Last updated 1 year ago
Life Fights BackSlamming the door, Allison jumped on her bed as tears streamed down her face. ¨I hate you!” she yelled, as a part of her hoped her mom hadn't left for work yet and was in earshot. Their recent conversation did not go well, and as a result Allison would not attend the homecoming dance. Totally Enraged, Allison glared at her dress which hung neatly on her closet door and begged to be put on one more time. She noticed the clean press lines, her mom must have ironed it earlier that day. A pang of guilt emerged into her stomach but quickly dissolved with her increased anger. ¨It's my senior year, I finally have a boyfriend, and I can't even go to homecoming. This is so unfair¨ she thought. Her pulse skyrocketed. She ripped through her bookbag, and she frantically searched through wrinkled up papers, gum wrappers, and tardy slips for a pair of headphones. Finally, she found an old pair tangled into a knot, and she quickly maneuvered her stubby fingers around the wires until freeing the earbuds. She threw her greasy blonde hair into a messy bun and plugged in. Staring into the mirror across from her bed she noticed the cheap mascara running down her cheeks, the worsening acne on her face, and the stains on her ripped Wal-Mart jeans. It made her hate everything about herself. Laying there, her mind drifted to another place, a place where no drama existed, no fighting occurred, and where her family wasn't falling to pieces. And slowly, she cried herself to sleep. Allison awoke to the sound of a loud beeping. It sounded unfamiliar, and it took her awhile to figure out what it was. She realized that the sound couldn't be the beep of her alarm clock, because the pitch was too high and too obnoxiously loud. She remembered the sound from burning brownies in the oven when she was younger, because it was the fire alarm. Frantic, Allison jerked her head up and panicked. As she looked around the room, eyes hers started to water from the smokey haze. Her lungs tightened up and she screeched for her mother.¨Stay calm, stop, drop, and roll¨ Allison thought. Tears rolled down her face and she froze with panic. As she started to sob she sat motionless. She hoped it would all go away, that this was just a dream. ¨Mom, where are you?¨ she whispered. The heat became stronger and stronger, and the fire quickly engulfed the house. Allison grasped that if she didn't do something quick she would soon burn alive, so her mind filled with adrenaline. She quickly glanced at the door, and she saw a red glow from the door's handle. Allison carefully slide off of her twin bed and crawled to the foggy window to try and find the old rusted latch. Her bedroom door bursted open, and red flames quickly burned up the dirty carpeting, and slowly made their way to the bed. Sheets, pillows, and blankets started on fire within a matter of seconds. Allison scrambled to try and open the window, but the lock jammed and the sweat from her hands made it impossible to grip and open it. Her eyes darted around the room, and she looked for something, anything, to open the window before it was too late. With her hands pressed against the walls of the corner of her room she watched in terror as the carpeting burned and started to surround her and the nearby window. Allison could feel the heat start melting the living flesh on her feet and legs. She spotted an old trophy nearby on the floor from beneath her fire engulfed dresser, and she smashed the window with great force and adrenaline and jumped only seconds before the curtains went up in flames… The fall went quick, but the impact lasted much longer. Allison hit the frozen ground head on. At first she tasted dirt, but this was quickly followed by a wave of excruciating pain. It started in her lungs, and she desperately tried to begin breathing after the fall knocked the wind out of her. It seemed impossible for her to regain her breath. Her mind stayed in full panic from barely making out, or jumping out, alive. She felt a warm feeling from her arm, and she reached over with shaky fingers and found it to be wet and red. Once she saw the gory white bone of her humerous sticking out of her black hoodie, she initially passed out. Allison woke up in an unfamiliar place, and her breathing became rapid and hoarse. She squinted her eyes into the bright lights overhead and felt someone squeezing her hand. Slowly turning her head to the side she saw a nurse covered in what she could only assume was her blood. ¨We're taking you into surgery now¨ the nurse said, while she pulled an oxygen mask over Allison's badly bruised and burnt face. While she squirmed on the operating table, Allison tried to put up a fight and remove the mask. The anesthesia won her battle before she could. But before she did fall asleep and went into surgery, one faint thought slipped into her head, ¨Where is mom? Why isn't she here with me?¨ The surgery took about 2 hours, and Allison woke up not too long after that. Slowly and cautiously, her eyes fluttered open and she glanced across the room. The room different looked than before, but nothing special, plain beige walls with a stiff hospital bed in the middle surrounded by monitors. Pain emerged through her ribs as she struggled to sit up, and the monitors started to beep nonstop. A nurse rushed in, relieved that nothing serious had happened. ¨Just sit back and go back to sleep. You're going to be in a lot of pain soon, so enjoy the medicine before it wears off¨ the nurse said. Soon an older man who wore a long white coat and held a metal clipboard walked in. As he flipped through papers and charts, the strange man began to speak in a soft voice, ¨Glad to see you are awake. My name is Dr. Lang, and I'm your intensive care unit doctor.¨ He proceeded to tell her about the third degree burns on her legs and feet, her 3 cracked ribs, and broken humerous which they needed to surgically repair. Not to mention all the minor cuts that they had to stitch up since she jumped out of a shattered window. ¨Oh, and you are very lucky to survive that fall. Three stories is quite a jump, and you better count your blessings¨. It took a while, but slowly the information about her injuries settled in. Allison couldn't help but think about what it really meant, because now she would basically stay handicapped for a good 3 to 4 months. Her senior year was pretty much over with until she could fully recover… and then she once again realized that she hadn't seen her mom yet... Tears welled up in her eyes. She tried to think back into her mind to remember what time her mom would have left for third shift at the automobile plant. It had only been about 5 hours since the fire, but no one said a word to her about her mother. A tear ran down her face as she looked around the room at the silent faces that gazed at her with sympathetic eyes. ¨Where is she?¨ Allison whispered, afraid for the answer. They remained silent, as if no one knew the answer. ¨Where is my mom?¨ said Allison, with as much force as her voice would allow her. Finally Dr. Lang quietly pulled the hospital dividing curtain back to reveal a charred woman wrapped in bandages. The woman slowly opened her eyes and glanced over at her daughter. And with a sigh of relief, her mother passed away in peace.
Emma is a 17 year old high school student who enjoys writing about the sorrows in life. She thrives on the dark side and belives that literature should be written the way life happens- because their isnt always a silver lining.
About the Author
You Haunt Me By Emma Peterson I'm scared of my own footsteps They haunt me in the dark When I hear baseboards creaking There's panic in my heart I know you come at nighttime So the sun´s my only friend And when there's shadows cast at night I feel like there's no end.
When all that's left is still You come and haunt me in my dreams The dreams that will not stopThe images are just too real and I don't like how they make me feel.My mind always plays games with me About the night you had your way with me And all the things it may have seemed Will never ever escape from me.
When Disaster Strikes By Emma Peterson With a sigh of relief, Angela slowly lowered herself down into her office chair. As she glanced at the clock, she felt amazed that it was only 3 minutes to 8, and she arrived to work on time. Angela's kids behaved less than cooperative earlier that morning. Her 6 year old twins, Erica and Erja, had decided that they wanted to dress identical, which resulted in a frantic search around the house for their new matching yellow duck raincoats and pink polka dot rubber boots. After she buckled the kids into her rusty dodge mini van, Angela noticed the start of some gradual flooding along the side of the street. Even more frustration built up inside of her when the main road to Erica and Erja´s grade school was closed due to the worsening rain and flooding, and the detour located no where near Angela's work. When she reached into her suede leather briefcase, Angela's mind searched into her memory from earlier that morning, and realized that she forgot to pack her lunch. And her daughter's lunches. ¨Way to be ´Mom of the year´¨ she sarcastically thought. Glancing at the office window, she watched in awe at the pounding rain that slithered down the windowpanes and listened with apprehension to the sound of the howling wind. ¨Sounds like it´s not letting up any time soon,¨ commented a co-worker who casually strolled by. ¨They might even cancel school if the flooding gets too bad¨ she added. Wrinkling her brows, Angela returned to work and tried not to concentrate on the thunderous sound of the rain and wind. After what seemed like an eternity, her lunch break finally appeared. Relieved for a break in the day, Angela gradually roamed over to the break room only to remember that she brought no lunch to eat. ¨Maybe someone will have some snacks to share¨ she thought. The break room possessed an overwhelming smell of buttered popcorn and heated up pepperoni pizza. She clutched a hand to her stomach´s low growl, and Angela longed for something, anything, to tie her hunger over until the end of the day. However, her thoughts rapidly diminished and her attention became drawn to the sound of the silence that had fallen over the group of chatty coworkers and to the soft rumble of the shaking ground beneath her. When she quickly glanced towards the double pane window, she saw it. The tremendous wave came towards them with aggressive force and destruction, yet it appeared to be in slow motion. The giant wall of water seemed so sudden and powerful, but graceful and with a sense of beauty. The wave glistened with a teal hue as it crashed down, and poured into the street below. Sudden screams from people below were quickly swallowed up and washed away with the rushing water. With roaring shrieks for help and eyes full of terror, everyone turned to the door and made a mad dash out of the break room just as the rushing wave shattered through the window. The room was engulfed with a surge of water, which quickly rushed into the hall and knocked her off her feet. The surge of water painfully smacked her head into the wall, and she was pushed beneath the surface from the force of many office chairs and filing cabinets. Gasping for air seemed near impossible with a desperate battle to keep her lungs from taking in fluids. Angela´s mind filled with intense panic, and she gave her all to stay alive. Suddenly, she felt a current pull her under that drove her along the wall to the back door which had been ripped off its hinges. Her body violently swept away with the wave and onto the streets of the town. Angela squirmed under the surface, as she furiously kicked and thrashed her arms in all directions, with a gasp for breath nowhere in sight. She felt excruciating pain in her neck and back from being collided into cars, palm trees, and everything else that got washed away from the wave. The current brought her to the surface, and she flailed around and grasped for a breath of air. She squinted at the scene before her, and saw the bend of a palm tree advance in her direction. As she prepared for the impact, she stretched her arms out and straddled the trunk and clung on with every ounce of her strength. An object floated closer to where she remained with the tree, and she quickly realized that the object that gradually approached her was a person. As it slowly drifted towards her, Angela realized one of her coworkers was the dead person that slowly advanced her way. The body rested on the water face down, with its arms and legs hanging motionless. The head was surrounded by wet hair which lightly glided along the surface of the water. Angela shrieked in terror, and was knocked cold when her coworker slammed against her bruised body. Angela struggled to wake up from her unconsciousness. The first thing she remembered was the smell. The stench overwhelmed her. Sewer, muck, and rotting bodies caused the mere source of why Angela continually vomited on the muddy ground around her. Her vomit appeared as a dark black, full of sludge that she inhaled during the tsunami. Once she slowly sat up, Angela felt a sharp pain in her side. When she looked down, she found a large red wound that engulfed her abdomen. After she peeled up the side of her shirt, she saw the white bone of her splintered rib. A surge of emotions hit her like a tidal wave. Severely injured, lost and with no clue as to where to go next, and the fact that she had kids…. sent her into the most intense panic. She began to hyperventilate, and her voice cracked with a cry of concern for her children, not a clue as to where they might be, or if they could even survive the storm. ¨Erica? Erja? Can you hear me?¨ she began, in a frantic search for her kids. She winced as the sharp pain in her abdomen worsened with sudden movements, but she continued to search. Hours went by, but Angela became bound and determined to find her daughters. She began to obtain a quick pace, and eagerly hurdled the increasing mountain of rubble, and dangerously scaled over the filthy remains of what used to be her hometown of New Orleans. Bodies littered the ground, and possessions laid in mountains of destruction. Surprisingly, Angela started to gain a sense of direction and understood where she might be. ¨I've got to be only blocks away from the school,¨ she thought to herself, and under a collapsed building she spotted the remains of a demolished school bus. After she grasped that she came near the location of the demolished school, Angela began to scream for the twins again, ¨Erica? Erja?? Hello?¨ Her voice trailed off into the stillness of the wreckage. But then she heard a small frail voice. Angela could hardly identify which way the innocent ¨Help¨ had came from. But before she turned to trail the voice, she saw a familiar object lying in front of her from all the ruble. It appeared to be a pink princess backpack. Not just any backpack, a backpack with the name ¨Erica¨ sloppily written on it in the upper left hand corner with black magic marker. Her heart collapsed. She couldn't bear to go any farther. Frozen, she continued to stare at her daughter's backpack tried not to process what had happened to her life. Slowly, Angela painfully fell to her knees and gently touched what remained of her daughter. Tears, slowly at first, began rolling off her cheeks and spattered onto the plastic fabric of her daughter's backpack. Angela started to cry so uncontrollably, that she almost didn't notice the slight brush that rubbed up against her calf. It felt like a tickle, and once she looked down Angela found a small hand that was what had rubbed up against her leg with a hoarse voice that murmured ¨Mommy...help mommy...help.¨ It was Erica. Beneath a pile of rubble consisting of tables, chairs, children's books, laid her daughter. ¨Mommy it's hard to breath¨ she whispered. Angela went into overdrive. A rush of adrenaline flushed over her once crushed emotions as she attempted to reach her daughter, and her fingers quickly dug her out from the destruction. Finally, she reached her daughter, but the young child had little life left in her. Erica's breath was slow and shallow, and she was so fragile that her head fell backwards in the grasp of Angela's arms. ¨Do you know where Erja is?¨ Angela asked eagerly. ¨Erja…. she's going to get help¨ moaned Erica, as she fluttered her eyes and tried to stay awake. Angela knew that she could be anywhere, but probably not too far. ¨Erja! Erja?¨ she began to yell with growing intensity. Her attention soon became drawn back to Erica, whose breaths had stopped. Tears streamed down her face, but Angela would not let her daughter die in her arms. She quickly knelt down and leaned her daughter over her knee, and rapidly slapped her back with a firm hit and cleared her airways. Within a minute or two Erica started to cough, and spat up the same black vomit that Angela had vomited only a few hours later. Alive and awake, Erica began to cry. ¨It was so scary, the wave, we couldn't get away...¨ Erica cried between sniffled sobs. ¨Me and Erja, we tried to hold on to each other as long as we could...¨ Erica's voice trailed off as the thought of her missing sister set into her thoughts. But her attention had been drawn to something else. She and her mother both heard the helicopter before they saw it. Instantly, they jerked their heads to the sky and stood up, and searched the sky for the helicopter in hope of that they would find help. The sound of the beating propellers finally came closer and a Red Cross helicopter appeared. They screamed and waved their arms, and tried to draw attention for rescue, but it flew in the other direction. ¨NO!¨ Angela screamed, and her voice cracked in despondency. Tears streamed down her face, and she began to throw bits of debris at the helicopter, and hoped draw its attention. Eventually, the nose of the helicopter slowly turned towards them, and a rescue cage slowly lowered towards their position. As they clutched one another, they rode up into the helicopter and received crucial medical treatment. Little did they know that Erja stood only yards away from them, because she returned back only moments before her mother and sister boarded the helicopter to find them. And now, she stood alone to fend for herself. By morning, Angela was out of surgery sat up in a makeshift hospital bed at Red Cross tent. As she cautiously looked around her, it became apparent to Angela that she laid on her bed surrounded by many other victims of the storm who ranged in age and severity. Her eyes darted around the room as she searched for Erica, but she could not see her anywhere. Angela realized that they must have been separated when it came time for both of them to go into surgery. There was a fully posted bulletin board positioned on the far side of the tent, full of lists of names with locations. A crowd of patients stood at the board, as they tried to search through the lists in hopes to find of the names of their lost family and friends. Slowly, Angela sat up and slid out of her bed. Instantly she felt a shot of pain in up her side, and she remembered the gash that her broken rib caused earlier only a day ago. After she took a deep breath, she continued to stand up onto her feet and ignored the bitter pain as she slowly wandered to the crowded board. Her finger ran down list after list, and she searched for the names of her lost kids. She became more and more anxious after every sheet that went by, and once she quickly glanced down the last one she saw nothing. Eager to continue on with the search and find her daughters, she began to look down the lists one more time. When she got to the end of the last one for the second time, she noticed a list that got stapled underneath another sheet. She carefully pulled off the staple from the front page and peeled up the top sheet to take a look underneath the concealed sheet. Most of the names appeared crossed off or exed out, but a small amount still remained untouched. Angela's heart fluttered with joy when one of the names read ¨Erica Patterson- Red Cross Tent C5- Critical Condition.¨ Angela limped through the tent with a hand grasped tightly on the blood smeared bandage at her side as she searched for a nurse. ¨Where is tent C5?¨ she stammered out. The nurse pointed to a side of the tent and said, ¨All I know is that it's in that direction.¨ This is all that Angela needed. She limped as fast as she could in that direction and ran to the front of every tent searching for C5. Angela began to notice a pattern in which the tents were located, and started to go in the direction that Erica would most likely be. Finally, she came upon C5. To her surprise, it wasn't actually a tent, it was one of the few untouched buildings from the tsunami. As she bursted through the door, Angela weaved her way up and down the rows of patients and hospital beds. A small voice behind her shouted, ¨Mommy!¨ Angela swiftly turned around to find Erja, who flung into her arms and cried for her mother to never leave again. ¨I saw you go up into the helicopter,¨ Erja explained, ¨and they didn't see me waving my arms and screaming for help. I thought I would never see you again...¨. She began to sob into her mother's bloodstained shirt, grasping her arms around Angela's neck. ¨I'm not going anywhere,¨ replied Angela, ¨but we need to find your sister.¨ Erja quickly grabbed her mother's hand and led her through the crowded building, up a flight of wet concrete stairs, to a cleaner and less packed level. She pointed to one of the hospital beds, with a young girl covered in IVs and breathing tubes. It was Erica. Angela's heart dropped to the ground, and couldn't help but cry out to her daughter. She reached out to her two daughters, and received the warm loving touch that she had once thought she would never feel again. Erica smiled at her mother just as her eyes slowly rolled back into her head. The monitors that surrounded her began beeping with alarm, and nurses came rushing to her bedside. They tried the best as they could, and the nurses gave CPR for a few minutes until the sound on the monitor became a continual beep. ¨We are sorry for your loss¨ said one of the nurses, while she slowly wiped beads of sweat from her forehead, ¨We tried our best¨ she added. The nurse slid Erica's eyelids shut and quietly walked over to Angela who cried with uncontrollable grief. The nurse, with tears in her eyes, put a hand on her shoulder and whispered ¨she let go because she knew you could be strong for you and her sister¨ and slowly walked away.