You never know the last time you see a place…or a person.
So quickly I blinked, haze and ear ringing giving way to shouts of agony and slow death. Blackness faded from the edges of my vision like Grimme’s cloak tugging the glass shards along the ground as he leaves a job well done.
The first sound I could focus on was the faint fluttering of pages in the wind, echoed by someone banging against the husk of a former bus. Seeing nothing but yellow stained now with red and gravel, I struggle to get up.
My limbs seem to work in slow motion, being pulled by a puppeteer’s strings as I’m manipulated by arthritis fingers. Jerking, discovering the injuries that’ll soon tally up the last of my mother’s savings.
I drag along the ground, cars stopping now and people darting out. If I was clearer minded, and less alone I would make a joke to Sarah about how people’s reactions are so different, some helping while others simply turn to take another route.
I continue heading to the sound of pages rustling. I can hear someone calling over to me, shouting about the boy in the red hoodie. I could’ve sworn it was white when I bought it.
I turn, thinking I caught a glimpse of familiar red hair but its only someone else running from their car. didn’t buy it, my mind slowly processes. It was a gift. Sarah and I shared birthdays after all.
Robotically, I take to moving what was formerly the emergency door. It faces skyward but it’s easy to climb up with the hood there like a ramp. I became aware of a growing weight on my chest. It’s damp, yet dries out my mouth into silence.
More people are being pulled from the wreckage. That redhead I saw gives CPR to my teacher as the man I saw shouting covers the head cheerleader with his coat. I move into the bus and spot the book. Crimson splattered on a page still bookmarked by a death grip.
I trace the spine to pale fingers, moving to forward only to fall. I clutch my chest, my hands now tracing a piece of glass that lodged itself in my gut. Clutching the book I gave her, she lies there partially covered by the old bus seat. Brittle as my heart, it must’ve broken and landed on her.
I feel the weight of the breaths I can’t take, putting pressure on my mind. Collapsing before I can catch myself, glass scrapes my cheek as I stare at her still face. I hear someone coming into the wreckage as His black cloak edges forth to take me. As I’m stolen away, the last thing I see, is her chest faintly rising and sinking.
At least she’ll be found.