“Red” by Aimee Friloux

Written by plumtree

Topics: Archive (2012-2019), Uncategorized

Conversations around me are reduced to a mere murmur, and a sharp, unwelcomed pain spreads over my neck. My vision blurs into nothingness. “Welcome to the simulation, Amy. Don’t move until I’m done speaking” a stern, mechanic voice demands. The urgency in his voice is terrifying. I restrict myself from leaving, though right now it’s tempting to run away. A few seconds later, I realize I can’t see anything. I can only hear. My heart rate picks up as he starts to speak again. “You will not leave until you have succeeded. Good Luck.” I brace myself for impact.

I hear a familiar sound that sparks a memory in the dark, forgotten part of my brain. Bombs, I think to myself.  I repeat the word until my ears ring and my ocean-blue eyes water. The nothingness turns into hell. Fire consumes houses, trees, and people. I’m drowning in a sea of screams. The wind makes the red-orange flame move like a demonic butterfly with crippled wings, and a blanket of ash covers over half the city.  Somehow, I gather the mental strength to run into the chaos. I grab as many traumatized, crying children as I can by the arm and apprehensively drag them under an already fallen building that has formed a makeshift shelter with its twisted metal arms. I give them one last painful look, and realize that their parents must already gone. Breaking my silence, I yell, “Don’t come out!”  Oddly, they don’t respond. I can’t control my neck’s persistent aches, nor explain why I have them, but I can’t focus on such a petty discomfort right now. Somehow, I feel responsible for the lives of these innocent people. I worry what’s happening to myself just thinking about it.

Emerging from the under the deformed metal structure I call safety, I hear the rumbling engine of a fighter jet. As a result, Chills make their way from the tips of my toes all the way to the top of my head. I don’t want to die please don’t let me die spare me, spare me, spare me. I swing my head around to see a huge bomb with what seems like the potential to demolish a town drop on the deformed building I left the kids under.

My eyes see death, my ears hear death, and my mouth dares to speak the vile word. I can’t handle it. Heavy tears soak the collar of my shirt, and I run until my knees give in. Running doesn’t seem to be my forte. I let myself collapse hard on ground, leaving an ugly gash on my already bruised face. I take a peek at my hands. Cracked, dry and scabbed. “Take me out of this place!” I scream with all the energy I have left. Through the pain, hushed voices begin to fill my head as I let them sing me to sleep.

I’m back. How am I back? My surroundings seem identical to yesterdays. I walk slowly into the city, observing. I glance at the building I left the kids under the day before. It remains intact, as if the bomb never dropped. I stride towards it. The kids aren’t there. Everything seemed exactly as it was yesterday, before the terrorists killed the children. Or before I killed the children. In light of this, I decide to let the thought wander out of my mind before I delve into the topic too much.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I see three small, blurry shapes. The color red dances across the figures. I trudge forward, losing hope with each step. Please, please, please, I plead to myself. My pleading is no use, though, because paranoia has already set in. After all, red is not a very promising color. When I come close enough to make out human bodies, i’m faced with my worst nightmare. To look is extremely painful. Unfortunately, I know what these three, fragile figures are. The kids. The only ones I really wanted to save. Devastated, I begin to sob uncontrollably. So I run. I run under the building, and wait. I wait for the bomb. I wait for the grief to end.


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