“Come along Aña” urged a comely, round faced young woman with a child’s hand in her own. She gave a gentle tug on the girl’s slender wrist as her deep green eyes fell into the shimmering, awe filled face of a child absorbing a new culture. A loving smile fell onto the woman’s pleasant, tanned face.
“Not just yet, Nadi. I want to watch the sunset here, Aña pleaded, pointing to the bloody western sky.
Nadi turned her gaze to follow Aña’s gesturing finger over concrete and steel to view the saffron light turned scarlet, and fading peacefully into the tranquil azure that is night. “No, dear,” she said gently, “we really have to get to the airport soon.” Aña turned a crestfallen gaze down the hill, to the place designated for her departure, a gateway to her so-called sanctuary.
Seeing the child’s downtrodden state, Nadi smiled in earnest reassurance. “Cheer up, Anya,” she said with convincing joviality. “We can watch the sunset from the airport if we hurry there. I wouldn’t want you missing your plane home though.”
Aña’s heavy brown eyes and contorted face showed that she weighed her decision with the utmost care and severity. After a long moment, she said, “Ok, Nadi, but will you take some pictures for me? Yours always come out better than mine and it‘s the last sunset we‘ll get to see.”
Nadi looked at the little girl with a shiver. She had never known her younger sister to have a morbid sense of reality, but then, stranger things could happen “What makes you say that, Aña?”
“Well, now that you‘re going to the college” began Aña, “you’ll be here, and I won’t, so we won’t get to see another one together.”
Nadi looked at her sister with a warm, distant look of understanding. “Well, Aña, I’ll be home eventually. I’m only going to be here for the year, but I’ll be home for Christmas, Easter, and next summer. But if you prefer, you can come down here to visit while you aren’t at school.” Nadi gave Aña a smile which the girl returned meekly. “Come on,” the elder urged again. “If we hurry, I’ll be able to get a camera to take some pictures to send you.
Nadi smiled as they finished their short walk to the terminal, hand in hand. When they arrived, Nadi allowed Anya to stand outside while she stood in line to buy the disposable Kodak camera. As she waited for change, she looked on with affection as her sister sat on the curb, staring at the cloudy, mourning dusk, when a nondescript car pulled right next to Aña. Nadi froze in terror as the door opened and a man in a well cut suit stepped out. She felt as though she could choke on unadulterated horror as he approached her sister. The man’s lips moved, and she could see Aña look up and respond to him before his lips moved again. Nadi’s wave of fear passed as the man bowed his head and passed through the rotating door to the building and departed.
She took the camera and her change and stepped through the rotating door. As she reemerged into the glowing twilight just in time to see a flock of doves taking off into the fading light. She raised the camera, pointed and captured the birds mid-flight, trapped eternally onto the film of her disposable Kodak.
“Here, Aña, let’s get you a few pictures, shall we?” Nadi began methodically taking pictures of her new home within the concrete labyrinth. Things that she knew her sister would cherish. Pictures of all the different angels of dusk. Imprisoning the scarlet-golden light that washed over the building tops.
When Nadi checked her watch, she was surprised to find what it read. 19:47. Three minutes to boarding. “Aña, dear, we need to get you to the plane now. It’ll be boarding now.”
Aña smiled to her sister again and allowed Nadi to lead her to the boarding line, where the older girl reluctantly released her sister to the care of the attendant after kissing the younger goodbye.
As Nadi walked away, she couldn’t help but feel pangs of guilt at leaving her sister alone, but you weren’t aloud to walk passed the lobby anymore, unless you were getting on the plane. Stepping through the rotating panes of glass once more, she knew that she had to turn back, to see Anya of safely. She knew that something was horribly wrong.
As the pretty young woman reoriented herself to pass, yet again, through the spinning door, a deafening blast ripped through the terminal, accompanied by a roar of flames, the crystalline chime of shattering glass, in tune with an overwhelming chorus of screams. And all the while, Nadi stood paralyzed, mesmerized by the nihilistic serenade.
Before she could regain her composure, Nadi was showered with the glittering shrapnel. She could feel the heat of a hundred sanguine rivulets, flowing down her face and chest. She could feel her lifeblood seeping through the thousands of points where the flying daylight had transformed to piercing, icy despair.
Looking up as she fell back, Nadi saw the second burst of fire detonate right next to her precious sister. She could practically feel the splintering of her own bones as she saw her sister’s fragile, eight year old body smashed onto the wall. The last thing she saw before the light in her eyes faded to perpetual darkness was her sister, sliding from the crack webbed wall, splattered with her own blood.
| Very interesting. I felt you did a very good job with the imagery and with guiding the story along. I agree the ending seemed forced and did not explain why there was this deadly blast. Plus you elude to this strnge man, but never mention him again, was he part of the this act of terror? You had a good basis. I would clear up the loose ends thorugh out the ending and bring in some clarity and add more details as to where the child is going, and if there is waiting parents for her. Overall, good, just need to be clarified more and have a better ending. |
|| Posted on 2006-05-18 00:00:00 | by Magnolia Steele | [ Reply to This ] |