A Fallen Man

August 16, 2013
He looked at the object in his hands. He never knew that so little a thing could bear so much meaning. He felt the colorful wrapping that enclosed the object. It looked so joyful and animated. But inside he was gloomy and cold. Tears filled his eyes. This present was for his son. He promised to meet him and his wife at the airport. They would spend their Christmas break together. They would explore Washington DC, and go to great restaurants. They would have hot chocolate while standing outside of the White House, and set up a christmas tree. They would do everything together. He straightened and tucked the toy in his pocket. He must keep his promise to his son. He observed his surroundings. Where was he? Trees circled around him, but most of them looked charred and broken. Large chunks of metal were strewn across the ground. Fire spluttered in every direction. Dirty, greasy snow lay in piles around him. It smelled of scorched plastic, oil, and gas. If he was here, he rationalized, then his son was here, somewhere. His breath was heavy and raspy, he could hardly see five feet in front of him. He staggered along the grass, each step took enormous effort. Finally, he collapsed on the brown and bare landscape. He breathing slowed, his eyes closed.

A few miles away, two women were drink hot chocolate and talking about the latest gossip.

“Did you hear about the plane crash?” the first woman buzzed, smoothing a wisp of red hair behind her ear.

“No! What happened?” the second woman inquired, anticipation sparkled in her green eyes.

“There was a huge blizzard that came up during the middle of the plane flight. The turbulence was enormous and the plane just went down,” the red-haired woman whispered excitedly.

“Gosh, isn’t that the third plane crash this month?” the second woman gasped.

The first woman nodded. “Yes, and that isn’t the most shocking part,” she went on, mysteriously.

“What is?” the green-eyed woman asked, seriously.

“They say that Senator Morgan’s wife and son were on the plane,” she revealed.

“No!” the other woman gasped, raising her hands to her mouth.

“Yes! They also say he went crazy when he heard the news. He kept on raving about finding his son and wife. He wouldn’t believe the police when they told him!” The first woman continued.

“How tragic! And Senator Morgan looked so important on TV! He was one of the best! He was so inspiring! So promising!” the second woman raved.

“I know! It’s so sad.” The red-head shook her head.

Senator Morgan opened his eyes. He was lying in a white bed, with white walls around him. Machines whirred and beeped around him. He want to say something, but his mouth wouldn’t open. He was too tired. Maybe he should go back to sleep. He closed his eyes. Suddenly he snapped them back open. Something happened, something important. Something about... his son. And his wife! But what? Maybe they had come earlier than expected! He smiled, and remembered the present he got for his son. His son would be so pleased. Why was he in this room? He should be with Sarah and Henry. But then again, he was really tired. Maybe they’d be there when he woke up again...

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