I looked down in despair, out of the wrecked window, the people below me like ants amidst the burning smoke. The confusion, while my heart raced as I thought to myself “what is left?”

As I stuck my head out of the shattered glass, I shouted for help and gasped for air. The smoke filled my lungs with all sorts of toxins. I frantically peered around and amongst me there was nothing but a few other people, from what I saw, people were still at their desks unconscious from the catastrophic shake caused. Forcefully, I covered my mouth and inhaled the last bit of oxygen before I ran hurriedly to the meeting room. Gazing for any source of comfort, all I could see was a small group of distraught people huddling around the television as they watched the first building burn. Fire and flames, there was nothing left of the building except for the tragic souls of those unfortunate lives.

The rich contaminated smell of the fire permeated the room, wisps of silver grey smoke curled and glided their way through the thick, hazy air as if excited to escape through the window for the hundreds of people to see. Slowly, the heat killed me, gradually each time; the burns would get worse, almost as if a blowtorch was directly lit onto my skin. A quick flash caught my eye as I saw something speed past the window. I ran towards the glass, gazing down past the foggy smoke, to see lifeless bodies lying on the fractured land. My eyes were glued to the building across as I saw people vaulting out of their offices and plunging to the ground. Dozens of people were jumping, some in pairs and others alone. When a person jumped they gradually got smaller and smaller until their life came to an end and their bodies struck the ground causing another ambulance checking whether there was a chance to save them.

I looked to my left and through the smoke I saw, what looked like Oliver, slowly coming towards me. I was shocked to see my best friend alive. I kept shouting “Oliver!” He limped towards me and exclaimed “Nathan!” When he reached me, I laid him on what used to be my desk; he had a severe cut on his lower thigh and blood was dripping. Endless thoughts flashed in my mind like a slideshow. What could I do to help him? Could I live with myself knowing I didn’t do anything? With nothing to assist me I had to react quickly in order to stop the waterfall of blood, so I took off my shirt and wrapped it around his excruciating wound. Oliver was dying, I tried not to believe it, it only took an hour before he gave life before my eyes. His face gradually became unconscious, his bloodshot eyes shut with tear-drops around his war torn face and his lips yearning for drops of water. Yet, I was dying myself. This moment was the only moment I could be selfish and egoistic in my life.

For a minute, my attention averted to the outer world. On a normal day, I would usually see the bright yellow taxi’s speeding past and the blasting boisterous noise of the red lights rushing to get to their destinations, the workaholic’s of New York speeding on their feet and I could even imagine how it sounded; when the city was full of life. However, today was a completely different day. As I stared down once more all my mind focused on was nothing but the smoke, along with the loud screams and cries of the hurt people. I shut out everything around me, as if I was not in the building, closed my eyes and thought about my family.

My heart ached intensely as the piercing noises of the blasts echoed in my ears. Sudden heat urged towards me and a vivid light sparked my eyes open. This was it. The first tower collapsed before my eyes, now the second tower was the new target. My nightmares were finally turning into a reality as this exact moment, no one, not even god could answer my prayers. Another plane slowly approached my window, I looked up at the smoky sky and prayed that my family would be looked after when my body would be nothing but remains.  Why god? Why us? Painful heat waved over my grazed face and that moment I realised my bones would soon turn into ash. I would soon become a part of the rubble, a part of that turmoil and a part of that disaster.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Hello,

    This has come a long way since you started working on it. The sense of setting is clear and you have worked hard to make the character seem desperate.

    1) When I read your first two paragraphs, I can understand that your lack of punctuation is intended to show the urgency of your character, however, you must now read it again and correct your tense. There are times where you switch tenses – choose a tense – probably present – and stick with it.

    2) Re-read your piece and focus on repetition – where have you repeated vocabulary unnecessarily – where might you be more concise? How? My tip would be to read this aloud and correct it where needed.

    2a) Learn the difference between passed and past.

    3) Are there still further ideas that you can incorporate and develop from the original poem?

    Keep it up!

    Mr North

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