Inseparable *

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
One night. One fire. One memory. Changed everything

Submitted: January 07, 2013

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 07, 2013






The growing flames radiated heat through the school corridor. The thick black smoke made it hard to breathe and stung my eyes. I tried to put the fire out, but it was useless. It had already grown out of control. “Conner!” I yelled as loud as I could through the dense smoke. “Conner where are you?!” I started to panic, my voice choking on the toxic air invading my lungs. “Matt! Matt, over here!” I heard Conner shout back through the rising wall of flames. “ Conner, We gotta get outta here!” I ran toward the source of my best friend’s voice. “Conner..”

I jolt awake. Drenched in sweat from the memory of the fire we started that almost killed us both. This same dream has haunted me almost every night for the last two years, always launching me back into reality before I see the end of it. I shake off the horrible scene replaying in my head. Jumping out of bed, I make my way to the bathroom and take a quick shower. I pull on a plain black T-shirt and loose jeans. Grabbing a towel, I quickly dry my hair and brush my teeth. I look up and examine my face in the mirror. Pitch-black messy hair, pale skin, a firmly set jaw, and grey/green eyes, tired from so many sleepless nights. I head downstairs, grab my backpack and keys and run out the door.

Starting up my black Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG, I step on the gas, in a hurry to pick up Conner on time before school. He and I have been friends for as long as I can remember. Inseparable.

I pull up at the corner at the end of Conner’s street, honk the horn twice, and wait. A couple minutes later I see him bounding down the driveway with a ridiculous grin on his face. He hops into the convertible and throws his bag in the backseat.

“How’s the birthday boy?” – He shouts over the music blasting from the car radio.

“It’s not my birthday yet.” I answer, rolling my eyes. He’s been at it all week. Going on and on about how we gotta celebrate.

“Its tomorrow. Same difference. I can’t believe you’re gonna be seventeen man! “ – he smacks my shoulder.

I ignore him and pull into the parking lot of a local diner. We sit down at our favorite table near the window that looks out over the parking lot and watch the kids from our school go in and out of the 7-Eleven across the street. Soon enough, I hear the oh-so-familiar “May I please take your order?”

 “I’ll have an order of buttermilk pancakes and a chocolate milkshake.” I answer with a crooked smile. I look over at Conner. “What are you getting?”

“Same thing.” He says.

I look back at the waitress, “Same thing for my friend here so make that two.”

“Coming right up.” She says after a slight pause.

We polish off our breakfast and speed to make it to school before the bell rings. Inside the main hall, we head to our separate classes. “See you at lunch!” Conner yells back after already turning to leave. The day goes by like any other Friday. Achingly slow and shadowed with the growing impatience and anticipation of getting out for the weekend. I sit patiently through my classes, spending most of my time pondering my thoughts and watching the skyline begin to darken with clouds and the uneasy preconception of an impending storm.

After school, I wait for Conner by the car. He approaches with his usual air of arrogance and that foolish grin plastered on his face. He gets in the car and turns on the radio. I take a second to text my mom and tell her I won’t be home until later.

“So, where to?” I ask glancing at Conner.

“Let’s go to our old hideout ‘till it gets dark.”

We pick up Chinese food and head to our old hangout at the edge of Blackhill Park. I leave the car under the old oak tree at the beginning of the abandoned trail that leads up to a 10 meter high cliff that overlooks a beautiful panorama of Little Seneca Lake and the surrounding woods.

We sit and watch as the sun kisses the horizon and the sky melts into haunting shades of red accompanied by the invading storm clouds moving in from the east. As the last rays of sunlight that cling to the darkening sky finally let go and shrink out of sight, I can’t help but have an unwelcome and strange feeling of resignation,  Like something is about to end. Something out of my control, and I’m willing to accept it.

A sinister wind rustles the trees and crawls right through me, chilling me to the bone. I look over at Conner, whose attention is still glued to the spot where the horizon finally swallowed up the sun. The distant look in his eyes, shaded with a hint of nostalgia.

“Conner, let’s go. This place is starting to give me the creeps.”

“Yeah...” He says distractedly. “Let’s go.”

“So what did you have in mind for tonight?” I ask as we walk back down to the car.

“You’ll see.”


“So, Where to?” I ask as we drive down One-way Lane.

“ Take a left up here.” Conner points in the direction. “Then head on straight and take the second right.”

It takes me a minute to realize that he has us headed to our high school. I pull over at the curb. “Leave the car here,” says Conner as he jumps out and shuts the door. I catch up with him right as he climbs through the open cafeteria window. The school is as still as a graveyard, already abandoned by all students and staff for the weekend. We walk down the corridor, our footsteps resounding off the empty walls. A sudden clap of thunder sounds and a sharp blade of lightning slices the sky. Conner turns sharply to left and into the science lab.

“So are you up for this?” He looks at me expectantly.

“Up for what?”

“Open that cabinet.” He nods to his right.

I do so, and all I see are two tanks of “flammable and combustible” liquid. “Umm… am I missing something?” – I look questioningly at my friend.

“We’re gonna burn it down Matty”

I take a moment to fully comprehend what he is considering.

 “What the hell, man?! Are you crazy?! – My voice rises in exasperation. “How could you even consider this?! Do you even remember what happened last time we messed with this shit Conner?! “

Conner looks at me with eyes of stone. “How could I forget? The question is, do you?

I’m stunned into silence. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing…just grab those tanks will ya? Or are you gonna chicken out on me?”

I do as he says, grabbing two tanks of the  horrid stuff and dragging them outside. I douse the perimeter of the school building and toss the empty containers into a grove of trees.  “Let’s do this.”

Another boom of thunder reaches its crescendo and rumbles through the earth.  “Better hurry up!” yells Conner over the sound of the rising wind. I take out a box of matches I keep in my pocket, light one up, and let it fall. The liquid catches fire within a split second and soon enough the tiny spark that ignited the flame begins to spread.

The flames continue to rise. A window breaks and the fire makes its way into the building. Suddenly a haunting sense of Déjà vu rushes through me. A wave of nausea hits me like a freight train. I drop to my knees as my head begins to throb. I close my eyes. Smoke…fire…darkness..Conner. My eyes fly open. Where is he?

I pull myself to my feet.


There’s no time to lose. I command my muscles to move, and I run. I crash through the door and clamber into the hall which has now transformed into an impenetrable wall of smoke.


I panic. My body takes me further into the heart of the building. Closer to the fire. Suddenly I’m somewhere else. My mind takes me back to that one cold night almost two years ago. I can’t breathe. I can’t see. Conner…. BLACK.


I try to open my eyes but I can’t. I hear a familiar voice. Mom? Why is she crying?

“It’s ok. He’s gonna be alright.” My dad’s voice reaches me through the black void separating me from my parents. Then their voices fade away and everything goes numb.

I try to move. Where am I? Mom and Dad were here. A distant unfamiliar voice interrupts my search for an answer.” Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, there are some things I’d like to discuss with you about your son. You see…”

I try to keep a grip on to my consciousness, but I’m hanging by a thread. Their voices fade into distant echoes and once more I’m dragged down..Down..Down . Into nothing.


I open my eyes. White. All I see is white. I look around and try to make sense of my surroundings as my eyes adjust to the bright light.

“ Matt , sweetie?”

“Mom…” I mumble.

“Oh hunny we were so worried about you…” Her voice breaks and she chokes back a sob.

“Excuse me. Good morning Matthew. I’m Dr. Bennet. How are you feeling?”

“Okay I guess. My head hurts a little. What happened?”

“There was a fire. You blacked out while trying to put it out I’m guessing.”

“Fire..?” Suddenly memories of the previous night rush back to me. CONNER.

“Where’s Conner?! Is he ok?! Where’s Conner?! Where is he?!”

Mom starts to cry. Doctor Bennet hesitates for a moment. “Matthew, Conner is dead.”

“What? What do you mean he’s dead? He was just with me last night. I went in to find him. Where is he?”

My confusion turns to anger. “Where is my friend?!”

“He died two years ago. The rest is all in your head. He’s merely a hallucination Matthew. He’s not real. The real Conner is gone.”

The room starts to spin. I put my hands over my ears trying to block everything out. I start to scream.

“NO! You don’t know what you’re talking about! Conner isn’t dead!”

My body fails me. My knees buckle under the weight of an overwhelming feeling of self-doubt that seeps its way into my veins.


It all comes back to me. I see it. The fire. The smoke. I feel the heat, The panic. Conner. Where’s Conner? I’m running. Falling. Black.  I remember now. I remember waking up as I was being lifted into the ambulance. I remember catching a glimpse of the firefighters carrying Conner’s limp body out of the ashen school building. The paramedics shut the doors separating me from my best friend forever.

“No!” I scream.

“NO! NO! NO!” “It’s all my fault,” I sob.

My dad rushes towards me and wraps his arms around my body, now overtaken by gut wrenching sobs.

“Matthew it was a terrible thing, but it sure as hell wasn’t your fault.”

“Let go of me! I’m the one who left him! I’m the reason he’s dead! I was too late!”

Two nurses rush into the room. “I was too late!” One of them grabs me while the other injects the sedative into my arm. “Conner..”


It’s the middle of the night. I wake up in a daze. Conner sits by my hospital bed.

“Conner? They said you were dead. You’re not real.”

“Is that really what you believe Matty?”

I struggle to put the pieces together. I’m fighting a battle with myself inside my head. I don’t know what to think. I look at Conner.

“I’m here Matt. Always. I’m real. I’m right here.”

© Copyright 2018 St.Shimmy. All rights reserved.

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