Thunder Flowers | Teen Ink

Thunder Flowers

August 10, 2019
By Ry19 BRONZE, Helena, Montana
Ry19 BRONZE, Helena, Montana
3 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
“ Do your very best to not procrastinate, for example I have an essay due tomorrow at eight and ... hey is that a squirrel in that tree?”


    We had created a sort of pact that summer, to be carefree and to love each and every day as if it were our last. For the first few weeks it seemed all too good to be true. We rebelled against our parents who told us that they knew better, we did things that were dumb and should have never been committed. We were the twenty first century outlaws. We dubbed ourselves the savoirs of us. Convinced that we would all fall into a mortal pit of longing if we weren’t doing things that challenged everything we had ever been taught. We spent nights laying out on the bed of a stolen truck, gazing at the stars we knew we could never reach. Those first few weeks of summer was all we, there was not a singular person who lived for themselves. We lived for each other, breathing in every breath of troubled air like we were breathing for our whole little clan of pastel and plaid suited gangsters. 

Then it happened. The thing that we had made the pack for. Suddenly, we were split apart, we became I. Now, instead of breathing for everyone, we breathed only for ourselves. Hoping that we could just wake up the next day to find ourselves alive and well. Or at least able to see the sunrise. Now when we would see each other there was no longer the carefree laughter that we brought out in each other. Now it was filled with worried glances towards people we didn't know, now it was asking if anyone had seen Becky recently, if anyone else had heard that Vicky's family made a run for it and if Ethan was still limping. We were so far gone in our own worlds that we barely noticed when another strike hit, when next time we met up Alex wasn’t there. It was a crazy world we found ourselves in, and sometimes we wondered in the dark encompasses of our shelters, if we had partly been the cause. Of course we all knew that that was silly, and none of us had done anything to cause this reckoning of human nature. But in the dark lonely hours of the night, when no one has spoken for so long that it would almost be out of place to do so, the mind has a chance to wander the darker parts of the brain. Is Becky O.K.? Did Ethan really just fall over and trip while bringing his mother underneath? Did Vicky and her family make it over the Rocky Mountains. Dangerous thoughts swirled in our minds like a dark storm plunging us into deeper mourning. 

When the raids would end, we would all come out of our shelters to see what other signs of life has been taken from us. Mama’s flower bed had long been incinerated by the gases that we now breathed in part of oxygen. Grandpapa had just about breathed his last when he saw his horse barn, turned black and burned from the outside in. We had to let go of these things, just like my clan had to forget about each other, so that maybe we could help protect our families' for just one more day. When the local military would deem it safe enough to breathe the outside air again, some of us would go on a fast paced walk through town. Looking through the remains of the long abandoned grocer, seeing if the mice had missed anything. Then we would make our way to the Base. The Base was a military compound located near the middle of town in an old high school. They would give out what little rations had been safely shipped into our city. At the base you could often see people you knew, though almost no one would stop anymore for a casual conversation. Besides, what was there really to talk about. Everyone was in a murmured hurry, to get what they needed for another week, and to get back to the safety of their shelters. Once in awhile I would see a friend, a familiar face, sometimes we would exchange timid smiles. Reminiscent of the past, but sorry because of it. 

Once we had gathered what we were allowed, we walked back to our home, though the part that had once been above ground now stood only to defer whomever may want to see us weep. Maybe if it was a clear night, we could light the lamp with the precious oil we had. Mother had managed to find a few books in the wreckage of the library, and we read them aloud those nights. On nights when we couldn't light the lamp, we made ourselves happy with song. Singing old favorites from the good days, when we could blast our car radios with passion. Sometimes we would sing songs not heard before, songs we tried to make happy despite the great depression that lay in their cracks. And when the sirens called we sat in silence, listening to distant bangs and booms, if one pretended they almost sounded like thunder. 

Then something happened, a happy thing. A young couple had decided to get married. Even those who didn't know the youth still came, because everyone needed something to lighten their stolid hearts, even for just the afternoon. It was to be held at the old fairgrounds, a large place, made of brick. Anyone who went brought a little. Whatever it was a can of peaches from the summer before, or a cup of flour. One woman even gave the girl her wedding dress, a brownish yellow now, but on her held the beauty of a goddess. The party lasted till the sun dropped into the horizon, when everyone quickly headed home, fearful of what lurked in the night. I had not seen so many happy people in so long than I did that night, they all danced with emotion, sadness and happiness, maybe even a little jealousy. But no one spoke if they felt so. When the feast was laid out everyone was kind. They made sure others around them had enough to eat before they did. The food was bland, and consisted only of pies with various fillings and weak watered down wine. But it was enough, and the joy in it made the dry food go down more easily. Too soon though it was over. And everyone was back in their shelters, awaiting the next flurry of siren calls. 

I remember when it all ended. When at every home and base that still had a functioning radio it was announced. Piece had been declared, strikes had been called off. We were free from the hell we had been living. Though it didn't all go back to what it was in a day. What is destroyed so quickly can sometimes never be brought back. The grass gradually grew a few green sprouts amid the brown dead fever it lived in. When the wildflowers started growing again, we planted them next to the graves of those we had lost in that time. Showing them that maybe now it would be all right. Maybe now we can again dream of a future. But out of all the renewal of love and rebirth of life, I remembered most of my clan. 

Years later, we met again, and did nothing but cry. We had lost too many, our pastel gangster attitudes having died long ago. And we wept for those who died still thinking that it wasn’t all that bad, that there was still green on the other side of the fence. We smiled and talked about old times, breaking into old hotels, stealing cars. And when we had all run out of emotions to feel we picked thunder flowers, a type some old woman had grown during her time in the underneath. We placed them on graves, and threw them into the river. And we still knew that we were our own saviors, the same kids who had fire in their eyes. Only now that fire was a little more blue. 


The author's comments:

I based this on the world wars and my border on a rainy afternoon. 


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This article has 2 comments.


Ry19 BRONZE said...
on Sep. 1 at 3:33 am
Ry19 BRONZE, Helena, Montana
3 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
“ Do your very best to not procrastinate, for example I have an essay due tomorrow at eight and ... hey is that a squirrel in that tree?”

@StarNightGirl : thank you!!! It was one of those random I need to write this down now or it will never appear again ideas. But thank you for the comment, it really made my day!

on Aug. 21 at 11:20 am
StarNightGirl GOLD, Boyds, Maryland
12 articles 0 photos 96 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life's under no obligation to give us what we want."

Wow, this is so cool!


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