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By: Chloe Xiao

Sammy shot up, before wincing in pain at something on her side. She slowly opened her tired eyes, rubbing them until something plastic rubbed against her body. A blood bag? Like the type movies always had on the main character after they got shot? That was interesting. A nurse had come into her room, his face in a small look of surprise, before smiling wide. [nice intro!]

“Oh, you’re awake, sunshine! How ya feelin’ right now?” Sammy shook her head, looking through blurry eyes at the man. He looked similar to someone. She didn’t know who, but on instinct she tried to back away, smashing against the bedpost. She cowered under her bedsheets and started hyperventilating.

The nurse started to come closer to comfort Sammy but decided against it when she started screaming bloody murder. He sighed and called someone up – she didn’t know who, but as long as it wasn’t him she’d be happy. Sammy still couldn’t fully recognize who he was, but she knew that this man promised pain.

A different nurse came in, looking tired, defeated, and very depressed. Wait. That looked like Mam without her usual floral dresses. Sammy’s mother shuffled into the room, but gained a burst of energy when she saw Sammy.

“Oh Samantha, Samantha… don’t ever do this to me again. Me and your Pap were dying of anticipation outside there, waiting to see if you were good.” Mam gave Sammy a crushing hug, as she started to gently flow tears.

Pap slowly entered the room, silently hovering behind Mam, placing a hand on Mam’s shoulder. “Sam, why. Why did you do it? You weren’t supposed to go to the store. You already know how dangerous it is and the fact-“

Mam cut him off with an angry whisper and a glare that could burn someone alive. “You stop your stupid little berating. Can’t you just be happy our daughter‘s back, safe and sound? I cannot believe you, you are an absolute idiot. Coming back from being shot at and living to tell the tale is quite impressive enough.” She finished her very refined statement with a stamp on Pap’s foot, causing him to wince in pain.

Sammy sat dumbfounded. A shooting? And why would she go to that little store across the gasoline pump? She knew it was unsafe, with robberies and shootings happening much too often.

“Uh Mam, what happened?”

She gave Sammy a news article, showing how a shooting had happened at the local Walmart; and how a group of kids on a dare had gone in. 1 adult, and 4 children dead. 3 injured adults and 6 injured kids. Of the 13 kids that went in, only 3 got out unscathed. Sammy looked up, realizing that the nurse was the shooter’s twin brother. When Sammy got to the list of the dead, she ripped the page out, reading it again.

Thrala, a girl she’d known since kindergarten. Jenny, her first crush. Jandice and Jeremiah. Her two best friends.

She kept reading on until she got to a part that made her stare blankly at her parents.

“Why’s the article saying I’m paralyzed from the waist down? I can do a backflip. They’re lying. Right?”

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