Sunday, May 29, 2011

Jennifer's Story Pick, Week 21

Hahaha.  The last line of Madeline's piece is worthy of a prompt.

As We Know It

"Run!" she shrieked into my ear.  "Run!  Don't look back either!"

I didn't need to be told to run.  I was faster than her, and much farther ahead.

The sounds of gunshots ricocheted around me, and I'm sure the bullets were bouncing somewhere, too.

My mind was foggy.  I didn't know what was happening.  I knew there was water up ahead.  It probably wasn't fresh water - that was nearly all gone - but it was water nonetheless.  Water that could clean the blood off my body, water that could remove all the dirt that clung to my skin.

I dove in and hoped Clara was right behind me.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

I opened my eyes.  Chlorine seared and floods of blood swirled around in my eyes.  I knew they were looking for me.  I had to pretend to I was just another dead body floating in the shallow end of the kiddy pool, and they would never suspect a thing.

The water sloshed into my ears and burned my nose.  I gulped, trying to ignore the pain and the need for breath.  

Around me, footsteps echoed.  My brain spun, my sense of direction was lost, the footsteps could be coming from anywhere.  Or maybe they weren’t even footsteps.  My interest was slightly awakened, but I did my best to ignore the itching to find out what the noise really was.  I wasn’t going to let my curiosity kill me.

Slow voices began to fill the atmosphere.  There was something drowsy about them, they seemed to be speaking to a lullaby, but I didn’t hear any music.  Everything was slow, and sweet, and gentle.

My head started to bob above the water, and it felt like someone had just shattered a piece of glass in my brain.  The hazy lethargic noises stopped and everything burst into deafening blasts and loud shouts.

Something touched me.

I flailed and writhed.  I felt all eyes move directly towards me.  I closed my eyes hard, squeezing them with all my might, hoping they wouldn’t find me.  Something touched me again.

This time I didn’t react.  I opened my eyes and looked around as much as I could without making too large of movements.

Beside me, Clara’s body floated.

Her eyes were open, but they refused to meet mine.  I wanted to reach out and touch her, but I knew the people above would see us.

Their voices were fast, but I couldn’t understand a word they said.  I knew exactly who they were without even looking.  No doubt they were army men, trying to stop the inevitable, and finding people to help them.  I wasn’t going to be one of those people.  That was unless I made a fatal move to draw attention to myself.

I heard footsteps on concrete, and the voices evaporated, leaving me with silence.  The only other thing to hear were the airplanes overhead, and the chaos and explosions that scattered the only one third of the earth still populated.

My lungs were about to burst, and I couldn’t stand the tension anymore.  After waiting just a few more seconds to make sure there wasn’t anyone else around, I stood up.

I threw my head out of the water, and the rest of my body jerked upwards with it.  I shook my hair and regained my balance.  “Clara,” I hissed.  I poked her with my foot.  “Clara, they’re gone, love.”

Clara didn’t move.  Clara didn’t speak.  She didn’t even respond.  And she never would.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
I tried not to make eye contact with anyone when I got back, but it was extremely hard when your whole entire basement is jam packed with people.

“Hey, buddy!” someone called.  “You’re finally home, huh?”

His only answer was a chorus of, “sh’s!”.

“Where’s Clara?” another person asked quietly.

I shook my head, fighting back tears.  I didn’t want to answer, so I wasn’t going to.  They could all draw conclusions on their own.

“We lost Lucy when you were gone.  She passed out and hasn’t come back yet.”

I sighed and rubbed my temple.  Why would I care?  I didn’t even know who Lucy was.  I was supposed to be their leader, but I didn’t care.  “Get some ice,” I replied aggravated, waving my hand toward the direction of the voice.

“All the ice melted.”

My mouth twitched.  She was right.  She was really right.  All the ice on the earth had melted.  They had just said so yesterday.

Blood bubbled to the surface of my mouth.  I thought that I was going to throw up everywhere.  I didn’t want anyone to see that though.

I got up and walked to the door I had just come through a few seconds ago.

“Where you going, man?”

“I’m leaving.”  I wasn’t leaving for good, I just wanted to get away from all of them.  I couldn’t take it anymore.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

It was cold when I stepped outside.  There was something seemingly unfamiliar about the place I had lived all my life.

Overhead aircrafts flew and radio transmissions crackled.  There weren’t any soldiers visibly patrolling anymore.  I knew they had to be hiding and that thought alone scared me.

I rubbed my sleepless eyes and wondered when the world was going to end.  It couldn’t hold itself back too much longer.  The layers of dirt were splitting, the governments were taking over and killing its own people, and I was hurting.

A shot rang through the air.  It was loud and undeniably bloodcurdling.  It pierced right through my back, a concept I couldn’t fully grasp until the ground came rushing at my face.

I heard screaming.


It wasn’t screaming.

It was laughing.  It was little children laughing.  Someone was yelling, “It’s the end!”

Everything went black.

If the world was going to end as soon as I got shot, I would have shot myself ages ago.

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