I'll get to the clinic as soon as I can."

"Good luck, Andrew," Michaela said.

"I think it's you who needs the luck," Andrew replied.

Sully hopped on the wagon once more and snapped the reins. The wagon lurched forward. Michaela took one of the wet rags that she had taken onto the wagon with her and placed it on the girl's arm, which was badly burned.

The girl slowly turned her head towards Matthew.

"Thank you," she said quietly, her voice just as raspy as Matthew's.

Matthew slowly moved his arm and gently squeezed her unburned hand.