Disclaimer: I Do Not Own The Escape From Furnace Series Or Any Of Its Amazing Characters. All Credit Goes To Alexander Gordon Smith. The Paragraphs Bolded Below, Belong Directly To Alexander Gordon Smith. They're taken from Escape From Furnace: Solitary


We were so busy cheering that none of us noticed the change in the chimney, the thickening of the air. I coughed, thinking it was just the exertion of the climb. But then Simon sputtered too, Zee's whoops of delight becoming a rattle, I opened my mouth but no oxygen flowed in, only an acrid cloud that lined my windpipe. I coughed again, this time convinced I'd hacked up a lung.

"Oh no," said Simon. I didn't need to look down to know what he was talking about, but I did anyway. I could make out the silhouettes of the two boys beneath me, squirming against the wall as they tried to escape the growing flames.

The incinerator had been lit.

I tried to double my speed, tried to scramble up the rock and outrun the smoke. It was pointless. I didn't know whether the blacksuits had discovered our escape or whether it was just another of the cruel twists of fate that Furnace was so, so good at, but there was no way we could go on.

I heard Simon coughing again, too many times for him to have been able to draw a breath. Zee was wheezing like one of the gas masks, his fingers grasping at my legs for support. But I had none to give. With another racking sputter, I felt my grip on the wall come loose. I tried to wedge my back against the rock but I was spasming too much, the smoke in my lungs, in my eyes.

There wasn't even enough air for me to curse the blacksuits, curse the warden, curse our crappy luck, curse God. The smoke was in my head now, a pungent cloud even darker and filthier than the chimney. I knew I was passing out, I knew I couldn't hold on any longer.

I took one last look at the speck of daylight, keeping my eyes open even though they burned. Then I was falling, thumping into Zee, our tangled limbs hitting Simon, all of us plummeting toward the fire below.

The last thing I heard before seeping into unconsciousness was the familiar, earsplitting screech of the gas masks echoing off the stone walls that made up the prison I'd learned to despise with every fiber of my being. We'd lost. There was no escape for us this time, Donovan had died in vain. I'd failed him. I'm sorry, Donovan, I thought sadly as my vision blackened for what I was certain would be the last time…

Chapter 1: Surprises

I awoke to someone calling my name. "Alex," the voice sounded distant, as if it were trying to communicate with me from across a football field. I tried to reply with an irritated what, but all that came out of my mouth was a weak groan.

My head throbbed as if it'd been trampled on by an elephant, but somehow, against all odds, I was alive. I had no idea how that could even be possible. I'd fallen at least fifteen meters into the raging inferno that was the incinerator, I mean, there was no way I could've survived that without a scratch. Sure, my head was killing me, but otherwise, I was fine. Even if survival was possible, shouldn't I have been feeling indescribable amounts of pain or something? From what I've heard, it sort comes with the whole burning to death thing.

"Alex," the voice called again, shaking me from my thoughts. Slowly, my eyes fluttered open, revealing a large blurry shape standing above me. "Alex, mate, say something!"

When the blurry figure came into focus, I practically felt the blood drain entirely from my face. "D-Donovan?" I stammered.

He knelt down beside me, looking relieved. "No, it's the bloody Queen of England. Christ, Sawyer, you must've hit your head harder than I thought," his grin faded when he caught sight of my shocked expression. "Hey, are you alright, mate? You look like you've seen a ghost."

He tried to put a comforting hand on my shoulder, but I jumped back at his touch as if I'd been shocked. "Impossible. It's not…there's no way…" I trailed off into silence, unable to say another word.

Concern flooded his expression. "Alex, what's wrong? It's me, Donovan, I swear. Are you feeling okay?"

"Yeah, fine." I lied, recovering from the shock of seeing my dead best friend sitting not five feet from me. "What the hell happened?"

"You tell me. One minute you were telling me we couldn't leave the others behind, the next, you pass out," he said, obviously confused. "Now you're looking at me like I'm some sort of ghost or something…"

I cut him off, realizing what day it was. This was my last day with Donovan as my cell mate. He'd be taken by the Gas Masks tonight. That meant that we had to get the hell out of Furnace ASAP. "Go get the others."

Donovan looked confused. "Wait…what?"

"Go get the others, D," I repeated. "C'mon, man, we don't have a lot of time if we want to get out of here."

"I thought we were leaving tomorrow," he said. "That was the original…"

"Fuck the original plan! If we stay here another night, that's a chance for one of the wheezers to come and take us and turn us into monsters…if that's what you want, by all means, stay here, but I'm getting the others out of here tonight," I paused. "Look, Donovan, I know we had a plan, but I have a really bad feeling about tonight, okay?"

His expression softened. "Yeah, you're right, I'll…I'll go get the others…" he said, turning away.

I grabbed his shoulder to stop him. "No. I'll go. Set up for the explosion…" I took a deep breath, willing myself to continue. "If I don't make it back…"

"Don't talk like that, Alex," Donovan warned. "We'll get out of here, don't you worry."

"No, listen to me, Donovan…" I snapped. "If anything goes wrong…"

"Nothing's gonna go wrong."

"But if it does, I want you…I want you to go along with the plan…without me."

"You want me to what?" he looked shocked and angry.

"You heard me, Carl. Listen, there's no use in both of us dying. One of us needs to get out, D. One of us needs to expose this hell hole for what it really is." And I'm not letting you die again.

He nodded in understanding. "Fine! If you're stupid enough to get yourself killed…I'll get myself out of here…but you better not get yourself killed…or caught…" he said, before enveloping me in a hug.

I wrapped my arms around him, savoring how safe I felt in his arms. I'd forgotten how much I'd missed Donovan in solitary. His corny jokes, his warm smile, his kind eyes, his comforting presence, the way I knew he gave a damn about me. I don't know how in solitary I could ever have doubted that Donovan was actually my best friend, but at that moment, I knew I had been wrong. Tears spilled onto my cheeks before I could stop them, but once they'd started, they were there to stay. Soon, I felt myself shaking with sobs and from the moisture I could feel dripping onto my shoulder, I had the feeling Donovan was too. We stood there for what seemed like hours, sobbing into each other's shoulder, until I pulled away. It took a moment before I trusted myself to speak. "I should get going."

"Yeah, the longer we wait…" he let the comment hang in the air, as he wiped at his eyes.

I nodded and turned toward the tunnel leading back to the work room.

"Alex…" Donovan called after me.

I turned to face him. "What?" I asked.

He was grinning widely. "Tell anyone I cried and I'll kill you, got it?"

I laughed for the first time in a long while. "Don't worry, I won't."

His grin faded into a serious look. "Be careful, okay?" he advised.

I nodded, before turning back toward the tunnel, and making my way down the passageway. Here goes nothing.

A/N: I know it's been a while since I last posted anything, but don't worry, I'm not abandoning anything. In fact I feel from now on I will be updating more often. And since the whole reading the books purge is over, I feel like it's safe to go back to my HP fic...at some point...that one isn't acutually a priortity of mine at the moment. I apologize that it's been so long. After the hell that was junior year, I felt like I needed a well deserved break, you know? I know it's not an excuse, but it's true. Oh, btw, I'm also working on an original story, not fanfic related. I'm twenty-eight pages in right now, and I posted it on under the same username, Seabass4supernatural. If you guys could check it out and maybe give me some feedback over a Private Message, that'd be great. I'm hoping to make something out of it. Anyway, I'm sorry, again and please review. I feel like I want to go somewhere with this story, so stay tuned.