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Wildflowers

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It was a warm July afternoon when I begged my mother to let me take my little brother and sister to the river behind our house. She reluctantly agreed after I promised to keep my eyes on them.
“Here,” I said as I handed each of the twins a rock. I demonstrated how to skip a rock, and said, “Stay out of the river.” I watched them skip the rocks for a while, and then I turned around to gather beautiful wildflowers for our mother.
Apparently, Hayden didn’t understand that you’re supposed to use a different rock each time because he went in to fetch it. I didn’t notice until Harley shouted, “Sissy! Help!” I immediately dropped the flowers and rushed into the water. “Hang on! I’m coming!” I yelled to them. I was so panicked that I started crying and screaming at the same time. After I had waded out to about knee deep, I saw Hayden and Harley disappear under the water. I tried running downstream, but tripped and feel.
While I was under water, I saw rocks rushing by. Time seemed to stop as I saw part of Harley’s dress had gotten ripped off when it was caught in between two rocks. Then, I was them tumbling downstream, and hit a rock. I saw my blood everywhere in the water, and then everything went black.
I could still sense everything: The burning of water in my lungs, the sharp pain in my head, and my body tumbling through the water. But that only lasted about an hour. Then I woke up on a river bank n front of the old stone bridge. I saw the twins and shouted, “Harley! Hayden! Are you okay?” I ran over to them and hugged them. Then I looked at Harley. Her face was pale, and she looked shaken. But who wouldn’t be. “Iris, why are there two of you?” she asked, pointing behind me. I slowly turned around and saw us. Our bodies. They were lying on the riverbank. Our hair was tangled, there were bruises and cuts all over us, and a few of our bones were misshapen because they were broken from being smashed into rocks. My head was bleeding. But it had dried by now.
We saw everything; the police dogs finding our bodies, the funeral on the bridge, and our parents visiting that same spot every year, on the anniversary of our deaths. I saw that my mother and father had two other children, a boy and a girl, which they named Valerie and Mitchell.
One day, when they were all visiting, Mitchell and Valerie all grown up, I left the flowers for my mother. And I watched as they cried and set floating lanterns down the river. It was the best night of my afterlife.





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