“I work for no man and I answer to no God. I am here to give you a gift. I am here to give you the chance to wake up. Some of you will not survive but your death will not be in vain. Your death will be a reminder to those who live to seize each day. I beg your forgiveness and I urge you, go forth and live your life.”
All I could hear was a high pitched ringing. I could see, but the ringing made it hard to think. My mind felt like it was vibrating and that didn’t help either. Pain. There was a pain in my left arm but when I looked to see what the problem was, my arm wasn’t there. Then I was out again. Then I was back, and all I could hear was that damn ringing.
It felt like I had gone through many of these cycles, and in and out of wakefulness as my mind struggled to cope with what had happened. When I could think of my missing arm without blacking out I wondered where were the people. The people who rushed in after these things and got us out. Where were the helpers? Where was was my arm? Where were the people?
And I was out again.
I woke to the feeling of another body moving over mine. Wiggling to get the person off of me, or to get me out from under them, I was reminded sharply that I was missing an appendage. Then the body was gone and once I could look out I could see that the helpers were here, finally. Everything was still ringing and my mind was still shaking. I felt rattled. I never knew that was a real feeling. My bones felt all out of place and so did my thoughts.
The people, they were dragging out bodies, others who’d been hurt like me and hadn’t woken up. The helpers were here thank God.
There were so many bodies. I recognized faces here and there, people I saw coming and going in this place every day. We all rode the trains, out in the morning, and back in at night. We knew each other by that seats we took and what we chose to occupy our minds on the ride. Some of us read, some were focused on phone screens, and some slept. I saw them all now flung here and there. I saw parts of them too, but none were moving.
Thank god the helpers were here.
Suddenly my ears popped and the sounds of sirens and orders being given rushed in. What I didn’t hear was anyone else screaming. No crying, no wailing, no sounds of survivors like me. I hoped they had found my arm. I screamed for the people and I heard sounds of them rushing to me.
I remembered the words of the woman who’d spoken before the explosion. I remembered her and my chest felt crushed under the weight of all the dead.
I had lived and now I would have to live.
Author’s note: The plan for this challenge was to post small pieces of fiction that read more like excerpts rather than stories with a true beginning, middle, and end. I think instead, these have turned into something in between, some more, some less. Please bear with me, these are my first attempts at writing fiction. You can find them all under my AtoZ2016 tag.