The End

October 7, 2008
An earsplitting crash is heard from an area somewhere close. Struggling not to cry, I bite my lip and swallow the lump formulating in my throat. Mustering up courage, I rise up and glance through the shattered remnants of a window above me. The sight I meet challenges my biggest fears. My house, my family, my world, all of it is tatters. My vision becomes blurry as my tears become too strong to hold back. A warm hand from behind pulls me into an embrace, as if trying to protect me from my own world. “It will be all right” he whispers, but I know it won’t. “It’s happening! It's happening!” These words are being repeated in my head over and over, mocking me.

They said that this war would never happen, that America wouldn’t do it, but they did. They said no man was ruthless enough to create such a potent bomb, but they did. After the bomb was created, they said that no one was heartless enough to use it to kill thousands of innocent people. If that is true, why are my family members and friends lying unconscious in countless hospitals? But mostly, why are the streets littered with corpses?

My brother pulls me from our current hideout, and we run to a safer place. His usually honey-brown face is a dark hue of black. He is covered in soot, and so am I. Finding shelter in an old rusty shack, we settle down and try to rationalize what has just happened. Our mouths open and close like fish. Neither of us can articulate words that are explicit enough to express the current horrifying reality. Finally, he sullenly says, “Wow”. Nodding my head, I silently agree. The rain creates a steady beat as it strikes the roof of the shack. Ever the optimist, my brother smiles, and I can already figure what he is going to say. “Lets get cleaned up.” he says, struggling to stand in the tiny shack. Pulling me up with him, we prepare to leave. Looking back, I see holes forming in the roof where the rain has hit.

Lights flash in my head as reality dawns on me. “There’s something wrong here!” the voices in my head yell. I try to warn my brother, my mouth struggling to form these words, but no sound comes out. “Stop!” At this point, I am screaming, but only a whisper can be heard. Panic rushes over me, a tidal wave inside my head. I pull my arm from him, in desperate attempts to pull him back, to keep him from that rain. He looks down, his dark face distorted in confusion. Shrugging his shoulders, he lets me go, and runs off into the needle-like rain. My vocal cords begin to work again, and I hysterically scream at him to stop. He pays me no mind, and starts to dance in the rain. Playfully, he takes in some of the rain on his tongue, unknowingly swallowing the poison.
In the middle of his clumsy routine, his face begins to contort, and his arms make wild, jerky movements. Wolf-like cries erupt from his burning lips, and his huge frame begins to descend to the ground. The black from his skin has fled, and in its place there is a splotchy, charred red color. He screams one final time, as the rain attacks his dying form. I quickly turn my back to him, consumed with too much pain to look upon his lifeless form. Sinking to the floor, I rest my head against the hole-ridden walls of my tomb.

I never imagined that this would be the end or that I would die in a shack in the middle of nowhere. Neither did I envision that my brother’s death would come from acid-filled rain. The world around me begins to spin, and I squeeze my eyes closed, in an effort to block it all out. Putrid white rain falls on my burning head, leaving scars in its wake. The pain overwhelms me, and as every drop of rain scalds my skin, I feel a piece of me melting away into nothingness. Abruptly, the flashing red lights in my head fade to black. The pain that was slowly killing me dissolves into numbness, and for a short moment, I feel nothing.
A bright white light materializes in front of me, and soft voices beckon me to venture into it. "Walk to the light” they gesture, “ walk, and you’ll never feel pain again.” Temptation rises in me, so I begin to follow. In my journey, their tempting voices are drowned out by another. “Wake up!” a shrill voice screams, desperation obvious in their voice. Turning back, I see a blurry, yet familiar face. The voices of the light gain volume and soon, I am caught between two sets of people, each urging me to take their advice. Blocking them all out, I make my decision. Glancing back one final time, I run towards the light.

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