Darkness, consuming and swirling in the sky. That's all she could see from the smudgy kitchen window. She squinted her green eyes and leaned closer, scrunching her nose as if it would help her see more. It was almost like a tornado was frozen in place, sucking the stars into it. She ran her hand through her short, curly brown hair and bit her lip in frustration. She tapped her spidery fingers on the windowsill lightly. The kitchens television buzzed a ringing sound in the background; it was throwing an evacuation alarm for only the children of the city. The girl gazed into the sky for a moment longer before tearing her gaze and running out of the room and up the house stairs.
They creaked with every speeding stride she took, there were books stacked up to the railing on either side of each step. When she reached the top she ran into the room straight down the narrow hallway. The floor was littered with newspapers and empty medicine bottles. The walls were covered in ripped and decaying wallpaper, and there was a stench of sweet flowers that had a leftover ringing of spoiled eggs. There was a woman sitting on a huge and messy bed in the middle of the area, she was facing a wall. She held her head in her hands, letting her long black hair trickle through her fingers. She was sobbing.
"Mom?" The girl trembled
"You need to go. Take your brother and leave." The woman spat out, choking back tears.
"But I can't just leave you!" The girl yelled
"Cecilia leave goddammit!" The woman screamed and stood up gazing at the wall in front of her. There was a sudden creaking coming from the room's bathroom; a man emerged from the darkness, looking at the floor. He leaned on the doorway with his arms crossed. He took a deep breath before collapsing on the floor. He started to uncontrollably shake, his arms and legs sprawled out in different directions. His face flooded with an expression of pure horror.
"DAD!" Cecilia yelled and leaned forward, she didn't dare take another step forward. The shaking stopped abruptly, but her father's face stayed frozen in time. Her mother stayed staring at the wall silently. Cecilia slowly backed out of the room, stunned. She turned around and sped to the bedroom right by the top of the steps, using her left arm, she propelled herself through the doorway. The room had a small bed, nightstand, dresser, and closet they all had glow in the dark stars pasted sporadically across the tops. The walls were blue with a red and green dinosaur border that was slowly peeling away. There was a small figure huddled in the far corner by a window, Cecilia ran towards the body and yanked it up by the arm. It was a young boy, about seven, with short silky brown hair and tear-filled blue eyes. He clutched a duck stuffed animal in his other arm.
"Tyler get up, we need to leave now." Cecilia told the young boy as she pulled him alongside quickly. Tyler struggled to keep up with her but kept tripping over his feet. He didn't say anything, just silently followed his sister and stared at her determined face. When they reached the bottom of the steps Cecilia told her brother to stay put on the bottom step while she collected some things. He obediently followed her orders, and she followed her statement. She grabbed a first aid kit from the kitchen, a handheld radio, flashlight, canned foods, a phone charger, a few of her books, a small blanket and a pillow. She stuffed them in her dads old army issued backpack and flung it over her shoulders. Then she rummaged through the cabinet under the sink and grabbed two medical face masks, and pulled one over her nose and mouth. She walked to her brother, wrapped the other mask over his tiny face, and pulled him silently into her arms. She walked to the front door and opened it to reveal the outside world. She turned to face the inside of her home one more time, she closed her eyes and inhaled through her small, freckled nose. She knew this was probably going to be the last time she would see her home like this, so she took in the moment and carved it into her memories forever. Before she could open her eyes she heard a loud, shrill, shriek propel from her mom's room, they had to leave. She snapped her eyes open and ran into the cool and dark night.
She grabbed her bike that was leaning against the curb at the end of their small driveway and put her brother in the front basket. She swung her leg over and started to pedal down the long street. A smell of cigarettes and mowed grass hung in the air. And the gaping hole in the sky rested deviously in the sky to the right of her. She glanced in its direction but quickly turned away, almost as if it might sense her leaving and staring. Like an eye contact with your mom when you've done something wrong. It made her pedal faster towards her and her brothers save haven.