Cue the Apocalypse

Cue the Apocalypse

A Story by Carmen Williams
"

Writing club at my school started again. Here's one of my first short stories. Prompt: disturbance

"
June 19th had been warm and sunny with clear blue skies that stretched out for what looked like forever.  I'd been out with my little sister, River, picking flowers for our mom to put on display in the vase we'd gotten her for mother's day last month.  River was 11, I was 15.  
We'd been out for about an hour when we felt the earth began to shake.  Then there was the bang.  It was louder than thunder, a plane, and the school's fire alarm combined.  River screamed, dropping her flowers that she'd picked from the field and running back to me.  I held her as I tried to make sense of what was happening.  
I now forget which happened first, the sirens trilling or me spotting the orange cloud looming over the town in the distance.  The ground had stopped shaking, but the cloud seemed to be inching towards us.  I think it was the sound of River sobbing that pulled me out of my trance.  I took her hand and I ran.  
We didn't know where we were going, we just ran.  Away from the screaming.  Away from the cloud.  Away from our house, which had probably already been consumed by the cloud.  I haven't seen my childhood home since that day, and I don't think I want to.  
Other people were running too, but no one paid any attention to anyone else.  All the while the sirens droned on, long and loud.  It sounded like a dying animal, trying to warn us that we were next.  Run.  It seemed to say.  Run away, escape while you can. Run. Run! RUN! River struggled to keep up with me, but I made sure to keep her at my side.  I wasn't going to leave her to be consumed by the cloud that was slowly catching up to us.  
Ahead of us, another boy was running with a younger girl behind him and a toddler awkwardly trying not to fall out of his arms.  The girl, his sister, I assumed, was struggling to breathe and was slowing down.  "Just a little further, just a little further," the boy seemed to be muttering to himself and his little brother, barely in his grasp.  I'd never seen or met them before, so as we passed them I barely thought about it.  They were just like the rest of us.  Then I heard a thump and I cry of pain.  
Before I knew what was happening, River's hand slipped away from mine.  I spun around to find her running over to the girl, who was on the ground, clutching her ankle and sobbing.  Her brother and I raced back, for different reasons.  "Sidney!" he called, crouching to his knees.  His long black hair hung over his pale face as he tried to calm her, still catching his breath.  River was comforting her, encouraging her to keep going, but she couldn't put any weight on her foot.  
"River, move over," I said to her.  I took her spot, and began to try to scoop up Sidney.  "Hey!" her brother barked, but River interrupted him.  "Let us help," she said, offering him a hand to help him up.  He nodded, took her hand, then said, "we need to get to the bunker before the cloud reaches us.  It's just up there."  
I didn't dare question him, because at this point we didn't have any other options.  The cloud had reached the start of the street, and was crawling nearer.  I struggled to stand, carrying Sidney, but I was able to get to my feet.  The boy lead the way, doing his best to run while exhausted and carrying additional weight as well.  River stayed close behind him, looking back at me every few seconds, making sure she wasn't losing me.  
The house the boy had motioned too wasn't very far ahead.  I fact I could already see the rusted metal doors leading down to what was probably the bunker he'd mentioned. I didn't dare look behind me as we struggled forward, but I knew it was getting close.  
We were almost there.  "Girl," the boy called back, "run ahead and open the metal doors! Hurry!"  River passed him and tugged at the door.  It groaned open after a moment's resistance.  She started going down, then turned to wait for us.  The boy ran down, telling her to follow, then came back without his brother in his arms.  He stood next to the doors, waiting for me and Sidney.  I awkwardly struggled down the stairs, leading to a room with brick walls and a small light on the ceiling.  As I set Sidney down, there was a loud clang behind us, followed by the boy running down the stairs.  
He closed the door at the bottom of the stairs, entering something on the keypad next to it.  It beeped, and he collapsed to the floor, gasping for air.  I stared at him, then slowly sank to the floor next to River.  All was quiet except for the sound of ragged breathing and sirens wailing above us.  
Eventually, the boy sat up and started pacing, glancing at his sister, who was now sleeping with their brother in her arms.  He must have felt RIver and me watching, because he stopped and looked at us, sighing.  "Right, you two," he said, "thanks for helping us.  What are your names?"  "River," she said, slumped against the wall, "and you're welcome."  "Daren," I said, "and you guys?"  "Sidney, Percy," he said, pointing at his brother and sister, "I'm Oliver."  
We watched each other for a while, then River quietly asked, "what was that?"  It was silent for a second, then Oliver barked out a loud laugh.  "That, my new friends," he said, "was what I believe to be the apocalypse."

© 2020 Carmen Williams


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Good stuff. I especially like the beginning 5 paragraphs. Hang on to this, I sense a bigger story brewing.

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Carmen Williams

4 Months Ago

Thank you! I have an idea for where this could go, but I already have a bigger work in progress righ.. read more

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Added on November 5, 2019
Last Updated on January 16, 2020

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Carmen Williams
Carmen Williams

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About
Hi! I'm Carmen. So I started writing on this website about two years ago, and I've never been too involved here. Writing is one of my creative outlets. I'd greatly appreciate if you read and commen.. more..

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