Frank Fiore – Novelist & Screenwriter

March 25, 2016

The Handprint of the Dead

Filed under: Jeremy Nash Chronicles — Frank Fiore @ 1:23 PM

Can the dead leave an imprint beyond their lives? Can they really be heard, and felt in our everyday lives? Take a fireman—as he fights blazes on a daily basis—can he really know when a freak accident can kill him?

Francis Leavy was a dedicated firefighter during the early 1920’s. By all accounts, he loved his job, and his fellow firefighters loved him back. However, towards the middle of the 1920’s they became aware of a change in his attitude and demeanour. He went from being friendly, and easy-going to sullied and ignorant. His fellow firefighters complained that he had become a man who never smiled, who grunted answers and spent much of his time washing a large window at the Chicago Fire Department, not looking at anyone or talking.

On one particular occasion while washing the window, Leavy suddenly announced that he had a strange feeling—a feeling that he might die that very day. At that very moment, the phone rang and broke the heavy atmosphere brought on by the fireman’s words. Nobody thought again about what was said.

The call was a report of a large fire that was raging at a building quite a long way from the fire department, and with no time to waste. It took just a few minutes for Francis Leavy and his fellow firefighters to get ready to tackle the great blaze.

When they arrived on the scene they set about assessing the situation and helping those poor souls trapped on the top floors. Everything seemed to be on track to rescue everyone from the building. Then, suddenly, the flames engulfed the lower part of the building, and the roof caved in. As soon as this happened, the walls came crashing down, pinning many people under the rubble—including the unfortunate Francis Leavy.

Leavy’s premonition came true. He lost his life that day trying to save others.

The very next day, trying to come to terms with the loss of Leavy, his colleagues sat at the firehouse thinking about the events of the previous day. Suddenly, they noticed something strange on one of the windows.

As they walked over to take a look they saw what looked like a handprint smudged onto the glass. Eerily, it was the very same window that Francis Leavy had been busy washing the day before. The firemen cleaned the window again, but the print stubbornly refused to disappear.

For many years, the handprint remained on the window in spite of thousands of attempts to try remove it. The strange mystery remained unsolved, but came to an abrupt end when a newspaper boy threw a paper against the window in 1944, causing it to shatter into pieces.

So there you have it. The story of Francis Leavy. The fireman who knew when his time was up.

Can it really be true that his handprint could survive for years, even when faced with chemicals and cleansing liquids? Did Francis Leavy truly leave behind a reminder—or was this all just a figment in the minds of his fellow firemen.

Find out next week if this story is true, or false.

For more urban myths fictionalized in exciting action/adventure stories, check out my book series ‘The Chronicles of Jeremy Nash‘.



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