Like most Americans, my memories of 9/11 invoke deep emotions. I wrote a short piece based on one account of that dreadful morning.
At the 34th floor, firefighters with set chins and mournful eyes carry axes and oxygen tanks up the stairwell. “Keep moving ma’am,” one of them says as I inch downward. My supervisor, Carl, says the opposite: “We’re all clear to return to the office.” He nods and my coworkers retrace their steps to the floor marked 76.
Some instinct keeps me moving away from my desk and out onto the crowded sidewalk where I turn to look back at the cathedral of commerce. Flames lick at its body and plumes of smoke belch from its wounds. The sky fills with shards of glass and shreds of paper and I moan the sound of three thousand human souls.
Two, short, fictional accounts of 9/11/2001 based on stories heard, seen and read.
Flame pushes me to the jagged edge of concrete and metal. Light and sky the siren’s call to a leap of unspeakable surrender. My beautiful daughters, my husband, the mountains and plains of my childhood in El Salvador rush forward in glorious detail. Suspended between heaven and earth; a vacuum of sound, but one voice: “I love you, my child.” My heart and brain register my descent with unconsciousness—God’s mercy.
I run in slow motion-still wearing 3-inch heels-for thirty blocks before falling to my knees. People brush hard against me as they retreat from the stampede of swirling dust. One man stops with a ridiculous question: “Are you okay, lady?” He guides me to a threshold where we lean against hard, cold marble until the choking cloud engulfs us. The stranger and I cling to each other like ghostly lovers.
I’ve been thinking for weeks about 9/11. Like most Americans, memories of that day invoke deep emotions. I wrote a short, short piece based on accounts of that dreadful morning.
At the 34th floor, firefighters with set eyes carry axes and oxygen tanks up the stairwell. “Keep moving ma’am,” one of them says as I inch downward. Carl has said the opposite. “We’re all clear to return to the office,” he nods and my coworkers retrace their steps to the door marked 76. The instinct that drives me onto the crowded sidewalk, makes me look back at this cathedral to commerce. I weep as flames lick at its glass frame and it belches gigantic plumes of smoke, ragged pieces of paper and human souls from its gaping heart.