NIGHTMARE

A Daria fanfiction by Erin Mills

Jane stared at the TV in shock. It was played over and over again. A nightmare come true.

One of the towers, partially destroyed, a huge gaping hole in one side of it. Thick black clouds of smoke billowing from the wreckage. The bright orange flames clearly visible as the remants of those floors struck burned.

And then the second nightmare. The airliner flying in at speeds too fast to turn. Jane found herself praying that there would be intervention, that the plane would veer off at the last second before the inevitable. But of course, there was no intervention. It had already happened.

The second tower was struck and a massive fireball exploded through the building. Orange and black clouds spewing fron the corner of the building. Even though she knew it wasn't possible, she thought she could still feel the heat, feel the shockwave.

But the nightmare wasn't over. Jane stared helplessly as the TV continued to play.

The second tower was the first to go. It began to fall, the ordered structure vanishing in a cloud of smoke, dust and rubble. Thousands of tons of steel, glass, and concrete falling to the ground, filling the streets, the people on the ground running for their lives.

And just when you thought that was the worst that could possibly happen, the other tower collapsed. The upper section falling into the lower section. For a moment, Jane thought the lower part of the tower might endure...but it was a false hope.

The entire tower disintegrated. Another choking cloud of debris consuming the structure...and those trapped inside it.

Other reports came in. The Pentagon had been struck, a huge gaping hole in oner of it's five sides. A crashed plane in Pennsylvania. Hundreds of firefighters and police were lost in the destruction of the towers. The stories of those who had been in contact with their loved ones inside the buildings and on the planes, before they were silenced forever.

In the space of 45 minutes, America's worst nightmare had come true, and Jane could only stare in shock and disbelief. Thousands of people who were doing nothing more than going to work to support their families had become the victims of fanatacism and hatred.

And all they were doing was what they had done for years.

Jane couldn't believe it. She had always wanted to see the Twin Towers someday...now, she would never have that chance. Even if the towers were rebuilt, it wouldn't be the same.

She heard a sound from the desk next to her. She looked over, and saw the one thing that drove the true horror of the situation home to her.

Daria Morgendorffer was crying.

***

Dedicated to the memory of the victims of the destruction of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the aircraft involved, the brave men and women of the rescue squads who lost their lives attempting to save those still trapped, and those who lost loved ones in this tragedy.

September 11, 2001