Day 154 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Start with the line, “I don’t know how I got here.”
Shannon: I don’t know how I got here. My ears were ringing and my body ached as I laid on the ground looking up at the sky. I had to pick up my head slowly, and as I expected a sharp pain surged through my skull. I took a few breaths in and out to muster enough courage to turn my head from side to side. I saw a few small patches of flames and other people lying on the ground. Who were they? Why couldn’t I remember what happened? I didn’t even remember what I was doing today. All I could remember was going to sleep the night before.
A man came over to me and got down to help me as I sat up. His mouth was moving but the world was silent. I hadn’t even noticed I’d lost my hearing, and in the moment I couldn’t give into the possibility it could be gone forever. “I can’t hear you,” I explained, realizing how strange it was to talk without hearing my own voice. He gave me a sympathetic look and put his palms up, motioning for me to stay put, before he got up to rush to the next person.
Erin: “I don’t know how I got here.”
“What do you mean?” My boyfriend looked at me like I was completely insane.
“Not like how I got here, I elaborated. But like as a person, how I got to this place.”
“What are you talking about,” I wasn’t surprised when he immediately lost his patience.
“I’m sick of trying to keep you happy,” it spilled out without my conscious decision.
“You are so needy. I’m terrified to say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing. So, I try and be easy, which is terribly exhausting, because you are not perceptive in the least. You take and take all of my energy, and give nothing back. I can’t live like this.”
“Well then don’t, I’ll leave,” he got up and stormed out. That was not my plan, but to be honest the second he was out the door I felt my old spirit entering my body. I had been longing for her to come back for years and didn’t even know it.
Put your character somewhere, without them knowing.
“I don’t know how I got here,” I whispered to myself, knees trembling to keep my heartbeat steady. Breathing in through my nose so deeply that I could almost taste the metallic content in the beams I was standing on and letting go of the breath as though it were going to kill me, I stood at the precipice of life and death; well, of my life or death. Beneath my feet, the cracking floor joists felt solid and safe, but that wasn’t why I was quaking in my worn-out boots.
Stretching out below as far as they eye could see, was a sparkling city whose lights were beginning to fade, an effect which was rippling out in waves from the tower I was perched atop. There was a strange dullness that took over from the popping lights and colours that the landscape was usually dyed in; skyscrapers that were almost at tall as I was were blinking out of existence as the entire world around me went dark like the sun dripping into the ocean. I wanted to cry as a whole block a ways out began to spark with brilliant scarlet flames that licked up the sides of neighbouring buildings and threatened to take the town down to the ground. As the flames reached up into the infinitely black sky, I watched the chaos in awe before closing my eyes to focus on the sounds of terror sweeping the city.
Shrieks and car horns honking hit my ears first, followed by the eerie, ear-splitting wail of a hundred emergency sirens heading off into the night. Nothing was safe from the wrath that had been unleashed just a few floors below me, and everything would be decimated by the time the warm glow of sunlight returned.
I let the world below me burn and become invisible in the darkness; I did nothing to stop the carnage, though I knew I could have at least tried.
(Two parts, cause I couldn’t decide.)
“I don’t know how I got here,” August mutters to himself. He closes his eyes and tries to remember the last thing he can. But there is nothing but an explosion. “I… I don’t know? I can’t remember. There’s… There’s got to be something.”
He groans, frustration coursing through his forehead. He looks up at the sky, leaning onto the building. There’s nothing, no helpful memories.
‘Mom is- was, a writer. Dad could fight, that must be why I know how to- no… he never taught me. My name is August Evert, I am nineteen years old. I am an American citizen. I am in this country because…’
He thinks. And thinks. He tries his hardest to pull back the curtains, but it is a thick fog.
(Changed the sentence a little)
“I don’t know how we got here.”
August hears the whisper next to his ear. Heather is leaning her head on his shoulder. They are sitting on the couch, looking at the identical jars on the fireplace mantle. There are six, one for each fallen person. They have the ash inside them, at least as much as could be collected. The names are written on the outsides.
Heather has read each one silently, forming them with her mouth without sound. Tears trail down her cheeks without ceasing.
August just stares at one.
“Is this what happens when good people try to help others?” August asks himself, staring at where the remains of his brother are kept.
Heather hears him and looks away from the jars to see his face. It’s also streaked with tears. She watches his eyes slowly glaze over. The hand over his heart can feel it close up, turning harder than stone.
Heather looks at the three jars at the left; Lucille. Susan. Andrew. The last one brings her the most rage.
“The same thing happened when the Avengers split. Everyone blames the heroes. So what’s the point?”
She then turns to August. She sits on his lap, forcing him to look away from the jars. “Do you blame the heroes?” Heather asks.
August looks at her, “We didn’t do anything.”
“We couldn’t have.” Heather places a soft kiss on his forehead. She leans into him, hugging him. She uses her hand to push his head into her shoulder, keeping his gaze off the jars. “But if the Avengers, whoever is left, find a way to stop Thanos-”
“You’ll help them?”
Heather nods into his neck, “For Andy. For mom and grandma. …For Leslie. She’s lost enough.”
“She might lose you.”
“I can’t protect her from here.” Heather pulls away for a moment, looking August in the eyes. He then focuses on her, to see the Hulk-ish rage and Heather-ish protectiveness in her blue eyes.
“Then the rest of us are with you. You aren’t alone.”
Heather collapses into his arms, shaking. “I miss them, Ghost…”
“I do too,” he says, smoothing her hair onto her back. Heather moves her legs so they are perpendicular to his, then hugs him close. August hugs back. Heather openly sobs, and he focuses on her, not their dead friends and family on the other side of the room.