A Shadow of an Oak

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A young girl must raise her even younger brother while being haunted by her unconsciousness.

A Shadow of an Oak

"Wake up Sam". An urgent wisper in my ear pops me back into existence. I look up to see sweat dripping from my little brother's nest of bed-headed hair. That's odd; it's not like Angel to wake me up worried about something. He is the most care-free person that I have ever known. Sometimes I wonder how he can be so easygoing all the time.
"What if we get hit by an astroid?", he asks. His big bubbly eyes lock onto me. I knew I shouldn't have told him about astroids before bed last night. I was thinking it would just be an interesting thing to tell him about. The poor little guy must get tired of me teaching him language arts all the time, so I thought, 'why not give him a little variety'. After all, the chances are so low of being hit by an astroid that not even a kid Angel's age should worry about something like that. I sure wish astroids were the only thing I have to worry about.
"The chance of being struck by an astroid is almost zero Angel". He gazes up at our low ceiling and then directs it back down at me with a partial smile, which tells me my made up statistic will suffice.
He sure thinks different than I did when I was six. Just the other day, he asked me why people are afraid of things. I told him that Mom and Dad are such great parents that he has not had any reasons to be afraid. And when I think about it, I guess that goes for me too. I have no excuses because nothing really bad has ever happened to me either. But why am I afraid all the time? I am his older sister by four years; shouldn't he be the one to be afraid all the time? I must try and not be afraid anymore. I don't want my little brother to be like me - a worry wart. Besides, judging from some of the horrific stories that we learn in school, I think we have it pretty good. And to be honest with myself, it does make me feel better that Angel can live so worry free; that somehow makes me feel a little more optimistic. He now digs his way into my bed and curls himself up next to me.
"I think astroids only hit bad people", I say softly.
Our morning starts off as usual: Angel is in my cooking area and getting in my way as I try to make breakfast. "Woooow, look!", he shouts into my ear as if I am in another room. I look over and the water is draining down the sink. In the middle of the sink, a spout is twisting around. I stretch my neck to watch it more intently. While Angel is mesmerized by the little tornado of water, I am trying to put my finger on why it's so unsettling to watch it spontaneously form and disappear and how it moves around so randomly.
"Go back to your game, so I can finish breakfast", I said with a little bit of a mean streak. Why am I upset already? It's only 9:00am. Maybe it's because I miss Mom's breakfast. Mine tastes disgusting. It sure isn't Angel I am mad at. He is such a sweet little brother. He obeys so well for his age. Most of the time he does not even need much attention. He seems very content on doing what almost appears to be nothing.
"Ok, breakfast is ready".
"Just a minute, I am playing basketball, I have to score 5 more hoops to win".
"Ok". My eyes roll back into my head. I don't have the heart to tell him throwing crumpled up paper into a garbage pale is not actually playing basketball. There is not much room in here to do anything, so to throw crumpled paper around is as good of exercise as he can get.
He soon joins me for breakfast and sits right in front of me. He stops eating from his spoon which is in mid flight, and short of a light bulb suddenly glowing above his head, I just know he has a thought dieing to come out.
"You know how Mom is a girl, Dad is a boy, and you are a girl and I am a boy?" Uh oh, I'm thinking; where is this going - I wondered in fear.
"Is there a third type of person?" While I am actually interested in his question, I am even more relieved that our conversation does not have to go down a very awkward road.
"No, I am pretty sure there isn't. Although, maybe on Earth there might be", I explain. And just when I didn't think his questions could get any weirder, he asks,
"What does up mean?"
"Are you serious?" I say in a tone that hopefully doesn't embarass him too much.
"Yes. Or down? You say it sometimes like I am suppose to know what it means". A sad thought I could not avoid enters my head, 'what kind of six year old doesn't know what up or down means?'
"I will have to tell you when we get home. It will be easier to explain it to you there".
"I don't think we're ever going home Sam". Now this disgruntles me.
"Why would you say such a thing? I wouldn't be lieing to you about something like that".
"Well, it's just that you used to say home was somewhere else and that we would be there in a few hours".
"That would be a lie Angel. I don't lie to you".
"You used to call home a Denber city, now you call it a planet".
"I think you are confused like usual Aingelo ... BLAH!!! Angel".
"But I have been wondering this for a while now. A long time ago we went a while without talking about home, and then when we started talking about it again, you started calling it a planet".
"Ohhhh yaaaa, I should have told you that Denver is just a city on the planet Earth, so in a way, they are both considered home, ok?"
"Ok", he pouts, while peering down at the same time. That ought to shut him up. After all, I am his teacher; you are not suppose to question the teacher.
[Hours later]
I almost have a nice nap going, but I get poked in the forehead with a little finger.
"Yea-a-ah?" I ask sighing at the same time.
"I know you used to call home Denber city. You drew this picture for me a couple years back to show me where we live." He hands me a terrible drawing with a headline reading 'Denver city' and a rough bad scaled outline of the skyline which is the veiw we have from our home in Denver. Why is Angel making such a big deal about this. I know he doesn't understand semantics; do I really have to explain every detail about everything to him? Who's going to teach me things? These thoughts quickly lead to a painful frustration. I am sobbing now.
"What's wrong Sam?".
"That stupid piece of paper doesn't mean there's a contradiction to what I am saying. Saying, 'planet Earth is home' is the same as saying, 'Denver city is home', they mean the same thing!!! So nothing is wrong!!!"
"What's wrong?".
"Nothing is wrong with it!!!", I snap back at him.
"I don't mean what's wrong on the picture; I mean what's wrong with you?"
I get up and rip the paper out of his hands then throw it on the ground. Then I scramble over to push him and run into the food storage.

Soon after, a plea echoes from our bedroom,
"I believe you Sam. I don't believe you drew it because Denber is spelt with a v and not with a b like it should be spelt, and I know you are a great speller".
"Darn right I'm a good speller", I mutter to myself. Suddenly a wall of guilt surrounds me. Why did I push him; he has no one here to protect him from me. Is what he did really warrant my frustration? Why did I blow up at him so badly? I can't be mean to him. I am all he has right now, and he's all I have. I feel like such a baby. I am suppose to be taking care of him, and not the other way around. I have never snapped at him like that before. Well... there was the time I had to come down on him really hard for trying to open the hatch door. Part of me doesn't blame him though because the hatch extends out from our short little ceiling in the middle of the spaceship - almost seems like it was put there to temp little children to open it. We would have been goners if I didn't decide to get up to go to the washroom that night, and at that lucky moment I caught him pulling on the lever. Good thing I found a padlock and key the next morning, so no matter what that little devil on his shoulder tells him to do, he won't be able to open the hatch. How could I explain to Mom and Dad that I let my brother and I get sucked out of the spaceship to die. 'death wouldn't save me because they would probably somehow ground me into the next life', I think to myself breaking my sad face into a grin.

Hours later and I still feel so guilty over the way I acted. Where is this guilt coming from now and why - I eventually said sorry to him. Maybe I will play with my Barbie dolls to get away from this unjust pain - I never play with them anymore. But it's just not as fun as when I am at home with Mom and Dad who take care of everything else. Also, for some reason, I think it would be a bad idea if Angel saw me playing. Unfortunately, I can't hide from him; we have the space of a small one bedroom apartment, and I can't go anywhere without him seeing what I am doing.
"We are going to be home soon", I quietly chanted to myself over and over again.
At least thinking of Mom and Dad makes me feel better. I guess thinking of them is the next best thing to actually being with them. Thoughts of Mom's freshly baked muffins absorb into my mind. I could almost smell them for real. Sometimes when I try hard enough, the smell is as real as anything. My short lasting happiness quickly gets replaced with anger - this time at my grandparents. Why didn't they tell us it would take this long to get home? And why would Mom and Dad send us if they knew it would take years to get back? Come on Samantha Scott; think logically. We are traveling to a different planet. Earth is very far from planet Emporia - it's not like we are going on a camping trip. Grandma and Grandpa should get to see us too. 'Ahhhh just forget it Sam', I am too tired to think so hard. I think having no windows for the sunlight to get in must be why Angel and I sleep so much. Also, too many emotions today; they're wearing me out - time for bed.

"What is it Sam?".
"What?" I mumbled. A quick look around at our cold sterile living quarters quickly familiarizes me with reality. I reach for my glass of water on my nightstand and finish it with one and a half gulps.
"Why were you screaming?"
"I don't know I was ... Oh, it was probably the bad dream I was just having".
"I had one too. Maybe we had the same dream. You tell me yours and I'll tell you mine", Angel negotiates. His intense bubbly eyes are now gazing through me as if he is actually trying to see my dream.
"Well, it started with me in school where I learn. My class and I are all at our desks, but we have a different teacher than normal".
"Oh, that's not like mine at all". I attempt to ignore his rude interruption and keep on.
"He was in the middle of teaching us when I noticed how boiling hot it was in the class, yet it looked really stormy outside. I noticed a broken air conditioner just lying on the floor. I began to feel really thirsty. And instantly, I felt lucky and relieved to see a cold glass of water wrapped up by a foggy coating of condensation." In the middle of telling this to Angel, I immediately went to the water tap for another full glass.
"The substitute teacher told me to pay attention or get outside. I was trying to drink the water but every time I picked the glass up, it was empty. He noticed I was fixated on the glass of water and told me to pay attention to what was going on and to quit trying to drink an immaginary glass of water. Then a creepy voice came from behind me. It said, 'no water for you you little brat'. I turn around in my desk and it is Grandma with just a skull for a face. That is all I remember and probably when I screamed".
"What's a skull?" Angel asks. Part of me almost bursts out laughing on how quickly he can change the mood, and part of me is glad it didn't scare him as much as it did me. Looking into his confused little face, I realize I should hold off on teaching scary stuff until we get home - best leave that stuff for Mom and Dad. But just when I thought I was out of the woods with the nightmare story, I saw the color in his face depart leaving almost white.
"Are there skull people?" he asks.
"No, it was just a dream. If it is in a dream, it does not mean it's real". Judging from his stunned look, I can tell he is now confused and scared. [sigh] I lean over for my empty glass of water. Here goes my attempt to teach him something,
"Think about this glass, ok? Now look at the real glass I am holding. The difference being is that the glass I am holding is real and the glass you are thinking about is not real. A skeleton person is not real, ok?"
"Ohhhh!!!", he exlaims. Wow, I actually think I got through to him. I love teaching him things; he is like my little protege. And if I don't teach him stuff, who will? And just like that, I go back to being sad and worried, and he goes back to having fun throwing crumpled paper around.

"Samantha Scott, wake up!!!" I slowly raise my head like a kid awoken during a boring science film. Oh wait a minute, I am a kid awoken during a boring science film. And there's that mysterious teacher again. What is he doing here again? Mr. Lutz must be really sick or something. I can't help but giggle during the film after I turn my head to see my friend Mary and find she is totally passed out, but hiding it well with her hair. Once I saw drool dripping from her mouth to her hand that was planting her head up, I couldn't help but burst out laughing uncontrollably. It was so loud that I actually woke her up which makes me laugh even harder. This can only mean one thing - I am about to get kicked out of class.
"Samantha Scott I will not kick you out this time because the movie is far too important for you to miss", blurts the strange teacher. I would possibly be interested if we had not already seen this same science film two times before. New science topics are bad enough, but why would we watch the same video more than once...? Oh no, I am probably in that dream again; I knew the teacher looked slightly familiar. I literally pull my self out of the dream and get up. I couldn't help thinking to myself that dreams are usually scary or fun, but watching a science film must be the boringest dream ever. I pinch myself for two reasons: one to make sure I am awake and two to try to stop myself from ever even thinking the word boringest - what would my english tutor say? Oh well it's not like my little student heard me say it. Which reminds me how lucky Angel is to have me teach him - especially english - a state champion for essay writing. They told me I have one of the best commands of the english language for an eight year old that my school has ever seen. Yes, he is lucky, but I still could never be envious of poor little Angel. He barely even knows Mom and Dad - it's been about three years since we've seen them. He claims he remembers them, but he also knows it makes me happy when he says that. He can't trick me though; as time goes by, I see more and more confusion spread into his face expressions when I bring Mom and Dad up. I just wish I would have brought a picture of them to show him - or something. Oh Mom and Dad are you ever going to get an earful from me when we get home. Until then I must be as mature as I can - for myself and Angel. I must identify and express my emotions like Mom always taught me to do; that will keep me strong.
My thoughts begin to shift as I remember that dumb dream I had again. I still can't believe I keep on dreaming of being in class watching that science film. If it's not language arts, I don't care. Besides, science is too confusing as it is, because in the film people are floating in space, so why arn't Angel and I floating right now - we're in space... Wait a minute, everything I have ever seen on space has people and other things floating in it. Come to think of it, nothing has ever floated while we've been on this spaceship. Could it be that the ship never took off? [big breath] Maybe Grandma and Grandpa did not see the ship off and just assumed we are on our way home. This new sense of uncertainty is still not enough for me to open the hatch and risk us being sucked into space to die in an endless grave. Why risk it, Mom and Dad will find us; they always have. Still, the nagging feeling persists. Be patient though; we will be home and I will play with the beautiful butterflys and write poetry until my hand goes numb.
Ahhh - nothing is as good as back home, and as long as we are off the planet Emporia, I should be happy. I hate it there. Something about that planet gives me the creeps, especially in the summertime. I do love being with Granpa and Grandpa, but everything else there is just not right.

Through our dismal little ship I hear,
"Sam!" being shouted.
"I think I've grown since the last time we checked".
"Are your heels firmly on the ground?" This is usually the part where I hear 'oh' and then nothing more on the topic.
"Come measure". His little feet thumper to the storage room to get the tape measurer,
"Get the square too", and the square.
"Wow, you have grown, about a quarter inch. You're now towering in at 3'7. Mom and Dad are hardly even going to recognize you". His face suddenly deflates, and his eyes lose their bubbly glow.
"I didn't mean it literally. They will recognize you just fine. Three years is not enough time for them to forget anything about you. I promise you will have many years with them in the future - ok?" I may as well not even tried to patch up what I said because his little face stayed in a grim state. I then feel my nails and palm hurting as I let go of a tight fist of frustration . Angel stays silent then puts away the measuring tools.

[2 weeks later]
All I can think about lately is if this annoying alarm will ever stop. It started a few days ago, and I have no idea what it's trying to tell us. Is it ever going to stop? Sometimes I forget it's there, but when I see the flashing lights, the sound hits me all over again. Angel is not as annoyed because I stuff toilet paper in his ears, so at least he can carry on with his day as normal as possible. I on the other hand figure I should stay tuned just incase I recieve instructions from the spaceport on Earth to tell me what to do. I hope we are not in some kind of danger. I wish I knew what [low O2] means. Can we just run out of O2 already so that alarm stops? They will probably just fill it back up when we land at the spaceport.

Great - our classroom has no roof, and I still have no idea who this teacher is. Yuck - sand in my mouth from the wind. My friend Mary sitting next to me is crying and scared. It's getting windier and windier. 'Where is the roof' I wonder. Among all of this chaos, the substitute teacher is commanding me to watch a science film that is playing for the class. Why does he care about the film so much; why doesn't he care about all the debri flying around and kids' papers being whipped all around.
"Watch the film" he yells at me. Why am I being singled out?
I wake up coughing and choking on my hair while realizing I was having that same dream that I kept having a couple of weeks ago. Awsome - there's water left in my cup to relieve my throat. I am shaking and full of sweat. Subtle interest turns into frustration from the stupid dream. It's morning, but all I want to do is sleep. Normally that annoying alarm does not let me go back to sleep, but I am too tired to care this time. And from the looks of it, Angel is still tired too; he is totally out. So I might as well go back to sleep; I am sure Angel will wake me up soon. The low O2 alarm is now fading away as I decend back under.

'Boy oh boy sleep feels good this time - better than ever', I think to myself while my consciousness thins. I am in school, and things are flying around my classroom. Kids are crying and screaming. It is so hot and uncomfortable. I hear familiar crying in my ear next to me. It is not Mary sitting where she usually does; it's my little brother. There is a storm outside, and I watch with fear as my Grandma and Grampa are trapped in it. They look like they are trying to tell me something, but what? There's a really loud alarm; It must be a tornado alarm. It is a familiar sound; I look in my brain helplessly for answers. In the corner of my eye, it's that strange teacher pointing at the film playing, and he has a very worried look on his face. I finally look at the video screen. It is at the part where the narrator is showing the equipment the astronauts use when walking in space. The camera zooms in on a symbol on one of the tanks that the astronauts breath out of. The symbol is O2. Something about this symbol is bugging me like I have seen it just recently. The alarm ringing outside reminds me of a ship - a spaceship. Ohhhh, it's not a tornado alarm; it's the alarm on the spaceship in real life. This is that same dream because I know for sure my brother and I are really on a spaceship. And ... OH MY GOD!!!, the video is saying the astronauts need O2 to breath; O2 IS OXYGEN!!!. We will die if it runs out on the ship. I must shake out of this dream. I snap awake but feel extra woozy; it must be because of the low oxygen. The fear of opening the hatch is all but gone because if I don't open it, WE DIE ANYWAY. Just to be sure the door doesn't get sucked open into outer space, and we don't get sucked into oblivion, I must wake up Angel to help me hold the door steady.
"Angel, Angel !!! wake up". What's wrong with him, why isn't he waking up I frantically question as I feel my dizziness steadily getting worse.
"Angel WAKE UP"!!! come on please!!!" He's breathing but still no response.
"Heyyyyyyy!!!" I shout into his ear.
"Please help me Angelo!!!", but the plea falls on deaf ears. My breathing feels weaker and weaker.
"Why won't you wake up this time"? I sobbed while hunched over with my tears splashing down on his face. Trying not to think of the worst, I immediately start towards the hatch to open it myself. I am surprisingly not at all scared to try to open it myself anymore. Dizzy and stumbling, I go to grab the key from its hiding spot under the rug to open the padlock. I wobble and shuffle towards the hatch which is suspended out from the ceiling. Just as I am getting there, I notice the hatch door getting higher and higher above me. What is happening? My knees feel a painful slam. I am falling down. My legs have given out from under me - why? I am on my shins now. My hands are barely supporting what little hight above the ground I have left. I feel so weak - too weak to... Just then I look at Angel through blured vision - it is like my body is shutting down. All I want to do is throw up and sleep at the same time. I just need to rise up a foot to reach the hatch. While looking at Angel, the thought of us dieing from the low oxygen creeps into my mind. I instinctively take one last deep breath to catch whatever air I can. A faint increase of energy seems to come from nowhere. Maybe I can try using my legs one last time. The shaking temporarily stops long enough for my muscles to climb on top of themselves. I am jittering but rising. Hopefully this last rush lasts long enough to pop the padlock. Holding onto the padlock to keep my shaky body balanced, the key goes in and a turn of it pops the padlock, but now I'm falling again; however, this time I am falling with my hand clenching the leaver on the hatch. The weight of my body falling pulls the lever all the way down with my unconscious hands locked onto the handle. Just then the hatch door implodes and wacks my falling body on it's way down. I should be in pain from being sent to the ground with a double blow of forces, but my surprise from the door blowing open the opposite direction than I was expecting keeps me numb from the rest of reality. Anything other than what I was afraid of happening, I take it as a good sign. From my back, I tilt my head to see through the hatch door to outside, and suddenly a bright beam of light totally blinds me. My blindness adds to my panic. But what is this???, no blackness??? Instead, a wonderful feeling blankets me. A push of air... 'Wind!!!' I thought. The smell of trees gushes into my lungs. I am surviving with the hatch door open!!! The terrible sick feeling is leaving me, but I wish I could see. Right then, the low O2 alarm stops. I can hear birds chirping; the ship must have landed - or crashed!!! Still lying on my back and the hatch door lever still grasped in my hand, I feel my abilities increasing at a rapid rate, so I scream in the direction of the open door from where I'm lying.
"Anyone out there?" All that comes from me is a weak attempt of an outcry.
"Anyone out there?", I yelp a little louder this time. Again, no response at all. I am feeling so relieved physically and mentally, but a fearful pain stabs my stomach when I think of my little brother helplessly in a coma. My little brother who I am supposed to protect and who I love so much.
I use the lever on the hatch to pull myself up. I stretch my arms through the opening of the ship and lift myself out. Once out, I get to my feet onto what must be the top of the ship. I still can't see, so I feel around with my hands for something to lean on. Something sturdy is right next to me that I cling to for support.
"Is anyone around"?!, I am able to yell even louder this time. I reach to try to touch something else but feel nothing at all. I stand here with no idea where I am or what's around me. This is all so frustrating. If we did land, why didn't anyone tell us? Why isn't Mom and Dad here to greet us? This is all too real because this time I wish I was dreaming.
"Hello!?!" I barked at the top of my lungs. Nothing but wind. To my greatful surprize, my blindness starts to break up into blochy neon spots. I can see fuzzy figures but I can't make them out, so I stay leaning against something that is very sturdy. I squint really hard to try to make out what it is. The color brown starts to appear. I brush my fingers on it to try to get a sense of what it is. It feels awfully familiar. It's hard but brittle. It seems to be right above the hatch door opening, so I suspect it is a part of the ship, but pieces start to flake off into my hand. A sudden realization starts coming to me - it's a tree. My eyesight focuses a little bit better on it and confirms my surprising find. My vision is almost back to normal now. I notice the tree is actually a giant oak and is on top of the hatch door. How can this be?;
"This is no spaceship", I whisper to myself completely confused. I look through the hatch door and could actually see the all too familiar living quarters from a different angle and perspective now.
"What is going on"? I kept asking myself. Just then I hear a noise coming from back inside,
"Please be Angel" I chanted to myself. I went back down, burst into our bedroom and fell to my aching knees in joy to see my little brother hunched over his bed coughing. At that point nothing mattered, not the deception of a spaceship, not the beating we took, nothing. He looks very drowsy and sick, but at least he's alive.
"Are you alright"?, I ask trying not cry at the same time.
"I don't feel good", he said quietly. But I think he is feeling better because the color of his skin is coming back to normal by the second, and his faint tired eyes are coming more wide and alive with curiosity.
"Why is it so bright and hot in here? Why is the hatch open; did we land?", he asks with the same sense of confusion that I had.
"Yes we landed", I told him while partially bitting my lip.
"Are we going to see Mom and Dad?"
"I don't know". The gig is up I figured - there's no bulling my way through this one. Besides, something seems uncomfortably remanisant about making up a huge story. I also notice fear is starting to replace the joy I was feeling a few minutes ago.
"I am going to go back outside to see if I can find someone. Please wait here until I tell you that it is safe to come outside, ok?
He nods the most uncomfortable nod I have ever seen. Outside I attempt to see my surroundings. My vision is back to normal but the light is so bright that my eyes are forced to squint. We must still be in Emporia because Earth is way nicer than this. But still, why is it so bright; I don't remember it being so bright here, or is it that I am not used to the sunlight?

Suddenly there's movement out from the corner of my eye; I turn to fix in on it. It is two figures far away that only take a second for me to recognize
"MOM!!! DAD!!!", I screamed. They look so sad; I think they brought Angel and me flowers. As I run in their general direction, I can't see again, but this time it's because of my tears. My parents start screaming and yelling with astonishment and joy as they run towards me. Mom looks like she has her face in her hands as if she is washing it with tears, and Dad also looks like he has tears for the first time that I can recall. There was something definately going on that I didn't know about. They soon crash into me and I recognize their smell, their voices, their faces. I am now crying as hard as they are. Among many good feelings, joy came to my mind the most; the anger was nowhere to be found.
"Saaaaam, oh Saaaaam, I knew you were alive, I knew it, I felt you, you were always with me. I can't believe this", Mom cries out with glee.
"It's real dear; it's real!" Dad assures Mom shouting the first part and strongly saying the second all while staring into my eyes with certainty.
"Angel, come out, come out Angel". My parents faces went from confusion to hope having heard what I said.
"Angelo!!!????" Dad says as tears continued to stream down his face. Dad was looking at me like he was waiting for a reply to his one-worded question. I directed my sight towards the hole in the tree, and I felt the four eyes next to me do the same.
"Angel !!!, come out!!!!" I shouted in excitement as I have been waiting for this moment for so long - to finally show Angel his mom and dad again. To my expectation, a partial ellipse of a head with two curious eyes poke through from what now appears to be a secret tree entrance at the bottom of the Oak. Suddenly, I am picked up into my daddy's arms, and we head towards the entrance. I frantically yelled for Angel to come out as if there was no time to spare. Angel gets out of the secret bunker and now sees us coming. He is smiling with part joy and part confusion, but at least he is smiling.
"My Aaaangel" Mom sang.
"Angelo!!!", Dad adds. Once he is in Mom's hug, I can see Angel's face losing its curiosity and being overcome with pure joy. Just as I was about to wonder why Dad called him Angelo, I got hit again and even harder than when the hatch blew open. MY BROTHER'S NAME IS ANGELO!!!, and only my Mom used to call him Angel. As we were all hugging, a flood of memories gushes in my mind all at once. This is where my grandparents live, in the city of Emporia in the state of Kansas - on Earth - not on a different planet - only about 5 driving hours from Denver. But the houses look different. We are standing in the back of my grandparent's neighbor's acreage, but why don't the houses look the same, and why have we been here all this time? Where is the old shed I used to play in?; what is that building over there? Wait, this is not the first time I saw this place look so familiar but so different. I remember everything breaking and falling apart all around me from something... something.... A TORNADO!!!. It was causing horrific destruction all around me. People getting sucked up into the sky....
"Grandpa, Grandma!" I cry out loud with even more tears in my eyes now. I look to my parents for something other than the horrific truth, but seeing their grim faces when I spoke of them somehow told me everything I needed to know. I now know for sure that this newly found memory is right, and I also realize now that the nightmares I was having are partly true. Painful details start coming at me now, specifically Angelo and I playing outside on a hot day. Grandpa is somewhere between the neighbor's shed and his house yelling at me to come in and to bring Angelo too because a storm was coming in. I was really thirsty but too stubborn to go in. I told Grandpa to get some water for me (I always new how to get him to do what I wanted with the right tone). Begrudgingly defeated, Grandpa started walking towards the house. I was so thirsty; he was taking what seemed like forever. The sky started getting really dark really fast. Grandma started yelling from the patio for us to get inside before the lightning got too close. Angelo was playing in the dirt near the shed. Grandpa had two full glasses of water in his hands with a conniving grin to persuade Angelo and me to get inside. Then I saw it coming from behind the house. Instead of panicking, they seemed to be in a frozen state of confusion from the noise. The house was blocking their veiw from the approaching black cloud. I started running into the wind towards the house to warn them. But I remember not getting very far because a strong arm grabbed me. I saw their house starting to blow up in peices right in front of me with them in it. Dust was everywhere, I couldn't see anything anymore. Crying and stuck, I turned to see what was stopping me. It was old Mr. Henderson, my grandparent's friend and neighbor. My arm was in one of his hands, and I couldn't fight it off. My little brother who I was playing with in the shed just minutes before was currled up in his other arm. Mr. Henderson had the face of the substitute teacher in my dream; I did not recognize it because I used to only see him from far away yelling at us to get off his shed or just giving us a friendly wave. This was the only memory of him close up. He ran us back to an oak tree; he saved us. He opened a secret hatch at the bottom of the tree and put us in the shelter first, but the tornado was getting louder, and it was even got more windier. By the time it was his turn to get in, he was only able hang on to the handle of the hatch door. His legs were above his body frailing in the wind, but he was still holding onto the hatch. He yelled at me to shut the door and not to open it once he lets go. I was sickened from the thought of closing the door without him inside because it looked so dangerous for him to be out there. But then he let go and I saw his body fade off into total blackness. 'Black as space' I remember thinking. I then closed the hatch.
As I started hugging my parents tighter, a huge weight on my shoulders was replaced with a mournful pain. My hug got even tighter as we were molded into one standing under the oak tree. [The End]
If there is anything that you didn't like about the story, can you please add it in your comments?

Submitted: December 11, 2011

© Copyright 2021 From Ryan. All rights reserved.

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Holy freakin cow!!! I absolutely love this!!!! The way psychology turns it from Sci-Fi in to fiction is seamless and unbelievable. To be perfectly honest, this is the kind of story I would expect to see on a middle school End of Course exam. Please keep me updated on what else you do.

Mon, December 12th, 2011 6:00am


Mon, December 12th, 2011 8:23am


wow this is really amazing i love it. You've manage to create an amazing story.
love to read more of your writing it is unbelievable.keep me updated when you put more up.

Mon, December 12th, 2011 8:28am

From Ryan

Thanks everyone :)

Mon, December 12th, 2011 10:11pm


I loved every bit of this. One word- AMAZING!

Tue, December 13th, 2011 8:32am

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