Red Guilt This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 9, 2012
It was a warm, sticky evening and I heard the rumble of a distant thunderstorm. I walked outside and looked up into the sky. Dark, threatening clouds were approaching at the edge of the horizon. A sudden gust of cold wind brought the smell of burning charcoal to my nostrils. I shivered in anticipation. Suddenly my mother bellowed from the kitchen, “Holly, Susie, come and shuck this corn!” Irritated, I chose to ignore her and casually pretended to be deaf and blind. Unfortunately, my younger sister emerged from the house with a bundle of corn in her arms, just as I was planning my escape. Sensing my intention, my sister snapped at me to help prepare the corn for dinner. I stomped over to the bushel of corn and grabbed an ear from her arms. I just happened to whack her over the head with it simultaneously. In a furious rage, my sister dropped the corn from her arms and rushed towards me: red faced, fists clenched and uttering words of unintelligible hatred. I expertly dodged her first advance (having years of sibling rivalry experience) and gave my sister a hard push in self defense. Consequently, she tumbled to the ground face first.

At this point, I realized that I had probably exceeded my sister's limit of controlled rage, and I began to worry about what act of violence she would be capable of. Therefore, with a rapidly rising adrenaline level, I sprinted toward the house and swung open the back door. Not realizing my sister was just a few feet behind, I slammed the door forcefully as I entered the house. Initially I heard the paralyzing shatter of glass. In slow motion, I turned to see my sister's arm thrust through a small glass pane in the door. Almost instantly I heard high-pitched hysterical screams. I opened the door to see my sister wildly jumping up and down in pain. The glass had slashed her arm, creating a zag wound. I stood in shock as my mother instinctively grabbed a dish towel, placed it on the wound and rushed my sister to the hospital.

For several minutes I stared at the splattered blood which covered our back door and white tile hallway. I began to shake, crying with guilt. In an act of punishment, I forced myself to mop it up. As I scrubbed our hallway, tears fell and splashed into my sister’s blood. It was almost an eerie message of condemnation. The next morning, my sister came home with one hundred and thirty-two stitches in her arm. But unlike her wound, mine will never heal.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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syrup_on_everything said...
Oct. 19, 2014 at 11:18 pm
very nice word choice! It flows really nicely.
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