Bring Back Yesterday

Bring Back Yesterday

A Chapter by Requiem

...even from where I stood the air was permeated with the sharp odor of gunpowder...



All human beings should try and learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.  ~James Thurber


 White clouds danced on the air holding me in an icy grip. With each breath I took it burned its way down my throat; I rubbed the gooseflesh on my pale, bare arms eager for any warmth. My leg already throbbed with numb pain from where I had applied the makeshift tourniquet to my thigh. Back pressed against the marble walls, I listened once again for any kind of sound. Any rustling or even screams, but silence only met my ears.

Maybe it was stupid of me to venture out from the safety of my warm room and out in the open. It was too quiet and that was one thing you hardly ever heard at The Academy. It was always bustling with some noise or other. You either learned to live with it or invest in some damn good ear plugs.

Gritting my teeth as not to cry out, I limped down the hallway my right leg useless from when the human stabbed me. Apparently, he hadn’t appreciated it that his handgun had exploded instead of shooting me. My other injuries could attest to that fact- my split lip and the bruises that are most likely blooming over my ribs.

Huge cherry oak doors stood ajar like a banner at the end of the hallway.  I wanted to take the adjacent corridor, even from where I stood the air was permeated with the sharp odor of gunpowder. Instead I made my way into the Library. My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach at the sight that greeted me.

Like some pagan sacrifice one of my classmates was pinned to the barrier that ran behind the Service Desk. Her arms were out stretched, ankles crossed, and head bowed it eerily resembled that of a crucifixion. Fear tightened in my gut, there were no cryptic messages; only random splatters of blood and other bodily fluids I did not even dare to consider.

Most of them still remained seating at the tables, heads resting on the books before them. It seemed like they were just resting, taking a nap before classes resumed. That’s what it would make me think if it wasn’t for the gaping holes at the back of their heads that had bile rushing to the back of my throat. Some lay prone on the floor…

Ashes, Ashes we all fall down. The stray thought caused a giggle of hysteria to bubble within my chest. The absurdity of that stray thought…

“You’re crying.”

I looked over my shoulder at the sound of the soft voice filled with pain and wonderment. “Aiko,” I whispered rushing to her side. In my haste, I stumbled at her side slipping on the wet carpet. As I kneeled, I pushed away the revulsion at the feel of the moistness soaking into my jeans.

“Never thought I’d see the day that big bad you would cry,” she choked out.

“Who would have thought that I’d ever see you in a library,” I jabbed back cataloging everything. Her ashen skin that was usually had such a healthy glow to it. Black hair clung to her sweaty forehead, even her slumped position. I chose to ignore how unfocused her gaze was; the blood that soaked her jeans and her pale blue shirt; and most of all I avoided the iron pipe that jutted out of her stomach.

Aiko released a laugh that sounded more like a sob, “Isn’t that the definition of irony?” Her head thumped back against the shelves, “First time in the library and… I…” Her dark eyes moved rapidly searching my face, “I don’t know remember what happened,” she cried grasping my forearm tightly, “Why don’t I remember?” Her gaze moved past me, “Oh, god…” she whimpered in horror.

I cupped her cheeks in my hands and forced her to look at me. “Aiko. No. Don’t! Look at me. Only at me.”

"I can’t feel my toes,” she confessed in a whisper as if afraid that someone would hear. “How am I supposed to dance if I can’t feel my toes?” she sobbed.

“It’s not so bad,” I reassured her, urging for her to meet my gaze and believe my lie. “Remember when we were five and stupid? All those gateways we opened, breaking all of their rules? Ate chocolate and stayed up late? This is nothing.” I told her, ignoring the wetness on my cheeks.

“Oh,” she drew the word out, “this is so much worse.”

In comfort, I held her hands. I stayed with her as she struggled to breathe; as she wept over things I could not possibly understand. I don’t know when it happened – just that it was too soon; one second she was here and alive. Then, she was just a body.

© 2009 Requiem

Author's Note

Serious, I do not do. This is probably the hardest piece I have ever had to write in my whole life. Any advice or comments that you can think of to improve it are greatly appreciated. Also, this is the first time I have put up a story in first person.

A huge thanks goes out to Jocelyn Elizabeth for helping me with this story. You've been such a great help and inspiration.

My Review

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YAY! I get a thank-you! w00t! (Back atcha, lady. You helped me work out a lot of crap with my OCD writing setbacks. Haha.)

I really like this chapter! You were definately in character when you wrote this. Stories reek of disaster whenever the writer fails to see through the eyes of their character. I somewhat agree with Jay. You should explain the imagery more, but stay inside your character! That is a must. Maybe use a memory to show it. Like... I passed the bay window. I used to sit at that window for hours at night, watching fireflies glitter in the yard. OR something like that. You get the idea.

PS: I adore the dialogue. You have always been great at dialogue. I envy you!!! I have to think about what witty comment my character will say next. Then.. I am usually the only one that thinks it is witty. Other people are like... "WTF, Jocelyn?" Haha. Hopefully I will run into you on MSN very soon.

Did you finally get out of your dreaded gas station job??

Posted 11 Years Ago

I thought your imagery was really good. At first I couldn't discern where it was set but as it went on and the setting was explained in some more detail, I could see it better. It reminds me of flavors layered in a good recipe, you taste one right away but then others show up to enhance the entire thing and it comes out better than you imagined it. Personally, I tend to embrace a piece more if I get a better feeling for the characters, they may need some more fleshing out. Then again, I realize this is something shorter (maybe a part of the whole?) and space is limited. With more time and space you could do that or I might go into a little further detail regarding their past school experiences.
It does accomplish the task of getting you into the story immediately and effectively. It hooks you. The dialogue is realistic, and I'm left wanting to know what happened to lead these characters into this predicament. Hope all of this helps!

Posted 12 Years Ago

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Added on January 19, 2009
Last Updated on January 20, 2009



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