Raider Times photo / Sargis Khan / Word Painter

Photo by Sargis Khan

The smoke was thick in my throat and burning ashes were floating around my eyes making me dizzy. I looked at the plane, or what was left of it, in horror and disbelief. “How could this happen?” I croaked, barely able to breathe. 

It was the end of the world! Well, at least it felt like it. A bomb. An atomic bomb is currently exploding over England. My home. I can’t fully wrap my head around the fact that soon all of England will be a huge pile of rubbish, and those who didn’t escape will be buried under it.

When I finally got my wits about me, I limped to the nearest clearing. The creepers had jagged claws and were grabbing at my legs with each step. I had to avoid the sharp metal and glass that had scattered out of the plane when it crashed so I wouldn’t cut my feet open.

With great effort, I reached the clearing and sat down on a rock. It was mossy and covered in barnacles. Birds of all colors and sizes hung in the swaying trees. They called to one another, loudly, which made me aware of the ringing in my ears. So many trees. Too many. They were tall skyscrapers, racing each other to the clouds. The smell of the smoke lingered but hints of salty water, fresh fruit, and plants wafted up my nose and tickled my senses.

“Water!” I felt featherbrained, my head throbbing and knees shaking. “This is going to be a doozy….” I slurred, getting up. Or it felt like I was getting up. It took so much effort to move my arms into position, it felt like I had just run ten miles. I gathered the strength to stand and hobbled my way forward. I made it no more than five steps until my face plunged into the warm, pink sand. I lay there, the sun a blanket on my back, breathing heavily. The sand was comforting, but my inability to swallow kept my focus on getting water. 

I got up slowly and made my way towards what I assumed was the shore. As I fumbled up to the water’s edge I remembered it was going to be salty. “Why had I not realized that before I walked all the way over here?” I asked myself. Oh, I don’t care anymore, I need that water. I cupped my hands and drank, careful not to swallow any seaweed, then coughed and spit out the water immediately. “Disgusting!” I laughed and continued drinking. With a big sigh of relief, I dived into the water and let the waves engulf me. The cool water against my hot skin was refreshing, and I was happy for a moment. I stood up against the gentle waves, squishing my toes deep into the gooey sand. 

It was then, when I looked around me and realized—as far as the eye could see—water. An everlasting ocean. I was never going home.

Photo by Brianna Hume


(Published April 2021)