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Heart for Hate

By , Akron, OH
Prologue

“Dad, Mom!” I yell as I run down the stairs. Suddenly everything is hot and I trip over my feet. I fall to the floor below, bruising my side, and quickly turn around. A fire rages above where I had just been standing. Before I can realize what's going on, strong arms grab my waist, dragging me swiftly towards the door, towards safety. I recognize Dad being the one trying to get me away from harm. A crack and a scream are heard behind me. I look back in fear.

“MOM!” I shriek over the crackling of the wood, hearing the flames suck the life out of the house. I only catch a last glimpse of her dead, limp body under a plank of burning lumber. There should've been red. There should've been blood. But all I can see are the glowing orange embers and the spits of fire that rise like demons dancing from the pits of hell. Dad pulls me outside just as the house collapses onto the flames. And Mom’s body. I watch for what seems like hours as it burns. No one comes to put out the fire. I can't hear the sounds of sirens or the frantic crowd of people that they always show on television. No one is here except me and Dad. I turn around to reach for him, to hold onto him for the safety feeling that I need to ease my scared self but he abruptly falls onto the damp, black grass next to me. That's when I see what I was looking for on Mom. The blood. It spills rapidly from his mouth and mixing with the dirt to create a repulsive mud. A pocketknife digs into his pale corpse with scarlet strewn over his shirt. The red soaks into his clothes and covers the ground. The smell is sickening but I can't bring myself to move away. A shadow behind the closest tree disappears, leaving no trail or evidence. That's when I see another, more noticeable movement in the darkness and someone familiar stands next to me. Steven. He grasps my hand and helps me up. He beckons to the street next to us. I am about to stop him because in my gut, I can feel something isn't right. My gut usually has a grip on everything around me and this feeling isn't a good one at all. Kind of like a déjà vu moment. But before I can stop him, his hand is already gone from mine. He's moving across the sidewalk, heading for the street. A car’s brilliant blinding headlights round the corner, tires squealing against the pavement to obviously prove how fast a speed this vehicle is going. No. I can see now that this is most definitely not déjà vu. This can’t be happening. Not again.

“NO!” I cry just as the car collides with his body. Then the horrid speeding thing is gone in a flash. Steven lies on the ground, blood streaming from his mouth and nose. He coughs a few times. I run to him as tears escape my eyes. My face is so close to his that both our breaths mingle together in the transitioning wintry air. I can see the white cloud puffs from our mouths appear, disappear, and reappear again with each exhale. I touch his face with two frostbitten hands. His warmth is dwindling. He grabs my left wrist with his weak grasp.

"Get out of here," he hoarsely groans. I look at him in disbelief. He gazes at me with those glassy cerulean eyes. "Get out of here, Moon. Don't let them find you."
I nod, feeling hot waterfalls burn my cheeks as they descend to his face. He closes his eyes and grinds his teeth in pain. Though I know I will regret it, I force myself off his body and race towards the ruins of my old home and back to the dregs of my destroyed life.





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