The Day the Sky Rained Fire

I wrote this in grade 10. I was proud of it then but I'm not sure how I think of it years later. Reading it over I had the urge to change everything but I left it as is for others to enjoy. I post it because it would be fun for others to add some chapters and I would really love to read those chapters!


The Day the Sky Rained Fire


      I awoke the day the sky rained fire. My eyelids fluttered open, my lips parted and gasped for breath, and my ears rang with the sound of sirens. I struggled to sit upright; but thin white snakes were biting my arms, holding me still. I reached out, and in a drugged furor, clamped my hands around the snake's tube like bodies. I pulled. Pain blossomed, then quickly faded. The IVs came out easily and were left dangling limply in my clenched fist. I breathed heavily, the exertion of the task already taxing my body. I pushed myself up on my elbows and looked down the length of my bed, white sheets covering every inch of me. Their sterile starched whiteness spread from my sheets to the walls, to the ceiling, and to the hospital beyond. I gathered my strength and called for a nurse.   

      I was free now. I rode in a shabby taxi away from the hospital, the driver chatting away in Arabic, whether to himself or me I do not know, my mind was fixated on the sirens. I had grabbed a paper and read the headline and now it lay in tatters on the seat beside me. It was true, the sky rained fire: the sirens consumed my thoughts, dominating them, even as I paid the driver and dragged myself up the many stairs to my apartment. I stopped frequently. I knew I was unfit to leave the hospital but as I reached the final landing in front of my apartment I knew I had made the right decision. My door had been kicked in. The wreckage of my apartment spilled out of an empty doorframe. If they had found my apartment, then they could find me at the hospital. Everything was coated in dust; they had come quite a while ago. Every step I took made dust billow underfoot before rising to irritate my nose. I managed to make it to the bathroom before I doubled over sneezing. Again and again I sneezed. I gripped the sink for support rather than collapse to the ground.

    After a while I stopped and was able to raise my head to the mirror. My eyes were rimmed with red, my nose dripped with mucus. I could see my eyes roaming from my still bruised jaw to the lumps under my disheveled hair and to the layer of gauss under my thin torn dress shirt. My grey eyes watered as they beheld my ruined face. I turned to leave but my sleeve caught on the faucet and I looked once again into the mirror. I stood there and looked at the reflection of my once trim possessions. My dress pants were ripped and fading, my dinner jacket in shambles and covered in dust, and the room behind me torn to shreds. But still the sirens rang. I twisted form the mirror to get my stuff, to find and pack whatever I needed. I returned only once, to pry the sink from the wall and to grab the handgun hidden behind.  

      Once again I was in a taxi. This time the driver was silent. He was having mixed feelings about his passenger. He was paying amazingly well but his customer was obviously a white man and he had asked to be brought to a war zone, what business does a Christian man have to do with a Muslim war? He should be taught a lesson, but it looked like he already had. Then again, maybe this mysterious man was an American reporter and he could get his name in a National Geographic! Wouldn't that be nice?

      I watched his eyes in the review mirror and I could see the thoughts moving muddily through his mind as he tried to guess who I was. I looked at the lines of his dark face, evidence of a life full of worry and doubt. I saw that his eyes were also red rimmed like mine, but their irises were a beautiful dark brown. As he turned the wheel I saw that his ring finger on his left hand was bare. But do Muslims even wear wedding rings? I do not know, so much time living among them and I never thought to ask. Did he deserve to die? Probably not. But the sirens called me and I didn't have the money to pay him. The gun I had was a colt, high caliber, big and unwieldy. None the less once past the city limits I was able to take it from under my coat and raise it to his temple before he reached his pistol in the glove compartment. I forced him out of the car and without pause shot him in the head. I didn't want a mess in the car. The entire time he was prying softly in Arabic. Or cursing me under his breath. I couldn't tell.

      I drove the car hard, if it's possible to do such a thing. Before night fall I was in An Nuhûd where not a white face was to be seen; the residents assumed I was just a journalist chasing an army and, in way, they were right. I didn't care. I filled up in a gas station without paying, and then drove on. Not that I couldn't anymore, the taxi driver had wads of cash hidden under his seat, no doubt at least a month's worth of pay, or maybe a few hours' worth of illegal wheeling and dealing. I planned to drive all night and be well inside the region's border by morning, but my bladder forced me to stop. Just a quick piss I thought to myself, but as soon as I put my foot outside the car I fell over from exhaustion. My 'quick piss' ended up feeling like a marathon and I realized that any further travel tonight would be impossible. My limbs ached, and my lids drooped. I was asleep before I had fully reclined my seat. My past haunted my dreams and shaped my future.

The End

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