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A Different View
The sky was on fire. A moment before it had been calm and blue but suddenly it seemed that the entire world was in flames, like whole world was exploding. This is was armageddon must be; floors shacking you off your feet, terror filled screams echoing everywhere, dread filled eyes looking at you with helplessness. All around you is pure chaos.
Every ounce of dread that excited seemed to be bolted my stomach. What was happening? Seconds after the tremor a strange smell began to fill the air--it was disgusting-- metallic smoke began to bellow from somewhere beneath.
Now I have your attention. Let’s rewind for a bit, back to the beginning of things. First off, my name is Little Red, and this is my story. Its one most of you have heard of, but never from a view point like mine.
Most remember what you did this morning at eight o’ clock. How about yesterday? Maybe you do—maybe. What about a week ago or a month or a year ago? Nope you don’t remember. This is a day thought, I will never forget. Neither will most of America. On this day, eleven years ago, at eight o clock on a Tuesday morning you would remember where you were. Where you stood was you hear or watched as a plane struck, nose first into the World Trade Center. I can too; I was on the 101st floor of the north tower right in the center of the hell that it was.
That day had been just like any other. It may sound repetitive but no one could have seen it coming. It wasn’t 9/11, it was just Tuesday.
The women who ran the Chances for Children charity was quite a dreary lady in the mornings. Mumbling to herself about all the work that she needed to get done before the day even started. But after two or three mugs of coffee in her system and organizing some papers till she felt like the work day could begin, she become much more bearable. Her name was Bethany I—along with the other Red’s—had watched her and everyone from the charity--every day. Soon the other employs started trickling in, and then began office gossip. This was how everyday went.
“I have been up on a shelve for over three years! Forgotten about it seemed, just a mascot. Did no one see what I really was? A doll with thoughts and a mind to out-best their own? I knew exactly how to run this place. I knew every job, and every single detail that job required. If I had a movable body of my own, I could have done it all by myself. But no, instead I sat upon a shelve looking at the world with black round beady eyes and a permit smile stitched into my face, never able to move. Joy.”
The office hadn’t been working long and everyone was still drowsy, it was 8:40. That was the last time I had looked a clock. It had not been long before a high pitched screech came barrowing towards the building.
Maybe we should have none then that something was wrong then. It’s not like we hadn’t heard airplanes before up there in the towers, but this one was so close.
8:46 hell began.
Everything began to shake. Frames tumbling from their homes on the walls; glass smashing into the ground sharp slivers coating the ground. Cabinets toppled over, spewing papers from their doors. Bethany and her employees were shaken off their feet, onto hands and knees; glass and other oddments that had fallen unto the floor biting into their skin.
Now the desks were fallen over, chairs flipped over backward helplessly. People tried to stand and walk only to be sent crashing down into the ground. Soon the tremor shook me from my perch. My shelf--which I had sat upon for so long-- followed after smashing into the floor behind me.
My cotton filled body laid on top of shattered glass and I felt it ripping into my fabric skin. All around me was the surprised yelling of the employees, changed into desperate screams. There are no words that can describe the sound of people, once they have lost all hope and are in fear of their death—the painful shriek that rakes up their throats. Almost as if their screams could save them, they pore all of themselves into it. It’s a sound that haunts you and if you have heard such a sound then I am sorry.
I was stuck on my face for a long time. Long after everyone had fled the room. Footstep clopped with hasted downwards, and then upwards. There were painful tears in their cries as they ran towards roof. Smoke had begun to fill the stairwells, the hallways, and rooms on floor 101. An excruciating heat swept over the room followed by flames licking at the walls. Like sharp claw of a beast, the flames reached out to destroy everything they touched.
“Of course, I am just being left here. I can’t even see anything! I want to see what going on. Are they just going to leave me here to die? To burn down here…alone?”
Then it hit me, “I am going to die by myself with no one. I do not even have anyone in my life who I would want to say good-bye too.” I was just a doll, with thoughts and a mind, but I was going to die alone. It dawned on me then, I had never spoke to anyone before—even to the other Red’s. I didn’t even know if they could think like me. Never had I had a friend, and I never would now. If dolls could truly regret and feel sorrowful then that was how I felt then. I wanted to cry, and call out like the others. Wail with grief—but instead I laid facedown with a smile on my face as everything around me burned and crumbled.
What came next still haunts my ears, people plunging head first to the ground below, I heard them as the fell pass—picking up speed. People where dying all round me. Bellow me were screams echoing in the deserted hallway, entangled with cries above. I did not want to think of the fates the people below waited—but the smell of the reality plugged the smoke. Even the air tasted like death. The smoke became metallic, as it tore at the building’s support system. It seemed like time had frozen still, by also like in blink of an eye; there was a sudden crunch and twist of metal. The sound rumbled the building and then like dominos the floor began collapsing in on itself.
I felt weightless as the building fell, almost like be suspended in time. I caught glimpses of the crumbling world around I was tossed—flipping over and over-- about the room. The windows were completely blacked out with dust and smoke. Stray metal panels were shot upward, then gripped by gravity pulled towards the earth below.
I don’t really know when I stopped falling, just that I was being crushed underneath crumbled building. Sirens wailed all around; police and fire fighters scrabbled trying to help but they—like everyone—was overwhelmed and dumbstruck with everything that had happened. The entire city sounded like one huge mournful cry.
It was a long time I assume before anyone found me, but I don’t really remember. Everything felt numb as I listened helplessly as people were dying around me. Their bodies mangled at stuck trapped by rubble. I sat trapped their too unable to move at—just a doll. Red yawn hair coated with ash, pale fabric skin ripped and cotton stuffing escaping from within me. Gingham dress torn away, and entirely coated with ash, dirt, and dust. A smile still on my face after all of that chaos.
There are thing you take for granted until something perplexing happens in your life. Then you realize something. In my case it was that had always thought myself better than others but when my time could have come to an end, there was no one I wanted to see or say good-bye because I had no one. I was too vain to even think of trying to speak to the other Little Red’s. I learned life is too short, and can end at any moment for you to be vain and spiteful. This is my story. My name is Little Red, and this is where I stood on 9/11.