-MY FIRST DEATH-
I lay there, trying my hardest not to choke. The heavy scent of smoke invaded my body, coating my lungs, stifling me. All around me were the sounds of screaming, sobbing, and fire– my body shivered involuntarily. I shifted my focus back to breathing, trying to quiet my body’s urge to stand up and run. I won’t be able to do anything if fear gets the better of me. Anger flashed hot in my stomach. After everything I had done to get my life back, here it was. Ending. The beam over my head groaned like some sort of wounded animal, making me flinch. Clenching my eyes shut, I dove into my memories. Any event of my past was better than what was about to become my last.
I’m six years old, sitting in Ms. Carla’s simple sunbleached office. I lightly swing my legs back and forth, listening to the rhythmic ba-bump, ba-bump as my heels bounce off the base of the bench. Behind me, through the door, I can just make out the whispers of my foster parents. They don’t say it out right, but I can tell. They don’t like me. Ms.Carla, lovely as always, encourages them to keep trying. Keep up with the counseling. Every child needs a forever-home after all, and who said adoption was going to be easy?
I’m twelve years old, running through the woods. My foster brother is laughing, but we’re not having fun. I’m frightened because I know how this game ends. Doubling back I head for my secret hiding spot, and while crossing over the rocks I make a stupid mistake. Trying to jump too fast, my shoelace catches on a fallen branch. I try to catch myself, but tumble heavily into the deep crevasse, just beneath my destination. If I hadn’t have been so afraid, I wouldn’t have rushed. I spent hours fuming and nursing a sprained arm before the fire department found me. Shortly afterwards my foster ‘parents’ shut me in my room as punishment for wasting everyone’s time.
I’m seventeen, crouched in the dusty attic, pouring over my collection of contraband. Wonder Woman and Supergirl – I soaked up the adventures depicted on the black and white pages. My name had been repeated, growing steadily louder and louder for the last five minutes. The heavy footsteps of the man I was supposed to call father reverberated below me. It was only a matter of time before he thought to check the attic, and found me and my treasures. Sighing, I carefully tucked three favourites into the bag by my feet. The footsteps halted directly beneath me, but it didn’t matter. I was out the window, down the lattice, and into the night– like the monsters I was leaving behind had never existed at all.
And now I’m here. What a stupid situation. I shouldn’t have come to this town. I shouldn’t have stayed here so long. I’m an idiot for thinking I could make a life here. I opened my eyes and stared into the flames, defiant. If my life’s about to end, I’m going to watch it go.
Finally, the groaning beam cracked and gave-way… Delivering me to the darkness.
© Tuesday Cross & Dracendium Publishing 2017 | No material may be reproduced without the consent of Tuesday Cross | Not for distribution