The world spun, lights of flickering yellow and orange visible in the horizon and the sound of a siren blaring in the distance. I blinked, trying to focus only to be
subjected to piercing light coming from the exterior floodlights. I shut my eyes tightly again and tried to use my other senses to understand what had happened; shrill screams and anguished cries
entered my consciousness but muffled like I was under water, they made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up like soldiers in formation.
Where was I?
My head pounded as I began to sit up and my stomach lurched and emptied it's contents onto the charred oak flooring beside me. I heaved a little but I was done for now. I glanced around, warily taking in the burnt surroundings and the forms of people with limbs bent at unnatural angles all around me. Ah, the school gym. The basketball net was tangled in the splintered remains of benches at the front of the room and the lecture podium knocked into an obscure corner. It was hard to see through all the dust and ash but I'd remembered now, it was the night of the formal.
As I realised this, I noted the torn dresses and suits of my classmates around me and the familiar- if a little scorched- faces groggily coming round.
Alice. I lifted myself up with difficulty, the blood on my hands made it slippery to try and push myself up. My ankle twinging with pain and as I rolled it, wincing, I knew it was another sprain. I'd become used to them over the years with my gymnastics and my mum had been nagging at me to go to physiotherapy but I hadn't had the time. I kicked off my heeled shoes and limped over to where I was sure I'd seen her short mahogany hair. I found her, my best friend, the one person who new me as well as I knew myself- if not better... with a foot long splinter through the chest of her ivory dress, blood spreading out gruesomely in contrast. Her eyes glassy and a shocked expression clung to her face, a ghost of her animate self.
My world went black.
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