Running | Teen Ink


January 29, 2016
By ILikeKitties SILVER, Sacramento, California
ILikeKitties SILVER, Sacramento, California
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

  There I laid. Under a dying palm tree, sandstorms roaring ferociously. Dirt, smut, and sand  refusing to be separated from me and my worn down clothes. Heat, exhaustion, hunger, and dehydration, surrounded with mounds of sand. There in the middle of nowhere, I laid.
            I didn’t know who I was, or where I was, or why I was even here. But I do know one thing, it was that I had to run away. From who or what? Well, heh … I don’t know.
           I traveled through many countries, crossing borders, sleeping in abandoned buildings. Everyday waking up afraid of being caught. I don’t even know what I’m running from. And that’s the scariest part of it all.
         I’ve met many people in my travels. All of them unique individuals. One man a big burly man, flannel shirt stained with grease, bushy beard full of the remnants of his last meal. Although his appearance may give others a bad impression, he was a good man. “Life is short, so enjoy every moment of it while you can!” He would say with a big hearty laugh.
       Am I going to die?  Is my life flashing before my eyes? I don’t even know what my life was about. All I remember is running…And running.
        As I laid there staring into nothingness, a baby salamander was struggling to head into it’s nest for shelter. It kept trying and trying to get closer only to be blown away by the fierce winds. Until  a much larger Salamander stepped in carrying the baby salamander to the nest. They’re family, they help each other, support one another, and become each others foundation.
       Did I have a family?    I wonder.
       Suddenly everything went black. People shouting, bombshells exploding, and gunshots flew by. What was going on? I looked down to find myself armed with a wooden M14 rifle strapped around my shoulder. I looked around to find others running and shouting.
      “ We got to hold the  Vietnamese off here and wait for backup!!!”
      “No! ! The Americans have left us to die!!”
       “If they break through they’ll kill all our families!”
        I ran with everyone only to be pulled away by someone. He led me running into a different path through the woods. We ran and ran as branches and twigs scratched my arms and legs. Gunshots ensued and we finally stopped between some bushes.
      “ Hide under here!” the mysterious man said  with a gruff voice as he pointed to a bush.
    I got a nice view of his face enough to know what he looked like. He looked rather old, he was actually rather short but I didn’t notice that under all that adrenaline rushing through me. Slightly gray hair, wrinkles. If I didn’t know any better I’d say he was a grandpa. It didn’t look like he could run as fast as he did.
  I crawled under the bush only for him to come behind as soon as I got in. We laid there on our stomachs side by side as we hoped not to be spotted.
  Suddenly we heard footsteps and saw boots running pass our faces.
   “ Were are those damn traitors!”  We heard a voice yell in annoyance.
    “Dammit keep looking we can’t let those puny village tribes get away! We’re going hunt them into extinction!”
   I didn’t notice that I was holding my breath the whole time. But when the voices and footsteps  seemed to have left the man beside me spoke.
  “I think they’re gone.”
    “Yeah, let’s go check get the others from the village and find somewhere safe dad.” I replied
     This person was my dad?  What’s going on?
     “W-Wait, Mang,  I can’t go on anymore.” My supposed dad said
      “Huh?” I grunted in shock. Until I saw his back was filled with bullet holes and he was bleeding profusely.
      “Go on without me and save them.” He said as blood began to spread
       “No we’re both going to save them father!” I yelled feeling myself beginning to panic
       “Shut up, I’m going to die and you’re going to have to accept that!” he said
       “ Mang you grew up to be a fine young man.”
       “Please when I’m gone protect the family. Promise me that, that is my one last wish.” My father said until he closed his eyes and drifted off.
        I watched my self cry and mourn over the lost of my father. Until I finally got out of the bush and rushed over to the supposed village where my family was.
      When I got there I saw flames, people screaming, gunshots and explosions.  I ran to my house only to find it in flames. But that wasn’t the thing that shocked me. It was the mangled bodies of my mother, sister, aunts, uncle, and cousins. All shot dead or chopped to bits with machetes.
     I watched myself drop to my knees as I moaned in agony.
“I failed you, I couldn’t protect anyone!”
Tears and snot ran down my face. As I began to bash my forehead over and over onto the ground in misery.
Then suddenly a gunshot rang right by me.
  “Hey there’s another one here!!”
  “Get him!!!!”
   When I realized I had pursuers I ran away.
  I ran away from my enemies.
  I ran away from my home.
  I ran away from my failures.
  I ran away from myself.
  There I laid in the middle of nowhere, lost, lonely, confused. All I could do is lay there and accept my demise. Just as I was about to take my last breath, a hand appears before me. It stays there as if it had been waiting for me for a very long time. So I reach out with what little strength I have and grab it.



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