When We Run

Your life can change in a heartbeat.
I walked downstairs and when I came back, everyone was dead and everything was over. But I survived and I ran.

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2. 2.

The entire class is just lying there, dead. I feel sick and have no idea what to do. I notice they're all burnt and the entire wall that faces the outside of the school is blown apart.

"Oh my god." I whisper, suddenly regaining some sort of control. I rush over to each and every one of them, trying to see if they're breathing but none of them are.

I try to get back inside my own head. This doesn't feel real. This isn't real. This can't be real. But it is. I stand there for a moment, amongst all of them, just looking around in a daze when suddenly I spot a picture of my class when we were in here and I see Sam.

Before I can stop myself, I'm running out along the corridor, looking in every single classroom to see if anybody is alive, but nobody is. I go through every classroom in the entire school, trying to see if anybody is alive but nobody is. I can see everybody - teachers, classmates - just lying there, dead. But I can't find Sam. I can't see him dead, but I can't find him alive, even when I look through all the classrooms. I end up back at Mrs Jose's classroom.

Avoiding the bodies, I run over to where the wall used to be and realise the other half of the school has been destroyed. That was where Sam was. Inside, everything just breaks. I can feel a pain, an indescribable ache, rippling up my torso and breaking me. The only thing I know I can do is sob and scream, but I don't feel able to, not here, not with all these dead bodies around me.

In the edges of my view, I spot a big black object. I look up and there is a helicopter flying over the school and I know exactly what it's going to do.

It's going to drop more bombs.

I start running over the bodies again and to the trap door. I rip it open and jump. The hideout is just a vertical drop and then you get to the room at the bottom, after climbing down the ladder, but I don't have time. I just jump down the middle, falling fast and landing hard.

As I land, I let out all of my air. I gasp, trying to breathe, but it hurts so much. It's a long drop from the classroom but I had to hurry. I realise that as I feel the room shake again, but I can barely think about it.

All of a sudden, the physical and emotional pain, the confusion and the terror catches up with me and all I can do is curl up and sob. My ribs hurt a lot, sending a jarring sting through my body and I think they might be broken, but I can't concentrate on that.

I'm the only one left in this school. I can't risk leaving and going to see if my mom is okay or if anybody else is safe in the whole town, but as time goes on, more and more bombs are dropped and my hope quickly evaporates.

Hours must go buy and more and more bombs are dropped. I keep checking the time on my phone and it's well into the morning when I can't feel them anymore. I don't want to get up. All I want to do is stay down here forever, but I can't. I feel this need to be responsible and strong and look around.

So despite my ribs, I climb up the ladder and into the classroom. I don't know why I feel so shocked when I see the bodies again. It's not like they're meant to move. I try to avoid them and walk out of the school, but still, everywhere I look, there is nothing remaining. Just rubble and bodies everywhere. I try to make my way back home, but I can't. Nothing makes sense anymore, the roads are destroyed and as far as I look, I can't see anything but rubble.

I walk and walk all day but it is pointless. Everything is ruined. It hasn't hit me that this is actually happening. This all feels like a dream and I know I have to think sharply, but I can't. It's not real. I am just Holly Rodrick. I am not the one person in the entire town that survives a bomb attack. I am not the one who has to be all alone, and try and sort things out.

I can't handle the pain of my ribs anymore so I curl up in the first area I find where there isn't much glass and stuff and where I'm well hidden and fall asleep.

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