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By: Chloe Xiao

Cara stepped forward. Taking a deep breath, she crouched down, glancing at the other girls. They were tall, lanky, and had a hard expression on most of their faces. There were a few familiar faces amongst them. She took a deep breath. Closing her eyes, Cara waited for the familiar pop of the gun, screwing her eyes so tight she feared her eyes would bleed.

“BANG”. The gun boomed through the air but she couldn’t move her legs. It felt like she was getting crushed by those torture devices she had spent hours looking at over. She thought back to how medieval people would throw stones at witches and decided it couldn’t be more painful than the indescribable pain she felt right now. She could hear the laughter of everyone in the stands. The sun started beaming down on her, mocking Cara for all that she did wrong.

Her legs felt like they were getting smashed with a new vigor. Whichever sadistic beast it was that was her smashing legs in two seemed to not be stopping anytime soon. Another pistol shot rang through the air. Cara realized that she had taken so long, that the next set of runners had already went. How many had already gone? She looked up onto the previously sunny to find a glittering night.

But no night was ever so bright. No race at St. Hilda ever lasted until night. No race would have been held if she was completely immobile. Cara couldn’t have walked up to the field. Cara couldn’t walk at all.

Cara shot up in her bed, slowly processing her dream. She had lost all mobility in her legs, with a portion of it amputated due to a drunk driver. She had been on her way to a race. She was meant to win that race. She was meant to be at the track and field party. She was meant to be holding that trophy, not someone else. She was meant to be applauded and feared whenever she came onto the field. Not on a wheelchair pathetically wheeling around.

‘Those girls,’ she thought, staring out the hospital window that overlooked her little school, I haven’t even done anythi- Her train of thought was cut off when she heard a nurse and a doctor rush into her room. They seemed to be fretting over something Cara couldn’t see. The room seemed to be getting a little stranger. She couldn’t describe that warm and fuzzy feeling, wrapping her on all sides like her favorite blanket. She heard a muffled shout that sounded underwater. The doctor, it seemed, was screaming something about, what was it? He kept shouting CPR and the rest she could barely hear. Something about now. Strange. She closed her eyes, gently fading into the best sleep of her whole life. She could see all that had happened to her, her whole life once more. She smiled as the darkness swallowed her.

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