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Sirens

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Sirens. All I hear is sirens. The people sobbing, the flames dancing and crackling, the water a feeble stream attempting to tame the beast. I hear none of it. I can feel the chilling wail of the Sirens through every bone in my body. My nerves are on fire, but for some reason I am unable to move. I can taste their eerie echo on my tongue and my lips pucker at the foul taste of the Sirens. My sense of smell has not yet been overcome by their deafening blares, for it is strangled by the stench of stinging, black smoke erupting from the building. Entranced by the hypnotizing motions of the enveloping fire, they ring in my head like a gong. They rattle my brain like dice while my ears are filled with the intense, suffocating noise of continuous bells ringing at an octave that seems impossibly high. My body freezes in the fear that is the Sirens.
Now the packed snow on the frozen pathway crunches and grinds squeakily beneath my sneakers, and other students pass by me in our slow succession to pre-determined spots surrounding the school just as we’ve done countless times before. Again, the sirens are overwhelming, but not quite enough to entirely mask the rumbling avalanche of words crashing through the double doors. There is no fire, there is no danger, so why are we here and why do those eardrum-bursting screeches continue to race through the hallways of the school and grab at me in an attempt to tackle me to the ground? I feel bumps from every angle possible, but when we reach our place outside we are immediately instructed to file back inside the building. The rhythmic, blaring sirens are no longer alive, yet I feel their ghosts flying through my head and knocking on the inside of my skull.
When I went to bed last night my only concern was breakfast the next day. My schedule would continue as it always does in my life of occasionally exciting but generally average days. After dinner, I brushed my teeth and slipped into my pajamas in a way that seemed so natural and efficient that any other routine would wreak havoc on such a monotonous life. Mother tucked my brother in first and then me, slipping the blanket under my toes like she always does even though she knows that as soon as she leaves they will have wiggled out. My Father walked in and gave us both goodnight kisses. As he walked out, he switched off the light and darkness surrounded us. My brother fell asleep first, as he always does, and soon I was lulled out of consciousness by his gentle breaths. My last thought before falling asleep was a wish for something new to happen to break this chain of averagely depressing days that my life has become.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. Sirens again? This time, however, everything is black and I am safe and warm beneath the blankets on my bed. The fire, the drill; it was all a dream and now it’s time to get ready for another school day just like every other Thursday: same classes, same people, same everything. It’s too early for even the sun to be out but I am forced to lug myself out of bed and drag my tired body into the shower. As the warm water drips down my face, I think about sirens: sirens that alert you of the presence of oncoming police cars or fire engines, sirens that warn you of danger ahead, and sirens that really can’t be taken seriously by a school of teenagers when heard once every month. Surprisingly, the thought of my alarm clock pops into my head when I think about the sirens that warn of danger. The alarm clock’s sirens warn me of another boring day coming at me slowly but surely, another day to endure with the same prosaic routine as the week before. Half an hour later, I pass by a flier announcing tryouts for the school play. I have never considered auditioning before, but for some reason the flier catches my eye. I start to hear sirens again. My alarm clock, the bell in the school, and the fire truck all going off at once in my head. I take a deep breath, pick up the pen and sign my name. As I walk away, the ghosts of my life begin to slowly fade.





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