Hey, everyone! I realize I’m a bit late in getting this posted. Part of that is because I finished writing it today and part of it is because I was handling other people’s stories. However, it is completed, and it’s at exactly 1000 words. So, there you have it. I received my prompt from Leinad, who told me to write from the perspective of facing an imminent natural disaster. I may have strayed just slightly from your intent, Leinad. You’ll have to let me know.
For everyone who participated, remember to read and give feedback to the person who gave you your prompt and the person you gave a prompt to. Feel free to comment on any of the other stories, as well.
Anyway, here you go. I hope you enjoy it!
Broken. I feel incredibly broken.
The sky is that clear blue that says lazy summer afternoon. The air’s damp on my skin, like every childhood summer.
I’m not home, though.
I should run, find safety. I’m not sure my legs work, though. They’ve stopped shaking, but my right leg pulses oddly. I glance down.
The two-foot wood fragment sticking through might explain it. How did that get there? My vision goes fuzzy. I grasp for the wall. Slowly, it clears and I blink. The pulsing in my leg seems distant, as if it’s not actually connected to me. Yet everything screams pain.
I should find shelter. This calm won’t last. Yet could anything be safe in this? Maybe I should just sleep it off… No! I shake my head. I can’t lose focus or I’ll die. But maybe that’s – stop it! It’s my wound talking. Wait, am I bleeding?!
The wood is bending when I look down. No, wait… It’s not bending. My vision’s weird again. I squint. My leg’s not bleeding much, but brownish-red stuff coats my thigh around the wood. Should I pull it out? No, something tells me that’s a bad idea. It would make the bleeding worse…or better…or something. I don’t remember.
The whole street dips in front of me. Whoa. It looks like a blanket being shaken out. Up and down, up and down… My stomach lurches. Uh oh.
I have to focus.
My leg cramps, sending me to the wet, debris-strewn sidewalk. Fire races through my leg. Something squeaks across the road. A door?
A woman’s voice. “See, it’s over!”
My throat constricts. No, it’s not.
A frown fills my face. Why didn’t she hear me? Didn’t I yell it? Heat rushes up my neck. I didn’t even say it. I try again. My mouth opens, but no sound escapes. What’s happening to me?! My throat tightens even further. No. Breath, just breathe. My heart rate slows slightly. My vision clears. Now I can clearly see the woman. Her face is lifted to the sky, smiling. She must not have really seen the street.
She certainly hasn’t seen me.
I need to get her attention. My hand flutters. Gritting my teeth, I slap it against the wall. The sound I imagined was much louder than that. I frown.
“Help me.” A whisper.
I close my eyes, wincing. What else can I do? Won’t anyone see me? Flexing my leg, I try to stand. A wave of pain rolls up my body, and my vision goes gray.
“No.” Just a whimper, a dot of sound masked by the wind.
Wait, wind? When did that start again? It barrels down the street, bringing an icy chill to my cheeks. I moan.
The eye of the hurricane is gone.
Raindrops speckle my cheek, joined by tears. Across the street, the woman gasps and scuttles inside. My mouth twists. The rain falls harder. The wind screams pound my body.
I’m going to die.
What a week to be sick. If I hadn’t been laid up for six days, maybe I would’ve realized a hurricane was coming. The broken TV, lack of Internet, and non-smartphone didn’t help either. A furious gust pins me against the wall. For a moment, I can’t breathe. The tears come harder. I can’t do this again. I was fairly sheltered from the first half, until the wind jerked me out of the alley and into the street.
It’s quickly ramping up again. The scream erupts in my ears, not my voice, but the unnatural voice of Nature itself. The one remaining tree along this street bends parallel to the ground, its leaves sailing away. A tire tumbles down the street, half rolling and half flying. It just misses me.
Shaking, I blink away sharp slants of rain. More just take their place. I have to get out of here. I touch my leg. Can I even stand? I doubt it, but I have to try. Angling my body away from the wind, I kneel on my uninjured leg. Gritting my teeth, I place my right foot on the ground. Pain races through my thigh. Something slams into my back.
Grunting, I nearly collapse. My leg’s gone numb.
You can do this.
With a scream, I push up. An answering shriek comes from the buffeting wind. I sidestep a couple feet, groaning. Then I lunge forward, one step, then another. I’m off the sidewalk. I’m stumbling in an odd zig-zag, pushed by the wind, even as I move forward. Every gasping breath brings a mouthful of water. I choke.
My gaze focuses on the door where the woman disappeared. So close. My right leg collapses.
I skid down the street, fighting for balance. Now the door’s to my left. I’ll never make it.
You’ll be fine.
I jerk, nearly falling again. Who was that? Dropping my head, I drag my screaming leg forward. I’m going farther right with every second. I can’t do this.
One more step. I’m bent nearly as much as that tree. Surely I’ll break.
A rumbling sounds behind me. What? A high-pitched whine joins the wind’s scream. I turn. The skyscraper is trembling. My eyes widen. My stomach drops. The glass shatters.
As I lunge, the rain becomes a waterfall of slicing shards. I don’t even hear my own scream as I fall to the ground. A thousand stings hit my body. I can’t feel my leg.
Everything goes black.
Sunshine warms my face. Grunting, I move my stiff arms. My leg beats a drumbeat underneath me. Remembering pain, I grimace. Then I frown. It’s not windy anymore. There’s no rain. Turning my head, I spot a huge rock to my right. My stomach tightens.
I would’ve been standing there if I hadn’t jumped.
If I hadn’t been told to jump.
A voice calls, “There’s someone over there!”
I glance to the sky, squinting. Then my eyes close again as a smile touches my lips.