"An asteroid and a meteoroid collide near Earth, and fragments rain down onto the planet’s surface, wreaking havoc. Some of those fragments contain surprising elements: fossils that prove life exists elsewhere in the galaxy, for example."
That fateful summer day was one that she would never forget. As Ingrid walked her trail as she always did, she heard a terrific thunder above her head. Ingrid swept her red bangs out of her eyes as she looked up to the sky. A rain of fire descended above her. Ingrid felt a wave of fear as she processed what was happening. She reached for her cell phone, and tried calling her husband. Panic rose within her as she listened to the busy signal. For a split second, time seemed to stand still.
Suddenly, Ingrid was startled by a loud bang. The earth beneath her shook. Ingrid turned behind her and saw a fire raging toward her. Ingrid ran for her life. Ingrid could feel the heat of the raging inferno catching up to her, which prompted her to run faster. She reached a clearing after running for nearly 2 miles.
Ingrid bent down and placed both hands just above her knees. She took a few deep breaths. After catching her breath, she placed her hand on her heart, which was beating out of her chest. She looked ahead of her and gasped.
Where her house once stood, was now a shallow chasm. Ingrid felt herself die inside as she walked toward the smoky chasm. An hour ago, she had gotten up to go for a run, leaving her sleeping husband catch up on much needed rest. Ingrid fell to her knees and sobbed. Her long red ponytail fell across her shoulder, dangling in front of her. Her cries were interrupted by a loud popping sound. She looked up, wiping tears out of her eyes. Ingrid stood up and walked slowly toward the chasm. The smoke became heavy the closer she got to the hole.
Once at the hole, the smoke cleared and Ingrid looked around. There was no remnant of her home, or her husband. She was surrounded by blackened earth and soot. She looked ahead and saw a large rock. Ingrid moved cautiously toward the object. Just as she reached the object, it busted open. Ingrid jumped backward, startled.
Ingrid caught her breath and made her way to the object. She knelt down and peeked into the large rock. She felt waves of fear and bewilderment as she saw what was inside.
Bones, unlike anything she had ever seen, were piled up on top of one another. Ingrid picked through the bones, wondering where they came from. In all her years as an avid hunter, she had never seen bones like this before. She continued searching. Her hands brushed against a large hardened object. She picked it up to take a closer look. It appeared to be the skull of a creature she had never seen before. The eyes were very large and round. The mouth was toward the bottom of the face, and was small and circular in shape. There was no nose nor ears. The forehead was large and wide, while the middle to bottom of the skull was small and narrow.
"What is this," Ingrid asked herself as she stood up with skull in hand. She looked up to the sky, watching the firestorm continue to rain down above her. She quickly looked at the skull. Suddenly she felt cold and clammy. Ingrid dropped the skull and stood in fear. She realized that these remains were not from Earth. Ingrid collapsed next to the skull, overwhelmed with what she had just processed.
Madeline woke up on that late August morning with a heavy heart. She struggled to open her eyes, as they had crusted shut from yesterday's cries. Her 17-year-old body felt limp, lacking energy to even take a breath. Madeline turned over, burying herself underneath the covers. Her mind went to the events of yesterday, and she felt herself welling up with sadness once again.
It was the greatest summer of her life. During her job as a lifeguard at the beach, she met Travis. Travis was an 18-year-old college freshman with sandy blonde hair and a football player's body. During day two of training, Madeline had bumped into him while getting coffee, and their eyes locked. Madeline got lost in his ocean blue eyes.
"My apologies, ma'am," Travis said in a noticeable southern accent.
Madeline smiled. "No harm done here. I'm Madeline, Maddy for short."
Travis returned the smile. "Travis. You training for the lifeguard position?"
Madeline nodded as she sipped her coffee and pushed her light brown hair to one side. "Yes. This is actually my 3rd year. I missed last year because I went away with family, so they are re-training me."
Travis smiled. "Then I guess we will be seeing a lot of each other. Sounds like a plus to me."
Madeline's face flushed as he winked in her direction. "Guess so. So, where you from?"
Travis took a sip of his coffee as he opened the door of the coffee shop for her. "I am from South Carolina. I moved up here for school."
Madeline nodded. "So, you're going to the university?"
Travis smiled and nodded. "Yes." Madeline felt the sun kiss her face as she put on her sunglasses on. "Well if you need a tour guide, I know everything there is to know about this town."
Travis' eyes widened as he smiled. "I may take you up on that offer. I have to get going. What's your number so I can call you?"
Madeline blushed as she programed her number in his iPhone. "I look forward to hearing from you," Madeline said as she gave him back his phone and walked off.
From that point on, they were inseparable. They spent their downtime having intense conversations, splashing in the ocean, and kissing under the stars. Two months into the relationship, Travis and Maddy were sitting on the beach, watching the summer meteor shower. He leaned over and whispered into Maddy's ear,
"I'm in love with you."
Maddy's heart busted with happiness as she looked into Travis' blue eyes. "I'm in love with you too!"
Travis brought her face toward his and kissed her. Maddy was in love for the first time and it felt like she was floating on a cloud. Little did she know that this love was going to come crashing down in one month.
A month later, Maddy went over to Travis' apartment, only to find Travis bringing boxes out to his car. Maddy walked up to him, stopping Travis in his tracks.
"What's going on? Why haven't I heard from you. It's been 3 days."
Travis placed the boxes in the backseat of his car and shut the door. He turned toward Maddy and took a deep breath. "Look, I can't do this anymore. This became too intense too soon. I'm 18 and in the prime of my life. It was fun while it lasted, but it's time to move on."
Maddy's heart shattered into a million pieces. "What suddenly happened to make you feel this way. This isn't like you."
Travis rubbed the back of his neck with his hand. "I wasn't completely honest with you. I wasn't up here for school. I don't even go to school. I'm a traveler, meaning I don't stay in one place for long periods of time. I only crashed in this small town because my car needed repairs and I needed a job pay for the repairs. I didn't expect you to come along and have it be so intense. I don't do relationships."
Maddy felt her eyes explode with tears. "I don't understand. Did you use me?"
Before Travis could answer, a leggy blonde exited his apartment, carrying a box toward his car. She opened the car door and placed the box inside. She closed the door and planted a kiss on Travis' lips. She whispered in his ear, "Thanks for last night."
Maddy heard what she said and watched the blonde girl walk away. Maddy turned to Travis. "Who was that?"
Travis ran his fingers through his hair and cleared his throat. "I'm just playing the field."
Maddy smacked Travis in the face and walked off. She went back to her house and ran upstairs to her room. She buried her face into her pillow and broke down.
Maddy continued to hide herself under her covers. She heard her bedroom door open.
"Honey, it's time to get up." Maddy cleared her throat. "Mom, I'm not feeling so good. I want to stay home today." Maddy's mother made her way into her room and sat down on her bed. "Please tell me what is wrong."
Maddy emerged from the covers, exposing her swollen face. "Travis is a pig. He lied to me about everything, and he cheated on me."
Maddy's mother felt her heart break for her daughter. "I am so sorry, honey. He is a bad guy for hurting you. Just know that not all guys are like him. Don't let this one boy ruin your life."
Maddy took a deep breath. "Mom, we did stuff together a month ago, at the beach. It was my first time. I went over to Travis' apartment to tell him....I'm pregnant."
Maddy crumbled into her mother's arms, as her mother felt herself break like glass.
You're a newscaster on TV. You've just said, "That's it for this edition" when something happens ...
Susan tidied up her stack of papers as she looked into the camera. "That's it for this edition.." Suddenly, the ground starts shaking ferociously, throwing Susan from her chair. She hits her head on the news desk as she makes her way to the floor. Trickles of blood pours from her forehead, onto the floor. The lights flicker for a few seconds, then the world goes black. Susan slips into unconsciousness as her surroundings fall down on her.
4 hours later, Susan stirs where she lays. She feels wave upon wave of extreme pain as she fights her way to total consciousness. As her eyes open, she notices her vision is blurry. As her field of vision focuses, she sees her chair on top of her. As her other senses awaken, she smells smoke in the air. Her ears pick up screams for help. Susan attempts to push the chair off, with little success. She clears her throat.
"Help? Help! Can someone hear me?"
Susan feels her eyes well up with tears. She is frightened, fearing that she may not be rescued. She takes a deep breath, asking God to please have mercy on her. She closes her eyes, feeling herself fall into a deep sleep. Suddenly, Susan is interrupted by chatter. She opens her eyes and sees light dancing in her direction. She feels someone moving the chair off of her.
"Ma'am, are you okay?"
Susan took a breath. "I can't feel my legs, and I feel nauseated."
A man leans in closer to her and examines her head. "Ma'am, you have a deep cut on your head. I'm going to put bandages on you so nothing gets into the wound."
Susan shakes in fear. "Okay. Am I going to die?"
The man looks into her eyes. She meets his gaze. She sees a handsome, 'chiseled from stone' man with brown hair and green eyes. He smiles at her. "Not if I have anything to do about it."
Susan reveals a half smile.
Within an hour, Susan is carried out on a stretcher to a medical tent. Susan is more awake than she was in the rubble and asks a nurse what happened.
The nurse gives her something for pain and sits on the bed besides her. "Miss, there was a powerful earthquake. The USGS said it was a 9.5, the biggest quake to hit the area in history. You are lucky to be alive. You were the sole survivor. Someone up there must be looking out for you."
Susan felt herself fill with gratitude. She looked at the starlit sky, thanking God for keeping her around a little while longer. She turns to her left and sees a handsome man sitting in a chair next to her. She focuses in on the man, noticing that he is the man who saved her life.
She smiles at him. "Thank you for saving me."
The man smiled. "My pleasure." He reaches out for her hand and holds it gently. She rubs his hand with her thumb.
A few minutes later, she drifts off into a deep sleep.
"He'd gone to that well for water daily, for the past five years. It was only today that fate would lead him to meet her there."
As Cameron made his way to the well that spring morning, he thought of what had transpired the day before. The day began just like any other day, he woke up at sunrise and prepared for a long day at the farm. As he made his way out the back door, he was stopped by a knock at the front door. Cameron moved his fingers through his stringy blonde hair and took a breath. He walked over to the front door and opened the door. It was the Sheriff.
"Morning Cam. Mind if I come in?"
Cam cleared his throat. "I'm fixin' to tend to the farm. What's going on?"
Cameron motioned for the Sherriff to come in. The Sherriff walked in and took his hat off. "Cam, I wish I was here under different circumstances. See, I got a report from the Sherriff in the next town over. He said there was a wreckage on the main road. It was your parents' transport. I'm sorry."
Cameron dropped down to his knees as tears welled up in his eyes. His parents had gone to visit his sick aunt in the next town over and were expected back this afternoon. Cameron wiped the tears from his eyes and forced himself up to stand. "Thank you. I'll follow behind you to the town office."
The Sherriff nodded. "Okay. Again, I'm sorry young man. You have an entire town that will help you through this. Your family is well-respected and loved in these parts."
Cameron nodded. "Thank you for your kindness." Cameron was still in shock. His parents were dead, and at 17, he wasn't sure how he was going to get through this. The only thing he knew for sure is that he would honor his parents every chance he got.
As Cameron reached the well, townsfolk stared and offered Cameron an encouraging smile. Cameron nodded as he forced himself not to cry. He felt his already swollen eyes fill up with tears. He fixed his bucket and filled it with well water. Suddenly, he felt someone bump into him. He turned forcibly, and was faced with a petite, longhaired brunette.
"My apologies, sir! Are you okay?" Cameron put the bucket down and wiped tears away from his eyes. "No harm done here." Cameron felt himself falling under the spell of this stranger's beauty. She looked to be about the same age as Cameron. She had long, curly brown hair, blue eyes, and was dressed in a white buttoned blouse, blue jeans, and black shoes.
"Sir, you've been crying. Are you sure I didn't hurt you? I am somewhat clumsy."
Cameron forced a half-smile. "No ma'am, I wasn't sad about that. What's your name?"
The young woman smiled "I'm Belinda. My family just moved to these parts. I think we are neighbors. You live in that white house near the creek, right?"
Cameron nodded. "Yes. My name is Cameron."
Belinda smiled. "Nice to meet you, Cameron. Want to come over for some tea?"
Cameron looked into her blue eyes. "I'd love to."
Belinda and Cameron walked the long dirt road back to their houses. They didn't talk much. Belinda sensed that Cameron was dealing with something devastating and didn't want to probe the matter while they walked. Cameron brought the bucket of water into his house as Belinda waited on the front porch. She noticed presents and notes surrounding the porch and entryway. She noticed a newspaper next to her right foot and picked it up. On the front page, it read: "Beloved Parker couple lost in transport wreck. Couple survived by son Cameron." She noticed a picture of the Parker family next to the headline. Belinda put the pieces together and figured out why Cameron is so sad. She felt herself well up with tears.
Moments later, Cameron emerged from the house, noticing that Belinda was reading the newspaper. "Where'd you get that?"
Belinda dropped the newspaper, feeling an increase in anxiety build inside her. "It was next to my foot and I noticed the picture. Cameron, I am so sorry for your loss. I can understand if you don't feel up to coming over for tea."
Cameron reached out for her hand. "No, I can come over. I know my parents wouldn't want me to be sitting in the house all day, void of all human contact. My parents were very sociable people. They said that even in the darkest of time, you shouldn't dwell. You should embrace life."
Belinda squeezed his hand. "They sound like they were special people."
Cameron smiled. "They were. I was blessed with two incredible parents. It's hard to remember their message when I'm heartbroken that they are gone"
Belinda nodded. "I can imagine. My grandparents were similar. They were also lost in a wreckage. We were very close. It's been 6 months."
Cameron wiped a tear from the side of his eye. "Does it get easier?"
Belinda shrugged her shoulders. "I wish I could tell you that it does. The one thing I do is try to live for them and honor them with everything I do."
Cameron felt a warmth rise within him. Who was this girl standing in front of him? It was almost as if she had been placed in his life by his parents. She seemed to have the same ideals and morals as he had. He looked into her blue eyes. "It's so strange that I lose my parents one day, and I meet you the next."
Belinda smiled. "I was thinking the same thing."
Both smiled awkwardly and made their way to Belinda's gray house.
Belinda and Cameron talked for hours about life, Cameron's parents, and Belinda's grandparents. They sat on Belinda's back porch swing, watching the sunset. Cameron couldn't get over how comfortable he felt with Belinda. He was mesmerized by her beauty, and transfixed on how beautiful her soul is. Cameron looked up at the sky, quietly wishing for a sign that Belinda was sent by his parents. Suddenly, a shooting star streaked across the sky. Cameron's heart jumped into his throat and he felt himself tremble. Belinda looked at him, inquisitively. "Did you make a wish?"
Cameron looked at Belinda and smiled. "I think it already came true." Belinda laid her head down on Cameron's broad shoulders. Cameron gently squeezed Belinda's hand. They rocked in the porch swing and fell asleep.
"No one will ever forget today. On the table, a newspaper with the headline..."
As Candace sat down at her oak dining room table with her coffee, she folded out the newspaper and saw the headline: "One year later, we remember those lost in the California earthquake." Candace took a breath as she brought her tan cup of coffee to her quivering lips. She closed her eyes to both savor the taste of the Arabica beans, and to fight back the tears. As she placed the cup back down on the table, she continued reading.
"Local hero sacrificed his own life to save local woman. Resident Candace Armstrong among 10 survivors of the 9.0 temblor that devastated California."
Candace continued to fight back tears. The man who saved her life was her beloved.
That day, that fateful day, Candace and Patrick were running for their lives to safety, along with 9 others. Buildings crumbled around them; the ground was crumbling beneath their feet. Just as they reached the state border, Candace felt Patrick push her. She was flown 10 feet and landed on her stomach. She winced in pain as she looked behind her. She gasped in horror as she noticed the deep hole in the earth. Time stopped as Candace screamed for Patrick. She managed to get to her feet, and she walked to the hole. Smoke began to clear as she stood at the edge of the earth. Candace looked down and collapsed to her knees. About 25 feet into the ground, she saw the lifeless body of her beloved Patrick. She realized then that he saved her life. She cried out to the Heavens. Minutes later, she was approached by a group of military personnel. "Ma'am come with us. This area is not safe."
The men helped Candace to her feet, and she turned to face them. "My fiancé pushed me forward as the ground collapsed. He saved my life by sacrificing his own. He's down there." Candace pointed into the ground. One of the guards looked down and nodded to the other men. An older military guard put his arm around her. "Ma'am, I'm sorry for your loss. We have to leave the area now. There is a tsunami headed this way."
Candace nodded and followed the men to their truck.
Candace finished the rest of her coffee as she allowed tears to fall down her face. That day, she lost everything she loved. Candace was interrupted by a knock at the door. Candace got up and wrapped her white sweater around her thin frame. She made her way to the front door and opened it. The older military guard who brought her to safety stood in the doorway. "Morning Ms. Candace. I brought you some breakfast."
Candace smiled and motioned for him to come in. "Thank you, Sergeant Morris. Would you like some coffee?"
Sergeant Morris nodded. "That would be great." Candace showed him into the kitchen and invited him to sit at the island. Sergeant Morris sat down and cleared his throat. "How are you holding up?"
Candace turned to face Sergeant Morris as she fixed his coffee. "The phone hasn't stopped ringing. Good morning US, news networks, even Oprah's people keep asking me for interviews. I had to unplug my phone."
Sergeant Morris took a sip of his coffee and placed the cup down. "Same here. Even the President wants to meet with me. I haven't been up to it. I lost people too. My wife, my 2 sons and 2 daughters, my home, my dog, everything. I don't want publicity. I just want to mourn their losses."
Candace nodded. "I understand that. It's as if the media doesn't care that we are going through hell. They just want a story. I wish they would back off!"
Sergeant Morris acknowledged her wish. "Me too. That's one of the reasons why I retired from the military a month after the earthquake."
Sergeant Morris' phone started ringing as he finished his cup of coffee. "This is Morris. Turn on the TV? Okay. Thank you." Sergeant Morris hung up his phone. "Candace, do you mind if I turn on your TV?"
Candace motioned for him to follow her into the living room. She turned on the TV and both stood in their tracks as they listened to the newscast.
"One year after the devastating quake that leveled the west coast, another one has it. This time, a magnitude 9.5 has hit 100 miles off the coast of Washington, D.C. There have already been reports of widespread destruction and death. A 150-foot tsunami is imminent. The President has called for a mass evacuation of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Vermont, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, District of Columbia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida. If you live 500-1000 miles from the coast, you are required to evacuate. The President has already evacuated to Nebraska where he will shortly be holding a news conference. If you live in the evacuation zone, obey what your local law enforcement instructs you to do. This is not a drill. Disaster is imminent!"
Candace and Sergeant Morris looked at one another in horror. It was happening, again.
"Flying saucers land outside a remote countryside village and the local townspeople make first contact."
A terrifying sound shook 22-year-old Kayla from a deep sleep. She turned to her right to witness her glass of water tremble and then fall to the ground. Glass shattered in all directions. Kayla sat up, holding the blankets close to her beating heart. Screams engulfed her hearing, and they became louder and deafening. She slowly got out of bed and walked toward the window. As she peeked through her brown curtains, she watched her fellow townspeople running north toward the field. Kayla grabbed her tan trench coat, put on her sandals and ventured outside.
Kayla closed the door behind her and looked around. She watched the men in the village running toward the field. Kayla took a breath as she tucked a few strands of her curly brown hair behind her right ear. She folded her arms across her chest and followed the men. As she walked closer to the field, the air became heavy with smoke. Her eyes began to sting and she struggled to breathe. A few feet later, the smoke cleared. Kayla worked to focus her eyes on what was ahead of her. She saw shadows in front of her, all looking ahead of them. She turned her head slightly and noticed a large circular object sticking out of the ground. The image started to focus and she felt her heart pounding in her chest. Kayla moved her way through the crowd and was shocked as to what was in front of her.
The circular object appeared to be a large ship. A large window was sticking out of the ground, in front of Kayla's feet. Kayla bent down and wiped soil from the window. Just as she finished cleaning the soil from the window, lights turned on in the ship. An image of a being came into focus in the ship. Kayla looked closer and noticed the face of a creature she had never seen before. Suddenly, the eyes of the creature opened. Kayla jumped backwards, falling to the ground. The village elder rushed to her side. As he was helping her up, the vessel opened. The creature jumped out. Kayla stood up and walked toward the alien creature. The creature was about 3 feet tall, with very large eyes, a small mouth, and a very narrow body. Kayla held her hand out to the alien. The alien tilted its head inquisitively and reached its frail hand out. Kayla shivered as she made first contact with the alien visitor. The townspeople gasped and chatted amongst one another.
Kayla felt her heart beating out of her chest. She felt warmth overtake her as the alien looked deep into her eyes. The townspeople looked on, horrified as they watched Kayla disappear into the air.
She was never seen again.
Write about a return visit to your childhood home.
My Contribution (trigger warning: childhood abuse):
Not a day goes by where Nikki doesn't think about the events that led to her PTSD. That apartment in the western part of Fremont was the scene of horrific events. A child should not know terror at 6 years of age. Unfortunately, this was exactly what she got.
As Nikki pulled into her driveway after a hard day at work, she was greeted by the postman. Nikki grabbed her Louis Vuitton and exited her black Honda Civic. The postman approached her.
"Afternoon Miss Nikki. You have a certified piece of mail that I need you to sign."
Nikki tilted her head, inquisitively. "So strange, I wasn't expecting anything." She signed a form and looked at the postman. "How are the kids doing?"
The postman smiled. "Charley lost another tooth, and PJ won his baseball game yesterday."
Nikki smiled wide. "That's incredible. Tell Sarah I said hello and that I hope she feels better."
The postman nodded. "Will do. Have a good day!"
Nikki waved as the postman made his way back to his vehicle. Nikki took out her keys and entered her condo. As she closed the door, she placed her keys on the oak table in the entryway and opened the letter. Her general enthusiasm turned into terror as she read the note.
"Nikki Lawson, we regret to inform you that your mother has passed away. We extend to you our greatest sympathies. We do need you to clear out her apartment at 84 Hamden Rd in Fremont. Report to the office for a copy of the apartment key. Respectively, management."
Nikki allowed her purse to fall from her shoulder to the floor. She collapsed down to her knees and began to cry.
Nikki and her mother had always had a strained relationship. The only reason why Nikki existed was because her grandparents forced Nikki's mother to have her. While Nikki was growing up, her mother took out all of her resentment on Nikki. She was abusive, abusing alcohol and drugs, and allowed men to abuse her. There were days when she was not allowed to eat. When her mother was pregnant with her younger sister, the baby's father would punch Nikki's mother in her pregnant belly. All of this took place in the apartment she was forced to empty.
That evening, Nikki poured herself a glass of Merlot and settled into a recliner in the living room. She wrapped a crocheted blanket around her and looked out at the stars. She drifted off to sleep.
The next day, she called out of work and took the 2 hour long drive to Fremont. As she pulled up to the apartment, she felt her anxiety increase. She picked up the keys from the office and made her way to the first floor apartment. Nikki took a breath as she turned the knob to open the door.
Once inside, she closed the door behind her. She looked around the living room. It was as if nothing had changed. The tan couch was still against the window that overlooked the street. The black coffee table was packed with pieces of mail, cigarette boxes, and beer bottles. The TV was still at an angle against the wall. Nikki went over and pushed the entertainment center against the wall so it was uniform with the wall. For a split second, she looked over her shoulder, thinking that she was going to get smacked for that. It was her usual punishment as a kid when she moved the entertainment center. Nikki pulled herself together and entered the dining room.
The dining room table was still in front of the windows that looked into the yard next door. Nikki sat down in the chair that faced the living room. She closed her eyes and was transported back to 30 years ago, when a horrific scene took place:
Mom was resting on the couch, 8 months pregnant with Nikki's baby sister. The baby's father, Rodgerio, had made dinner. Nikki always thought he was a bad cook. When the plate was placed in front of her, Nikki looked at it with disgust. Rodgerio, fueled with anger, threw the fried chicken in Nikki's 6 year old face. "Eat it you little b*tch!" Nikki's mother sat up and yelled into dining room. "Leave her alone if she won't eat. Let her starve." Rodgerio made a fist and raced into the living room. Nikki got up from her seat and watched Rodgerio climb on top of her mother and slam her in her pregnant stomach. Nikki had witnessed this scene many times in the past. This time, Rodgerio used a supernatural force, which caused Nikki's mom to scream in pain. Nikki backed up into the kitchen. Tears ran down her face and she felt cold. She looked at the phone hanging on the wall and called 911. "911 what is your emergency?" Nikki sniffled as she looked for words. "Mommy's boyfriend is hitting her in the tummy where my baby sister is. There's redness coming out of her mouth. I think mommy's dying." Rodgerio stared down Nikki and charged her. He picked Nikki up and smacked her. "What I did to your mommy, is nothing compared to what I will do to you." Rodgerio hung up the phone.
Moments later, the authorities arrived and arrested Rodgerio. Nikki was brought to safety and the ambulance took Nikki's mother to the hospital.
Nikki opened her eyes and collapsed into sadness. That horrible night, her baby sister passed away. She nearly lost her mother too. Rodgerio was charged with attempted murder and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Her cell phone began to ring. Nikki cleared her throat as she answered the call. "Hello?" A quiet pause on the other end shook Nikki's nerves. "Is someone there?"
A chill went up her spine as she heard a familiar voice on the other end. "Guess who's out for good behavior, you little b*tch?"
Nikki dropped her phone on the floor and ran out of the apartment. She got into her car and drove home.
She never returned to that location of terror again. Nikki changed her name, moved to another state, and started a new life. Now married with a child on the way, Nikki was determined to not let history repeat itself.
*Parts of this story were based on actual events*
"She climbed the tree to get a better view, but what she saw frightened her even more."
Sadie was in the middle of a deep sleep in her hammock when she was jolted awake by a loud noise. She opened her eyes and got off of the hammock. She let out a heavy yawn as she wiped the sleep from her eyes.
As she walked toward the noise, she heard a loud thunder coming from the skies. She looked up, placing her hand on her forehead to block out the sun. The sun suddenly vanished, allowing darkness to envelop the earth. Sadie took out her phone and turned on the flashlight app. She ran her fingers through her stringy long brown hair and started walking. The ground underneath her shook, causing her to stumble in her steps. The air became heavy as she reached the hill behind her house. She gasped for air, while holding one hand against her chest. Her other hand shakenly held her phone, lighting her path. She reached a large tree that she used to climb when she was young. She climbed a large trunk and dangled her legs on the side.
Sadie focused the light downward, and what she saw made her turn pale and caused her skin to crawl. Sadie suddenly felt cold. Dozens of dead bodies collected near an opening in the earth.
Just as Sadie gasped in horror, a snake-like creature emerged from beneath her. It opened its mouth as it headed toward her. Sadie cried in terror as she saw the large mouth and blood stained teeth race toward her.
Within seconds, Sadie was consumed. The creature disappeared into the earth. Sadie was never seen again.
"After a walk on the beach you return to your spot to find a red rose carefully placed in your beach chair."
Madilyn woke up early to jog along the beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The air was warm and soupy as she got out of her car and grabbed her phone. Madilyn close the door of her 4-door tan sedan and turned to face the ocean. She breathed in the salty air as she listened to the sweet symphony of the ocean waves. Madilyn opened the trunk of her car and took out a beach chair and a cooler. As she made her way to her spot on the beach she looked around. She noticed she was the only person at the beach at this hour. She allowed herself to get lost in the solitude of her surroundings.
Madilyn took off her tee-shirt, exposing a black crop top tank. She tightened her long light brown ponytail while getting ready to stretch. After stretching, she started her jog.
An hour later, Madilyn returned to her chair and cooler. She grabbed her water bottle and took a large gulp of the icy cold water. She stretched a little before sitting down on her chair. As she positioned herself on her chair, she felt something tickle her thigh. She jumped, thinking it was a jellyfish. She turned and noticed a red rose placed sideways on her chair. She picked it up and moved it slowly to her nose. She inhaled the flowery scent and looked around. She noticed a man walking his dog down the beach. She started to lift her hand to get his attention, when he saw a woman jogging toward him. Madilyn put her arm down, feeling her face flush in embarrassment. She looked down the beach in the opposite direction and saw no one.
"Who placed this rose in my chair," Madilyn thought to herself. She scratched her forehead and made herself comfortable in her chair.
A half hour later, she noticed a man coming out of the ocean with a surfboard. She took notice of the man, who looked about 6'2" and had a muscular build. She watched the man run his hands through his brown hair and look in her direction. Madilyn felt her heart skip a beat. She watched the man walk closer to her.
The man stood in front of her and smiled.
"I see you got my rose."
Madilyn's face flushed. "So, you're the one who placed this on my chair?"
The man nodded. "I'm Garrett."
Madilyn held out her hand. "I'm Madilyn, but my friends call me Maddie."
Garrett took her hand, kissing the top of her hand. "Nice to meet you, Maddie. Can I call you?"
Maddie smiled. "Sure."
Maddie gave Garrett her number and Garrett smiled. He walked off, texting her a compliment about her smile. Maddie felt her heart expand.
Little did she know that this new friend of hers would have a profound impact on her life.
"It was like nothing had ever happened. Tom didn't remember a thing and I was off the hook, or so I thought."
As I entered the room and saw Tom sitting there, it was like nothing had ever happened. He was watching TV like it was any other day. Tom didn't remember a thing and I was off the hook. I smoothed out my dress behind me and sat down on the couch next to him. I tucked a strand of my blonde hair behind my ear and leaned closer to him.
"Sorry I'm late, I was working my nerve to come in."
Tom's eyes went from the TV to me. He took a breath. "Are you okay? You're acting strangely." I was taken aback. How could he be acting like this when he caught me red-handed.
I moved my long blonde hair from one shoulder to another. "I think we should talk about what happened. I would feel better if we talked about it."
Tom turned off the TV and stared his icy blue eyes directly into me, piercing the very depth of my rotting soul. "Please tell me how I can make YOU feel better? Last weekend was the worst weekend of my life. I come home after a lengthy business trip, and I find you in bed with my brother. Did you think I would forget that? I could never forget that. I remember everything. There is nothing you can say that can change what happened."
Tears began to well up in my eyes. "It was just that one time. Please forgive me."
Tom took a sip of his scotch that was on the coffee table. "I cannot forgive someone I both love and hate at equal intervals. I packed your bags. I need you to go."
I took a deep breath and stood up. I turned toward the entrance of the house I shared with Tom for 30 years. He was right to kick me out. As I made my way to the door, Tom followed quickly behind me. "Before you go, I need you to sign these."
Tom handed me a folder of legal documents: divorce papers. I crumbled inside as I looked into his eyes. "Is this what you want, after 30 years of marriage? We can't work this out with counseling and a separation?" Tom shook his head. "I can't trust you. I deserve peace."
I pulled a pen from my purse and guided my shaky hand to the papers. As I handed the documents back to Tom, I regretted everything I did with his brother. How could I be so selfish? Tom was the best husband a girl could ask for, and I destroyed him. I deserved this. I grabbed my items and put them in my car.
As I drove off, I watched the house get smaller and smaller in my rearview mirror. From that point forward, I vowed to never be selfish again.