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Tales of 9/11 Part 1-The Attacks
Maria was working in the World Trade Center. She was sitting at her office desk, analyzing some reports and statistics. The phone was ringing off the hook. Maria sighed, picked up the phone, and immediately slammed it back down on the reciever.
"Figure out your own problems," she muttered to herself. She went back to her papers.
A few minutes later, one of her co-workers came in with a smirk. Maria looked up and made a disgusted look when she saw that it was Alexis.
"Hey, M, just got off the phone with Boss....I'm getting a promotion!" she said with a sly hint of sarcasm.
"Good for you, Alexis. Now get out. I have work to do."
"Getting paid that good sized bonus tomorrow."
"I said good, Alexis, now get out! Just because you took my job doesn't mean you have to come in here ranting about it!"
"GET OUT!" Maria said as she forcefully stood up, knocking her chair over.
"Okay.....okay. No need to start trouble!" Alexis said with a smirk as she walked out casually.
Maria picked up her chair and looked down at her papers. She did not like Alexis one bit. Absolute rival when it came to business. Always one step ahead, a little better. She glanced at her papers and sighed. She sat down, but instead of getting back to the papers, she gazed longingly out the window.
"Hmmm.....it's not supposed to rain today," she thought as she looked out at the cloud gathering a little bit a ways. It cast a deep shadow on the city, making everything look gloomy.
The clouds matched her mood. It had been a rough day. Her boyfriend broke up with her that morning because, as he said, she was always too busy at work. Then, she lost her keys. It took her a half hour to find them. She was late to work, and she was in trouble of getting sent back down to the basement after she has spent almost three years getting up to that floor, about midway between the top and bottom. It was generally a bad day that she wished she could take back. She just felt so little, like she couldn’t make a difference in the world, and that the world was against her. Uhhhhhhhh....at least she could daydream in peace. But not for long.
It was almost instantaneous. Out of nowhere. A loud, almost deafening sound followed by a jolt that sent Maria flying across her room, crashing into a wall. She was disoriented for a moment. She fumbled around for her glasses, but when she tried to move, she felt an agonizing pain shoot up her right leg. She found her glasses and saw that her desk had landed on her leg, leaving her stuck under there. She didn't know what to do, let alone what just happened.
Then the sirens started blaring for a moment, but went down just as quick as they came on. People were screaming from outside the office. It was pure chaos. And Maria had no clue what to do. She was still out of breath, so she couldn't scream for help. Luckily, some man whom she had never seen before came in and spotted her. He rushed over and started lifting the desk off Maria's leg. She still couldn't scream though.
"Come on, we gotta get outta here!"
"I don't know, COME ON!" the man picked her up.
"Ouch! My leg.......broken...." Maria winced.
"Screw your leg, we gotta get oughta here........take this! He broke a leg off the desk with his hands and handed it to Maria. She took it and used it as a makeshift crutch.
They hobbled over to the office door and opened it. Immediately, smoke came pouring into the room.
"Hold your breath and stay as low as you can," the man gasped as he ducked into the darkness. But Maria stood motionless, gaping in awe at the bizarre sight. She couldn't see past the smoke, but she could see the feet of people scurrying across the ground. She knew people were screaming, but all she could hear was a low, rumbling, sound coming from a few floors above her.
The smoke finally got to her, and she coughed. She finally decided to hobble out into the mess. She noticed for the first time that her glasses had cracked, which hindered her sight even more. But, she could still see for now.
She saw a co-worker sprinting past, holding a thick book above her head for protection.
“It’s the end! The end! THE END OF THE WORLD!” she screamed before collapsing onto the ground, crying. She was clutching the book to her chest in a fetal positon.
“Woah……woah…..what’s going on?” Maria asked. It was painful, but she managed to get the lady back up into a sitting position.
“It’s today, lady. Today is Judgment Day! The Lord has sent a monster to drive that plane!” she said. She then took off down the corridor in a deranged state. Maria stared at her with a puzzled look until she went from sight.
Maria looked around her. Some people were staring into space, traumatized at the unknown forces that almost killed them a moment before. Some were running and screaming, and Maria wondered if they had any senses at all right now. The worst sight she saw, through all the smoke and haze, was the sight of humans jumping to their death. To her horror, she saw a young man, leaning over an open window, looking down at the hundreds of people on the street below him. He stood there, motionless for a moment, gritting his teeth. Finally, he took a step onto the windowsill.
“No, don’t do it!” Maria shouted as she hobbled over to the window. She reached for him and grabbed his shirt, trying to yank him off.
The man turned around, kicked Maria backwards, and said, “Woman, if you stay in here, you too will die. Don’t resist the attackers. The beginning of World War Three has begun, and even Einstein himself said that that would be the end of all things. The plane has crashed into the World Trade Center, I saw it myself. Next is the bomb! The bomb! Why a thing so menacing was invented, I will never know why. But beware, you must jump now, or else you will die slowly and painfully!” and with that, he jumped backwards out of the window, some ten stories below.
Maria didn’t even watch him fall. She just heard the shrieks from below. Suddenly, she had the notion to jump. She gazed at the window and thought………..suddenly, another loud noise filled the air. A moment later, and a second, more powerful shock, made the building sway. She thought that surely the building would topple. But, just as she braced herself, so did the building. Even so, she couldn’t help but collapse and cry.
She realized the full impact of what had just happened. Planes…..death…..terrorists. And suddenly she had the will power to want to make a difference. She didn’t know how she was going to do it, but she knew that she could. If only she could find a way out.
She collected herself. She checked the elevator. Destroyed. The only way left was the stairs. She tried her hardest to go as fast as she could on her crutch. She blocked out everything except reaching the stairs……….but she heard……could it be? A faint cry for help?
She looked around, trying to find the location of the cry. The corridor was almost empty now. All she saw on the floor was a newspaper that said, “Little Girl Saves Family.” Finally, she caught sight of a human, buried underneath some rubble. That was where the cry was coming from. Maria rushed over and started frantically digging through the rubble. Sweat was rolling off her face. Her hands were getting sore. But finally, she reached the human’s face. The woman was still breathing.
She dug some more. But, it hit her like a bullet. She suddenly realized that she was digging up her enemy……Alexis. Well, now, she had a decision to make. Should she save her or leave her to die?