The rain was relentless, pouring down and drenching me till my skin was covered in goose bumps. I cursed under my breath.
How did I get stuck in this stupid storm?
I was standing under a tree, so that was some shelter, but everybody knew how ridiculous it was to be under a tree when it was storming. The chances of being hit by lightning and dying were pretty high right now. Then, to top it off, I couldn’t for the life of me remember what you were actually supposed to do during a lightning storm. I must’ve completely zoned out during that science lesson, which was turning out to be a really bad idea.
I was too angry with Ava to feel the panic and fear that usually accompanies life-threatening situations. I was shivering and my clothes clung to me uncomfortably. They felt sticky against my skin and I just wanted to go home. I peeked out from under the leaves at the dark grey sky. It was darkening and the colour was getting closer and closer to black.
I would’ve been home by now had it not been for the damn thick mist that spread across the park and made it nearly impossible for me to even see my hands, despite the fact that they were right in front of me. I couldn’t see the ground, let alone remember which direction would actually take me home. I tried to wipe my eyes to clear my vision, but it was useless, the rain pounded against me making my eyesight blurry again. It was just too bad that my eyes didn’t have their own windshield wipers.
“Stupid storm,” I muttered.
My dark hair was strewn across my face like seaweed and it clung to my back like glue. I wouldn’t even think about what a disaster it would be after this. Every girl hates a bad hair day. I could die any second if the lightning got too close, and here I was thinking about my hair. I was furious at Ava, yet I somehow still managed to mimic her obsession with her appearance.
A twinge of guilt stung at me with the insult, but I didn’t feel as bad as I should have. She was supposed to be my best friend and she had deserted me today. She had called in sick today, so didn’t show up at school, even though I’m quite sure she was perfectly healthy.
On an ordinary day, her parents gave me a lift home, but on the occasional day that they couldn’t, I had to walk home. The easiest and fastest way was taking a trip through the park because my house was right on the other side. I had been walking home, like any other day, and there had been storm clouds threatening overhead, but I didn’t imagine it would get this bad this fast.
I looked up at the dark masses that were illuminated every few seconds from the lightning.
“Why?” I asked, shaking my head at myself.
Now I was talking to the sky, what did I expect? That some Rain God would just make it stop? I must be crazy.
As if in reply, the rain began falling even harder. Well thanks a lot! So typical. I wondered if my life could possibly get more miserable. I was in the worst weather having the worst day and I couldn’t even go home.
I looked around as the forest of mist lit up momentarily and then the shadows returned. I jumped suddenly as a loud bang of thunder boomed overhead sending vibrations through the ground and then through me. A flash of lightning followed at an unsettling close distance. I had to get out of here; I couldn’t just stand waiting here. I was like a sitting duck.
I forgot all caution and stormed out into the rain. I was bombarded by large drops of water that felt more like bombs than your average raindrop and my ears were deafened by yet another roar of thunder. The sound echoed for a while before finally settling into silence. Before I had time to think, I saw lightning strike a tree at the edge of the park, probably just metres away from me.
I shrieked. I dropped the schoolbag I had been carrying, found the path as quickly as possible and tore across the park as fast as my legs could carry me. I could hear my heart pounding in my chest and it felt like I was going to explode. Panic filled me and pushed me on. I sprinted, my feet smacking against the ground with every step. I could barely see anything, but it didn’t stop me, because all I could think about was getting as far from that lightning as possible.
I darted past trees and bushes which seemed to be surrounded by a dark and eerie pulsating mist. I watched shadows creep out of their depths to reach out and grab me. I quickened my pace, eager to get out of this nightmare which chased me across the park. I yelled out of sheer helplessness, frustrated with myself for being so stupid and paranoid. Now I was starting to see things, I really had to get out. The dark clouds seemed to get even darker and I could barely see the stones making up the path. I had never felt so frightened.
I kept running, not daring to stop or even slow down, afraid the end was getting nearer by the second. My breathing quickened and I watched it form vapour in front of me. My heart was like that of a frightened little bird.
Everything around me seemed to blur with my movement. I sent out a silent prayer, begging for luck. Begging to get home in one piece. I glanced over my shoulder briefly, almost like I was scanning the area for any sign of the lightning. I carried on, pushing myself even when I felt out of breath.
Luck though, apparently wasn’t on my side today. The lightning that had felt so far away appeared again behind me, making the ground shake. Tears streamed down my face, but you couldn’t even tell because of the water that covered my face anyway. The drops stung my face and I cried out again desperately. I felt so powerless, running away from an invisible enemy. I couldn’t die now, I was too young, and I had my whole life ahead of me.
As hard as I tried to be positive, the negative dark thoughts clouded my mind. The thunder was louder than ever and it shook the earth violently. The lightning was faster than me and it was coming closer and closer to hitting me. I could feel the tiny electric shocks move through my body when it hit the ground again. My legs felt wobbly for a moment, as though all the nerves were just attacked.
“No, no, no, no, no.” I repeated it over and over again to attempt to prevent my reality.
There was nothing I could do, nothing to postpone the inevitable. My legs were becoming tired, and they slowed. All of a sudden my feet weren’t touching the ground any longer and I was flying through the air. My confusion must have been too great because by the time I realised I’d tripped, perhaps on a loose stone, the ground was too close and my head hit against it hard. I screamed and yelled out in pain. I couldn’t move and my body felt numb.
I was cold, so cold and I was frozen in place. I could feel drops of water trickling over my body and sending chills over my bare skin. The pain on my head was turning from unbearable to just plain excruciating. I opened my mouth to scream but my voice wouldn’t obey. I felt a pool of warmth forming around my head and it just continued to get deeper. Fear paralysed me and my head started to numb as well. I was so relieved that the pain was disappearing, yet terrified that it meant that I would be gone soon. I tried to move again, but only managed to crawl a few inches. I was struggling for my life, and now I couldn’t even feel my body, let alone move it anymore.
Suddenly there was a bright flash of light that felt like it blinded me from its closeness. The shocks hit me then.
Electricity jolted through my body, making me tremble violently and shriek out in pain once again. The pain in my head had been nothing compared to the torturous shocks that coursed through me. I convulsed and none of my thoughts were clear, I only got random flashing images of my life and then it stopped.
Then it hit me, the pain was more excruciating and there was nothing I could do to stop it, I could barely even think anymore, my mind was starting to go blank. I felt like I was burning alive, melting from the inside out. My life was fading, and with those flashing images, I realised it hadn’t really been as great as I used to think it was. I felt myself crying again, wondering if my life really had been so utterly meaningless all along.
I had nothing to live for and I had absolutely nothing to show for my short existence here on this planet
I wouldn’t even be able to tell if I was disintegrating, turning to ash. What if I did? I would blow away in the storm and become a part of the ground; nobody would know what had happened to me. Would anybody even miss me? I wasn’t sure, maybe my parents, but they had never felt much for me anyway, they might be happy for a burden to be removed from their shoulders.
Pain streamed through my body, blocking the rest of the world out, I felt my life fading quickly and I could only manage a few gasping breaths. I froze, hearing a quick and hurried breathing beside me, but my head was turned and I couldn’t look around to see who it was. Someone was here to rescue me! Maybe I’d be fine after all; my world glowed once more with the possibility of my hero.
I wasn’t dead yet, and that was a good sign, surely. Suddenly I felt a hand rest on my back and I started shaking again. What was this person doing to me? Pain jolted through me once more, more than any person should be forced to take. I wasn’t sure if I was screaming anymore, I couldn’t hear anything, my mind could only think about the pain. It turned my blood to fire. I groaned and shouted, but nothing changed, it felt like I was being eaten alive, as though something was climbing into my body and I didn’t have room for the both of us. My muscles and bones seemed to stretch and with it came more pain.
My back seemed to split open, as if sliced that way for an operation… or an experiment. I shuddered. Warm blood pooled around the rest of my body. Whoever this person was, they weren’t helping. The pain started to subside and I was too exhausted to try any more, I couldn’t fight this losing battle.
Then everything started going black and I was being sucked into a whirlpool of darkness. I was drowning in it, trying to breathe but I just couldn’t, the black shadows swallowed me.
My eyes fluttered, willing me to give in. The blackness was so painless, I felt myself slipping. I was escaping the pain and was being dragged under the water. My heartbeat was distant, almost non-existent. Maybe it was.
This was it, death, so much for it being peaceful, but I couldn’t really argue. My eyes opened one last time to see a dim little light. It was beautiful – pure – and despite everything I managed to reach for it. It was so warm and so comforting. I moved closer and the pain came again. I nearly fell back into the blackness to escape the aching, but the light grasped me. I didn’t know what was happening, it didn’t feel real. I didn’t even know how I was still thinking; I was supposed to be dead. This felt way too surreal; it was as if something inside me, a new life force, was willing me to hold on, to try for a few more minutes.
The light pulled me and I gasped at the sudden air, screaming again. All the terrible feelings came back again, but I was with the warmth and I felt safe. My vision disappeared before me and then I slipped again. I let go and fell into the peace. The last thing I saw was the brilliant white light and then I was gone. Lost in an abyss of darkness where nobody could reach me.
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