Short Story - 649 words
|This story was entered in "Short Shots: Official WDC Contest" in May of 2011
I can still hear the song, September, by Earth, Wind and Fire playing in my head. Maybe it was playing on the elevator that day. I'm not sure.
I exist in my memory now.
It is not so bad.
That summer, I rode a rented bike all over the West Coast of Ireland. The wind whipped my hair as the sun peeked in and out of the clouds. They were glorious clouds and the Connemara coastline looked like a postcard. I didn't know it would be the last summer, but if I had to pick a last one, that one was pretty fine.
My camera was my trusty companion as I found plenty of cows and sheep to photograph.
I turned twenty-three that July, and met a boy at the Shannon Airport. He promised to keep in touch and he did for a time. His name was Sean.
Time was something more precious than I could ever understand.
A job was waiting for me back in New York. It was my dream job and it was set to start September 4, the day after Labor Day. I splurged and bought a bike and a briefcase as soon as I got the job. The bike was to continue my riding and the briefcase was to hold all the paper evidence of my future endeavors.
The week before I started I got some new clothes and my sister took my picture as I rode my bike through Queens in my high heels, holding my briefcase. I was so happy and goofy and free.
The future was mine, or so I thought. The picture was blurry, but it was cute.
On a dare from me, my sister submitted the picture to a magazine.
I know the picture was posted all over lower Manhattan, but that was later.
When they were looking for me, they could find nothing that remained of me but a piece of that blessed briefcase. What is left is a spirit that cannot be destroyed.
I know when they think of me and that is often. They think of me and miss me. I wish I could take their sadness away with a warm hug or a hint of a kiss.
Just a week on the job was I. My co-workers were mostly young like me, and thrilled like me, to be working on one of the highest floors of one of the tallest buildings in the world. Working in the North Tower of the World Trade Center was the bomb. What could be better?
It wasn't an important job - I was an Account Assistant. It was important to me. I was young and loved the idea of working in New York. Something exciting was always going on.
A group of us were planning a happy hour one month on the job celebration at Windows on the World in October. We had lots of big and exciting plans.
That Tuesday morning was so bright and beautiful. The air was crisp and there was something that made me feel so happy and energetic. My co-worker, an older woman, was talking about the cool Internet writing site she had joined the year before.
I was humming that blessed disco song to myself when I heard the sound of a plane. "Can't be," I thought to myself, denying that which could not be denied. The sound made me think of the flight back from Ireland and I smiled.
My life was so full of happiness that I never would have dreamt that someone evil was sitting in a cave and plotting my demise. Nothing would ever make sense in those dark recesses of demonic thought.
I live on in my memory, you see. It is not such a bad place to be.
It is rather like the West Coast of Ireland, with all kinds of music and all things happy and bright.
word count = 649 words
This story is dedicated to the memory of all the victims of 9/11 and it's aftermath.
Bandit's Mama perished in one of the towers that day.
Mere months after I wrote this, my niece was a military suicide on September 25, 2011. My niece is the one I was picturing on that bike all through the process of writing this story. It was a sort of premonition, I believe. But I had no idea at the time of what was to come.
Both tragedies can be traced back to what 9/11 unleashed.