I heard it from my room and suddenly, my eyes expanded to the size of two lime-green tennis balls. My face was pale and the air around me grew rigid. I was certain that I was going to die today. I just knew it.
Just about ten minutes ago, I went to bed. My antique clock read three in the morning. All of my friends had just left. We had been playing video games and now I was just lying on my corpulent, comfortable bed waiting to drift to sleep. Then I heard it.
The sound came piercing through the night. It ended just as it started. I sat up and my imagination went wild. Were they gunshots or even missiles, perhaps? I waited a minute, but there was no further sound. I shrugged off the sounds, tucked myself in, and tried to get some sleep.
I threw the covers off of me and I leaped out of bed. A rigorous chill went down my spine. Disgusting thoughts poured itself into my head. Was I a witness to a homicide? Is someone arbitrarily using my house as a target practice? I sauntered leisurely to my bedroom window and rose up the blinds. The night skies seemed unusually murky and mauve. Paper bags and leaves danced in the front yard to a beat unfamiliar to me. I saw nothing to support what I had been hearing. Nothing suspicious was outside and I saw nothing too irregular in the skies. I was convinced that I had heard the shots. It had not been my imagination.
I left my window and I leaped onto my bed. I decided to do some critical thinking. Was I the only one hearing this noise? How come my little brother did not come running into my bedroom like he always did when there is a thunderstorm? An appalling combination of nervousness and suspiciousness intertwined in me. Disturbing thoughts began impairing my brain to think rationally. I was a statue for five minutes circumspectly thinking about what to do next. Almost immediately, I decided to play detective and check out if everyone was safe. I also needed to see why no one seemed to hear these gunshot sounds. “Maybe everyone is in a deep sleep and can’t hear anything”, I thought out loud.
I opened my bedroom door and peered into the darkness. The only sound I could hear was the faint dripping of the leaky, kitchen faucet. I walked unhurriedly to my little brother’s bedroom. I was careful not to step on any of his noisy baby toys that beleaguered the living room. My family had been in this house ever since I was born so, if I were to be blind-folded at this moment, I could still find my way. Once I reached my brother’s bedroom, I lightly tapped on his door. I was a bit surprised that his door was shut, but I was not surprised that he did not open his door. He must be fast asleep, I guessed. I reached slowly for the doorknob and turned it ever so lightly, as if not to make a sound although this was almost technically impossible. I opened the door and ambled into his room. My brother was not snoring tonight and he is usually a loud snorer. No longer caring about being noisy, I dashed to his short bed and threw the covers into the air. I screamed out in terror which was quickly overshadowed by the loud, gunshot noises which again came out of nowhere.
I could hear all sorts of gun-battle type sounds outside. Rockets, if I must say, were orbiting my house. While taking cover under my brother’s tiny little bed, I whipped out my cell phone and dial 911. “People are shooting at my house!” I squealed.
“Who is shooting at your resident?” questioned a smooth, feminine voice. She sounded uninterested and could care less about my situation.
“They have my brother, too!” I choked out. I pressed the ‘end’ button and tried to remain still over the increasing barrage of bullets. I was certain that I was going to die today.
Then it stopped. The night stood still. I stayed under the bed for a minute longer just to be certain. It really was gone. I rolled from out of the bed, leaped up onto my feet, and took off with no real plan in mind. First, I ran into my parent’s bedroom. Once I discovered that they were not there, I became uneasy and timid. Where were they? I searched nearly the entire house. No one was home. Since I did not want to go to the front yard to search for clues, I went to my room and relied on my life-size window. Again, there was nothing abnormal besides the peculiar mixture of indigo and magenta in the atmosphere. Then it hit me. I sprinted to the backyard, which I had forgotten to search, and I was stunned with what I saw. The sight was so excruciating, I collapsed.
I was later lifted to my bed. I know that because I woke up in my bedroom to a sun-lit morning. While I was rubbing my eyes and yawning loudly, realization washed all over me. I had last night all wrong. My parents and my little brother were messing with fireworks and firecrackers. They had been celebrating New Years Day, 2006. As for my clock telling me that it was three, I had forgotten that it recently stopped working and for an unknown reason, froze up at that time.
Later that day in the evening, I heard more gunshot sounds that sounded rather different from the fireworks I heard from last night. I smiled from ear to ear, snuggled up in my bed, and closed my eyes. The sound was oddly relaxing. Then a bloodcurdling scream broke in between the gunshots. I heard a body collapse in what sounded like was the kitchen.