Sandy, with some assistance from Owen, and illustrations by Katie F wrote an amazing story.
"Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday Dear Iris.
Happy Birthday to you." Everyone stayed on that last note for a minute, and even
though they were still singing, I blew out my candles. My best friends jumped up and
down and clapped beside me. This was when I was five; I remember that. But let's not
dwell on the past. After all, nothing's better than the present…
"I always knew I'd take a bullet for you," I say as I lay on the ground. Ashley
crouches beside me, clutching my shirt. Her sobs echo as my eyelids grow heavy.
"Don't forget me," I whisper and shut my eyes.
"Shut up, you two, it's only laser tag." Ashley and I laugh and I sit up. Today's
my seventeenth birthday, and it's going to be AMAZING. Sure, it may be pretty childish,
but my friends still like a good birthday party. We walk out of the laser tag area and
"Who told us to shut up?" I ask with a chuckle.
"It was Viper," Mason says. All three of us look over at him.
"What?" He asks. "There was no reason for you guys to be so dramatic."
"It'll help for when I become an actor and musician," I tell him. "Or an artist!"
"I’m gonna become an olympic gymnast," Ashley says.
"I don't know if I'll ever make it, but if I do, I’m gonna be a doctor," Mason adds.
"This is stupid," Viper comments. Mason walks in front of us and points ahead.
"Hey," he says. "It's time for ca--" An explosion of debris erupts around us; the sound
is deafening. After a few minutes of silence and shock, I open my eyes and see a sliver
of light through a crack. I manage to move the debris and get my upper body out to the
surface, but I see nothing but crumbled buildings, leafless and fallen trees, and huge
clouds of dust. My waist and legs still lie below the debris, so I sit up and make a
triangular shape with my bloody arms. I look at them and panic for a moment, nearly
faint, but I shake my head and keep trying to get out from under the destroyed building.
I slowly heave my body, then slide back. 'Come on, Iris. You can do this.' I try again
and groan in pain, but I keep going.
I cry out as I slowly pull more and more of my body out from the fallen building.
My stomach lays on top of a big piece of brick, and my waist sits at the broken edge. I
move my arms forward, trying to get out. I shift my leg up to the piece of brick, but a
sharp pain stops me. My body slips back and I wail. I stop for a moment and take
shallow, shaky breaths then start again. 'Almost there,' I tell myself. I groan as I
struggle, but finally make it to the top. I lay on my stomach and smile in relief as I take
deeper breaths. I look around but don't see anyone. I turn to look behind me and see a
black dog... but it's not normal. I can tell by its posture that it’s a lot more aggressive,
and foam outlines its mouth. It snarls and starts sprinting towards me.