Run – A short story

Author – Smeraa, Begonia

It is another lazy day, and I was binge-watching Netflix. Don’t Breathe 2 was out and I was watching it. It was holidays 10th grade was far behind me and I was alone, my mom’s gone to turkey and my grandma was in her club, and my bro, God knows. You’re probably wondering where my dad is, well my dad died when I was 6. He died in the war. Sometimes I wish he were here but things don’t always happen according to you do they.  

Anyway, I decided to go to my BFF Leah’s house so I rolled out of bed put on my sneakers, grabbed the house keys and headed out. The road was deafeningly silent. There were 1 or 2 cars and it was cloudy. From down the street, I saw a man wrapped in a coat and walking fast, he kept his gaze on me and a shiver ran up my spine. I walked fast If I could just take the right, I could run to Leah’s house. But he saw me and he walked even faster stopping just by the turn I needed to take. I turned my head to the other side but he came close to me and whispered in a low but fierce voice. “run” I glanced up at his face thinking he was mad and felt a flicker of recognition. I had seen him somewhere. That hazel brown eyes and the light shade of auburn hair perked up a picture in my brain but I couldn’t quite catch who. I couldn’t see his mouth or nose because they were covered and by the time, I could say anything he had disappeared up the street.  

Still thinking I took 2 steps forward when the ground shook. I tried to balance myself but in vain. I fell face first and hit my head hard. For a whole minute everything was black but soon I could see, at first my vision was blur, but then I saw. There were men everywhere with guns and huge tanks the shoot had yet not begun luckily. Behind me, a woman gave out a piercing scream which brought me to my senses. I got up and started to walk but my head was throbbing and my hair felt wet. I put my hand up and felt it. Blood. Oh no. I have hemophobia (fear of blood) and I could already feel the dizziness. But I kept myself straight and ran. When I reached Leah’s house I ran through the lawn, not caring whether I spoilt it. 

I banged the door and Leah’s older brother, Sam opened the door he saw me and took a step back. He opened the door and ran inside to get a medical kit. I went inside and let myself collapse onto the sofa. At the same time Leah came from her room she saw me and gasped, with a shocked look on her face she cried ‘’Emily what in the world happened’’.  

I was too tired to say anything. So, I just lay there Sam came with the med-kit and cleaned up my head. I never knew I had so much blood, he used so many cotton balls. Any way soon he cleaned up and went to get me something to drink. He and Leah then helped me up to Leah’s room. While going there a picture on the staircase caught my eye. I and Leah go long back so there are many of my pictures in her house. But one pic made me stop. It was my 4th birthday pic and I and Leah were trying to smear Sam with cake but that’s not what made me stop, behind me and Leah was my dad. And he had hazel brown eyes and auburn hair. So, the person who told me to run was ……….. my dad? 

But I had no time to think because the whole house shook and we could hear things breaking and falling. Leah and Sam look at each other and ran with me, hobbling behind. When I suddenly heard Leah scream. I run as fast as I could, with all my might and saw we had been bombed. Half her house was boulders. And all around there was blood only blood. Seeing my face Sam quickly covered my eyes and took me to whatever was remaining of their house. He plopped me onto the half-burned sofa and went out with his sister to figure out the next plan of action. While they were talking, I racked my brain. If it was really my dad then he would have spoken to me for a reason. 
I grabbed Leah’s sunglasses and head out through the front door so they wouldn’t see me. 

I first thought of finding my family. But my grandma’s club was also a safe zone just in case of wars so I knew she was safe and my brother, I didn’t need to worry about him.  

I searched for my house. But the smoke was blinding. At last, I heard my dog Akira barking I ran towards that direction and saw a night blooming flower, my mom’s. I run inside my house searching for my dog I see him on the stairs his ears and fur pricked up. I drop to my knees and hug him. Then I suddenly remember what I was here for. 

I push the door but it was jammed I push with all my might but it didn’t even budge then when I was pushing for the 4th time there was a greater force to my left and the door open a bit. I swung around and saw my brother I heave a sigh of relief. 
“You are safe” I panted giving him a bear hug.  
“don’t worry sis I can take care of myself.” he says with a smirk  
“Now what’d you come here for’’ he says. 
I rush inside without answering and I can her his footsteps behind me. 

I reach the basement door. As I expected it was locked. I grabbed a metal piece from nearby and started hitting the lock, trying to break it but after 10 minutes of hitting it had hardly made a dent. I threw the metal piece in frustration and started tugging my hair. That’s when my brother came from the shadows and presented a key. I had no idea what to say, I was mixed between the emotions angry and glad. With an exasperated look on my face, I moved and let him open the door. 

Inside it was dark and filled with cobwebs. My mother never allowed us to go there and we never went either.  
my legs hit something and I fell onto something soft. Then my brother tugged on a rope and a light switched on. I looked around, it was a room, my father’s room. 

I dug around to find anything related to the earlier happenings. But either my dad had nothing to do with it or he was very good at hiding. I was about to leave the room when I saw something hanging out from the bed. I put my hand in and I felt a false opening. I pulled open a wooden handle and my dad’s uniform and badge fell out. Wondering why my dad hid his uniform I put it up to the light. 

When I saw it, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  
“No, no this can’t be happening.” I thought. 

My father was one of the bad guys? My eyes filled up tears as I ran out of the room, I went up to the door wiping my tears, Akira was licking my feet. I look across to the destroyed neighbourhood when I see a man standing near the main banyan tree. The same man I encountered earlier, my dad. I gather up my courage and walk towards him.  

He turns and sees me. “WHY” I scream. 
“How could you do this to us’’ I could feel myself hot. 
“Honey”, he starts “I am so sorry, but I need you to go, go now take your brother and run”. 
“I’m not going anywhere” I snap back. 
“Honey you don’t under-” he didn’t complete the sentence there was a loud gunshot, he looked at me with pain in his eyes, just before his body slumped to the ground. I hardly have time to digest what just happened before there is another gunshot, I feel an impact on my chest and the last thing I remember I’m screaming. 

I jump up in bed, I look around, the movie I was watching was still playing in the laptop there, a chips packet was open and spilling out. I look at the date 21/7/2017. It was a dream. JUST a dream. I put on my shoes to go to Leahs house I have to tell her about this weird dream. While walking down the street I see that man again, the man from my dream. He comes close and whispers “run” before I had the chance to look at him, he walks away. Suddenly the ground shakes. “Oh no, not again” I think, just as the world goes black. 

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