86 comments

Oct 02, 2020

Sad Drama

The smell of smoke fills my nostrils and ash clouds my lungs. I run my hand over the rough scars on my cheek as memories come back to me. 

Too much smoke.

Too much burning.

Fire.

I have to go. 

Ignoring the multiple calls of my probably concerned friends, I run

My feet hitting the ground hard with each step.

My lungs burning in more ways than one. 

My hair wound tightly in a short ponytail, hitting my back with each stride. 

My hand clutching the small pendant around my neck.

The only thing I have left.

A tear escapes my eyes, grazing my scars. I finally stop moving and collapse on the ground, laying my head against a tree. 

I’m safe, for now. The smell is gone. I should be far enough.

My pale blue eyes blur with more tears and I let them flow freely. Footsteps. Coming towards me. My friends? They’ll bring the smell with them. I have to keep running.

Their shouts come closer so I quickly get up and continue running, wincing as my arm grazes the hard bark of a tree. There are scars there too. Scars everywhere. 

I keep running. 

And running.

Until I can’t move anymore, my legs aching. Almost like before. Like that day. 

I don’t have the energy to bend my legs, sit down. I just stand, rigid, staring at the sun. 

The Sun could burn things too. If it wanted to. 

Please don’t burn me sun. 

I have to escape the sun now too. 

Forcing my legs to move, I continue running. I trip on a rock and fall hard on my knees. 

Ripped Jeans. Now even more. 

The scars on my legs now even more visible.

I don’t care. Not really.

It’s so hot, the sun beating mercilessly down on me. 

The sun. That’s why I’m running. 

I get back up and run again, my legs now numb. 

Numb like at the hospital. I couldn’t walk then. Now I can.

Right? Yes. I’m still moving. 

To where?

I don’t know.

Are my friends still following me? Probably not.

No parents to worry about me. So there’s nothing waiting for me. I can just keep running until I’m tired. Until I escape the sun. 

I free my hair from my ponytail, still running.

Strands of dark brown fly in all directions. Flowing in the wind. Am I running that fast?

Or is it just wind? The wind isn’t safe. Wind can move fires.

You could drop one lit cigar, one match, and the forest would soon be in flames. Orange and yellow and red and at the hottest parts blue

Blue like the sky. The whole world isn’t safe anymore.

Maybe I can go underground?

No. Deep breaths. The sky will not burn. The sun will not burn me. Stop running.

I obey my command. 

I lick my dry lips and look around me. Where have I stopped?

Trees, trees, trees. So many trees. The easiest thing to burn.

I’ll never be free from the fires. Burning in my mind, burning burning burning. 

Burning my lungs. I need to slow my breathing.  

That’s it. 

One. Inhale. Two. Exhale. One. Inhale. Two. Ex-

Footsteps. Like an avalanche.

Three people? Maybe four.

Maybe an animal. My friends? Are they even real friends? No.

If they were they’d understand.

That I need to run away.

Faster and faster and-

Wait. I’m not moving right now. If I stay they’ll find me. Whether it’s people or wolves or birds or-No, birds fly, they don’t run. I wish I was a bird. 

Fly away from the fire. From the smoke.

But instead, I have to run. Now.

I move my legs one by one, but I’m walking, not running. I’m too tired. Too drained. 

I need water. No. Water is too precious. It should be saved to put out the fires. 

Fires. They’re everywhere. Too many. Too little water. 

So I don’t want water. I want food. Maybe I shouldn’t have left. They had food. Them. The people. My ‘friends’. 

But they also had fire. So I didn’t want to stay. More tears fall down my face, falling to the dirt. 

Tears. Water.

Must keep moving.

What am I running from?

Oh. The fire. 

Will I ever really be far enough though? My clothes are flammable.

A drip of oil and electricity and boom. The worst kind of fire. An explosion.

More smoke than normal fires. Water doesn’t help. It makes it worse. So I need to stop crying. 

No. No, no, no, no, no. 

More tears only fall. 

I wipe them away hard with my sweater. It hurts. My scars. Dots of red line my sweater. Blood. Will I ever be free from the reminders?

From the memories?

No, I will not. 

Because the fires are everywhere. 

You open up the news-boom. Fire.

Because of careless campers or broken stoves, or really hot days or…

There are fires made on purpose too. 

Bonfires, cookouts, fireworks

Who’s stupid enough to make fireworks?

Stupid people, of course. 

I ran away when they did those too.

Don’t they get the hint?

No. Some people are clueless. Oblivious, like people who just watch homes go up in flames. Not even sane enough to call the fire department, the police, someone.

Maybe they enjoy watching things burn. 

Burn. Fire. Smoke. Such tasteless words. 

Ash isn’t tasteless. I found out that day. So much fell in my mouth.

I was coughing and hacking and choking, and then everything went dark. I never want to taste it again

I rarely eat anything anymore, afraid that’s how it’ll taste. 

I only eat cold things. Ice cream. Salad. Nothing made on a stove. Never. I had them remove it from my house.

The only way I sleep at night. I also turn off all the lights. All the time. No electricity. It’s cheaper too.

It’s only a little cold in winter. I use blankets. In summer I go to the basement against the floor, never going outside. It’s too dangerous with the sun.

Ah. The sun.

I better keep running before it catches me.


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86 comments

Rhondalise Mitza
03:20 Oct 06, 2020

who's Louis Partridge...?

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12:56 Oct 06, 2020

He’s that guy in Enola Holmes THE MOVIE IS AMAZING Y’ALL HAVE TO WATCH IIIIIIIT

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Rhondalise Mitza
13:09 Oct 06, 2020

OH I ALREADY WATCHED IT. And if that's the guy you're talking about I understand, of course.

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Orenda ♤
13:11 Oct 07, 2020

yo siso, i did your quiz and your drawings are so cuteeee

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Rhondalise Mitza
13:31 Oct 07, 2020

Awww awesome! The responses made me laugh and smile. And some of the advice was really excellent as well! I think I'll do a photography quiz next.

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Orenda ♤
14:17 Oct 07, 2020

wowowowo noicee

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13:19 Oct 06, 2020

YURRRRRP NOICE. Yeah, he’s Tewksbury

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Rhondalise Mitza
13:22 Oct 06, 2020

I liked the guy that played Sherlock better but yeah.

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Avery G.
01:03 Oct 07, 2020

Sorry, I just had to jump in. OMG ENOLA HOLMES IS SOOOO GOOD! I LOVE THAT MOVIE SOOOO MUCH!!!!!!

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01:18 Oct 07, 2020

AHHHH YESSS

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Avery G.
01:20 Oct 07, 2020

YEAHHH! IT'S LIKE THE BEST!!!

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Amany Sayed
18:23 Oct 02, 2020

.... Um, yeah. I don't really know how to feel about this one? Thoughts?

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Orenda ♤
10:22 Oct 07, 2020

HAIL LOUIS PARTRIDGE AKA MENDES DOPPELGANGER! anyway, what's up, mate?

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21:40 Oct 03, 2020

Oh my gosh! After reading your bio, I'm so glad I found a fellow Muslim here :)) I really love this story. The small sentences really connected to form this whole picture, and I am here for it. And I am absolutely in LOVEEE with this line "Ah. The sun. I better keep running before it catches me." I just love it for some reason :>

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Amany Sayed
14:17 Oct 04, 2020

:) Thank you so much! I know right? I was proud of it lol.

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16:25 Oct 04, 2020

It's really good. Awesome job :>

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16:39 Oct 03, 2020

I really liked this toooo! I read it last night and was too tired to comment. But yeah this was great! I loved the repetition of some of the words. And the character running from the sun and from her 'friends'. You just can't help but wonder what the backstory was. But I am glad you didn't emphasize on the backstory and instead put the future in the end. Not every story needs a back story and your story gave off a 'mystery' vibe. You emphasized on detail much more in this story and it was loovvveelly! You have a unique typa writing! So ke...

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Amany Sayed
14:17 Oct 04, 2020

Thank you so much! Yes, that's what I was going for! Aw, thank you I will!

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18:52 Oct 02, 2020

Good story! It was emotional and I liked it. Are you going to make a part 2? Or maybe a sequel explaining why she hates fire?

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Amany Sayed
22:45 Oct 02, 2020

Thanks so much! Actually, I sorta implied it throughout. There was a fire that burned down her home, killing her parents. She speaks of 'the day' and the scars are burns. Hope that clears things up!

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22:55 Oct 02, 2020

Ohh. Ok. I can kinda see what you mean now when I reread the story. Thank you for clearing it up! :)

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Amany Sayed
22:59 Oct 02, 2020

No prob! It was meant to have an air of like detailless ness if that makes sense, so it's fine that you didn't get it.

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19:04 Oct 06, 2020

Amany!!! This is SO. FREAKING. GOOD!!!! Definitely my favorite one out of all your stories. The emotions, the setting - OMG I don't have the words. Great writing! BTW, when is your bday? I want to have all my Reedsy friends' bdays on my calendar so I could dedicate a story to each of you. Thanks! ~Ria

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Amany Sayed
13:06 Oct 07, 2020

Thank you soooo much! Aw. Thank you! It's alllllllll the way in April. April 24 :) That's so sweet of you.

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17:34 Oct 07, 2020

Thanks! Happy super-duper early bday! :)

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Amany Sayed
17:35 Oct 07, 2020

Haha thanks :)

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01:53 Oct 06, 2020

Oh noooo where’d your spoky name go? I can’t be the only one 😂

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Amany Sayed
02:22 Oct 06, 2020

I got bored of it XD. I even rewrote my bio I was that bored.

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12:55 Oct 06, 2020

Okiiiii

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B. W.
13:15 Oct 06, 2020

i could give myself a spooky name so ya won't be the only one if you want?

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13:18 Oct 06, 2020

Lol yurp! What’s you’re gonna beeeeee You can use a Halloween name generator if you want to :)

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B. W.
13:40 Oct 06, 2020

I was thinking maybe 'black werewolf' or 'blair witch' but maybe it could be something else

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Rayhan Hidayat
21:58 Oct 05, 2020

Amany🌻 is that you? This was so cool! The way you implied that something tragic happened to her was skillfully done and added to the emotional intensity of this piece, like she’s too afraid to stop and think. Honestly I can’t imagine what it would be like to be afraid of hot things/the sun. She must be miserable. Oh and I love the writing style, how there’s a lot of short sentences and paragraphs. Well, keep it up, anyway! 😙

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Amany Sayed
00:45 Oct 06, 2020

Yeah. I mean, I changed it back now, but yeah. Aw, thanks so much! Living in fear always is... Thanks so much ^^

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Rayhan Hidayat
02:16 Oct 06, 2020

Oh lol, I thought you were gonna keep that name for all of October or something

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Amany Sayed
02:24 Oct 06, 2020

Well I WAS going to, but I got bored of seeing it as my name. I get bored EXTREMELY easily. I even rewrote my bio.

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Rayhan Hidayat
02:35 Oct 06, 2020

Same. I swear your bio was way longer before. But a short and sweet bio is always good

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00:58 Oct 05, 2020

This is so good! I love all of the descriptions about the fire! I thought is was so cool how you described the sun kinda like a person! I know that didn't really affect the story, but I just thought it was awesome! :)

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Amany Sayed
12:45 Oct 05, 2020

Thank you! Aw, thanks :)

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Orenda ♤
20:34 Oct 02, 2020

ah this was emotional and flowed really well. "I was coughing and coughing and choking and choking, and then everything went dark." the repetition of words here didnt sound really well. I loved the repetitions elsewhere, but too many doesnt sound nice. Just my preference, really, otherwise you've a good job as usual <3

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Amany Sayed
22:45 Oct 02, 2020

Thanks a ton! Hm, I see. I'll take it out over there. Aw as usual? Thanksssss :)

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R. K.
23:34 Oct 02, 2020

Hands-down one of my favourite pieces of yours. So coherent and emotional. It was poetic and tense and adrenaline pumping. One suggestion, where it says: "My legs hitting the ground," perhaps you can write 'feet' because legs sound like she's falling. I loved your take on the prompt — I feel there are a lot of positive associations with smells and this is the flip side. I considered using a fire, but changed it after. I agree with Orenda, but maybe add one more word like "coughing and choking and gagging". The rapid words all in a seque...

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Amany Sayed
23:34 Oct 02, 2020

I was gonna add hacking.

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Orenda ♤
05:40 Oct 03, 2020

alrightyyy yesh, awesome as usual 😊

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Orenda ♤
19:33 Oct 02, 2020

yo bro, i have a story outttttt check it outtt you'll love it hehehe

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Amany Sayed
22:46 Oct 02, 2020

OMG I JUST DID GIMME A SEC TO GIVE FEEDBACK!

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Rhondalise Mitza
19:11 Oct 02, 2020

It was very fluid, which was nice because it didn't otherwise have much structure, but the bits and pieces worked well together! :D Check out my new story, I have a feeling you'll like it or something.

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Amany Sayed
22:46 Oct 02, 2020

Thank you so much! UM I LOVED IT THANK YOU VERY MUCH?! GIVE ME A SEC TO GIVE SOME FEEDBACK

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Rhondalise Mitza
22:47 Oct 02, 2020

Yay yay, so glad you loved it!

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Ana Govindasamy
21:19 Oct 23, 2020

woah i love this. also i absolutely love this comment chain. crushes, Enola Holmes (Love that movie too) <3

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Amany Sayed
22:24 Oct 23, 2020

Thanks! :D

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23:09 Oct 13, 2020

Hey, I noticed u saw my quiz, and did it. 1- Yes ur correct 2- Yes, china invented tea 3-OOPS, Syria has the most pyramids

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Amany Sayed
00:23 Oct 15, 2020

1. Of course I am 2. Indeedy do. 3. Darn.

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00:30 Oct 15, 2020

HEHEHEHEHE DASH OK

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21:17 Oct 10, 2020

OMG AMANY I'M ALSO OBSESSED OVER LOUIS PARTRIDGE!!

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Amany Sayed
21:46 Oct 10, 2020

:D

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Kristin Neubauer
16:27 Oct 10, 2020

Great work, Amany! This is a different style than anything I've read of yours before and I really liked it. I thought the short, simple sentences worked really well - I had the sense that these were the thoughts flying through her head as she ran from the fire and it gave a pulsing pace to the whole story. I like seeing the diversity of your work!

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Amany Sayed
22:41 Oct 10, 2020

Thank you so much! Definitely something new. Glad it turned out well! Thanks again!

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Amazing piece -- intense, mysterious and poetic all at the same time! I love your bio btw ;)

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Amany Sayed
22:40 Oct 10, 2020

Thanks so much! Aw, ty :)

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Amaya Macaulay
01:12 Oct 08, 2020

wait this is so good

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Amany Sayed
02:57 Oct 08, 2020

Aw, stop :)

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Amaya Macaulay
03:00 Oct 08, 2020

stop being honest? :) it's true though it was so pretty and poetic and beautiful, but also terrifying.

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Amany Sayed
03:09 Oct 08, 2020

Haha indeed it was...

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Charles Stucker
22:10 Oct 05, 2020

You do a good job with stream of consciousness. The internal monologue conveys her motions and gives fleeting glimpses of the scenery while keeping both story and protagonist moving. The phobic focus of a burn victim, survivor of a house fire watched by neighbors who failed to notify 911 comes across in a careful read, though someone who skims might miss. Of course the casual reader who misses things is a problem universal to most work, so there is no real solution for it. Well done.

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Amany Sayed
02:26 Oct 06, 2020

Thank you so much! Yeah, I was a little bit sneaky with it. Nobody else noticed I'm pretty sure. Definitely. Thank you so much! This means a lot coming from you :)

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