To Remain UprightMature

Eryn Ingvar is just your typical teenage outcast whose deep pain fuels her impulses as she directs them towards revenge.

I think I am going to die. I’m in too much pain. The pain smothers every fiber of my being. It’s like being stabbed with a thousand knives. Blood is everywhere and my right arm, numb, is lodged in the seat. My head is pounding. I can’t cry, I can’t scream. I just keep thinking over and over in my head, Dad and I are going to die.

I previously thought about death, but my thoughts were obscured byhowI want to die in the distant future. In peaceful serenity. Painless. Ready. I thought about time, and how I want plenty of it. I want to be in control of my death. In control of my pain. Now, it appears I was just forced to wake up and smell the coffee brewing, and face reality. I don’t get to choose. I will either die in pain or…well right now I’m pretty sure my only option is to die in pain. Whoop dee doo. Just what I wanted from this weekend with Dad.

            Siren lights flash. Panicked voices erupt amidst the rubble. Some people actually stop their cars, thinking they can help us, but they don’t even leave their cars. Oblivious to the rest of the world, the EMTs hurry to help us.

I try to stay in control and stop the pain, but I can’t. This is out of my control. My eyes are fuzzy, going blind, and blood is dripping onto my eyelids. All the same, I can see clearly that they pulled my father’s body out of the Ford.

            What I see then is worse than any pain I was feeling before. It is worse than your messy break up with your boyfriend of two years, or stepping on a nail with your barefoot.

            My dad, coughing up blood, his ears beginning to bleed, one of his ribs showing, and his whole body shaking. His face is so covered in blood that it looks as though someone decided to paint a piece of art on it. I want to close my eyes, but I can’t. I have to see my dad. He has to live.

            “Hurry, hurry! He’s crashing!” says one of the EMTs.

            My eyes are about to close. I am losing too much blood. I look to where my right arm should be and my stomach turns.

            My right arm is gone. Completely gone. I just see a flap of skin covered in blood.

            Bile mocks me. I am looking at my arm lying on the ground a few feet away from the car, fingers and all, covered in blood. It’s one of those things that send your stomach in a whirl, no matter if you think you have an invincible stomach. I move my head best I can, so I am facing the ground. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say spending a bunch of money at Olive Garden tonight probably wasn’t a good idea.

            I try to breathe, but looking at my dad on the ground, dying, makes it exceptionally difficult not to panic. I need to get out of here. I need to help him. He needs help. And my arm…oh God, don’t even think about that again.

            I see the man then. The man who had hit us. He isn’t large. He is of medium height and he looks rather skinny, not the stereotypical size of person one would normally see driving a big pickup truck. He has shoulder length blond hair and he is running his hands through it. He doesn’t look guilty, sad, or even remotely upset. He is smiling like he’s feeling pretty great about the whole accident. A police officer arrives and he put on a new face. One of false feeling. Of false sadness. He talks to the officer, seeming to be telling him what had happened. At that point, a new thought crosses my mind.

            He meant to hit us. He meant to cause this much pain. He meant to hit a FBI agent and his daughter with a truck.

            Anger then pulses through my veins, allowing me to forget (for about two seconds) that I had no arm. Then I remember, and I can’t help but moan a little.

            “Jaklyn…” a weak voice calls out.

            I blink, trying to subdue the agony. At least I can’t feel my arm coming off anymore. I look over at my father lying on the ground. He is the only one who ever calls me Jaklyn. Everyone else calls me Eryn. Not Jakie or Lyn, Eryn. My best friend Neil decided to call me that in the sixth grade when he wanted me to have a nickname. He said that I didn’t look like a Jakie or a Lyn, so he chose to make up a name that’s similar. The name stuck and I’ve basically been called ‘Eryn’ ever since by anyone other than my father.

            “Jaklyn…sweetheart…e-everything is…going to be…okay.”

            I say nothing. I can’t say anything. It is obviously not going to be okay. It is as clear to me as the fact that the man standing over by the side of the road is having a little dance party in his head for hitting us.

            “Get him to the ambulance will you!” I right then notice my Uncle Joe, my dad’s partner in fighting crime, trying to find his way to my dad while shouting at the doctors.

            “We have to do it here, he’s crashing!”

            “Fix him on the way to the hospital for Christ’s sake! This is my brother! Keep him alive!” Joe collapses on the ground. He is losing control. And my uncle never, and I mean it when I say that, never loses control of himself.

            “We are doing our best, sir,” one of them says calmly.

            “That’s not good enough!”


            “DO IT NOW!”

            The EMTs ignore him, and stay where they are, on the ground, in the middle of an intersection, just outside ofWashingtonD.C.One of them is performing the same CPR I learned in my eighth grade health class, and another is bringing the machine over to him. They set it up.

            Watching this feels like a dream. No, not a dream, a nightmare. The worst one I have ever had. As they said, “Clear!” I pray that I’m in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. That it’s all just a TV show we can all talk about later. Then, I recall that I have no right arm and I am bleeding in every way possible. I am feeling weak, and I realize I am not in Grey’s Anatomy. This is my life.

            His chest moves up and then becomes stationary.

            “Bump it up to three hundred…clear!”


            “Do it again!” My uncle shouts, sobbing and shaking.


            Suddenly, towards the left side of his chest, blood squirts. It comes out in spurts, like the water fountain in Mrs. Ferguson’s tiny clean cut lawn.

            “His lungs are filling with blood!” My uncle is seriously losing it now. I can see the ache written all over his face, and I hope I don’t have the same look on mine. It is terrible to look at, and I don’t want my dad to have to see it.

            “Get me that now!” says one of the EMTs trying to compress the blood into his chest and asking for a cloth.

            It doesn’t matter. The blood doesn’t stop. It keeps coming. I doubt the doctors can even see through the blood in their eyes.

            And then, it stops. Everything is still. One of the doctors puts his fingers to Dad’s neck.

            All I hear after that is the wailing scream of Joe, fallen over my father’s body.

            “Time of death, 20:32.”

            A white sheet is placed over his body and my world disintegrates into blackness.

The End

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