The Bad Day

Submitted into Contest #96 in response to: Start your story in an empty guest room.... view prompt

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Fiction Sad

I look around the dark, completely furnished yet still empty bedroom of my childhood. It looks just the same as it did twenty-five years ago when the Bad Day happened. It looks as if the Bad Day never happened. As if time had just stood still and let this room stay on pause while the rest of the world changed.

The top two drawers of the dresser in the corner are open, just as I had left them, clothes spewing out. My purple diary lies on the rickety old desk, the pink feather pen still lying next to it. A row of teddy bears stand on the floor in a uniform line. 

I take a deep breath, then  gingerly step forward towards the middle of the room in trepidation. A thousand memories flash before my eyes. I see my mother scolding me for eating a plate of cookies right before dinner, my little cousin trying to steal my favorite doll, my crazy cat playing with a scrunchie  under the bed, and finally, I see her.

My sister, smiling in her brand-new dress, getting ready for her school’s spring formal. She had been asked by the boy that she liked, and I just remember watching her twirl around the room in sheer excitement for the night. 

About an hour before she was supposed to be picked up for the dance, my sister decided that she didn’t want her hair to be straight; she wanted it to be twisted up into a half-up-half-down curly hairstyle. My mother agreed that it would look better, so she plugged the curling iron into an outlet in the bathroom. She started making our dinner while my sister started to curl her hair. 

I was only a willful eight year-old at the time, and I was going through a bit of a stubborn phase, so I planted myself in front of the mirror in the bathroom and started putting on my sister’s makeup. When she saw what I was doing, she yelled at me to take it off. I begrudgingly washed it off, but left the water on so that maybe some of it would splash on her dress. Little did I know that that action which seemed so tiny at the time would impact my life forever.

Our house was pretty old, and the plumbing was not great. Just as my sister started wrapping another lock of her hair around the barrel of the curling iron, the water pressure in the faucet got stronger and splashed water everywhere. My sister tried to turn the faucet off, but the handles were stuck and wouldn’t budge. 

I remember standing in the doorway, watching the water drench my sister for a moment before I fully processed what was happening. The water got on the curling iron and the outlet on the wall. Sparks ignited, and the outlet quickly broke out in flames. My sister was so terrified that she just stood there and screamed as flames danced around the room. They covered the vanity, shower curtain, and walls.

Right when the fire broke out, I ran into the kitchen and frantically shrieked to my mother what was happening. I called 911 while she filled bowls with water and heaved them into the bathroom.

My mother was able to put some of the flames out so that she could get my sister out. My sister looked terrible; she was coughing violently and had burn marks covering her arms and legs. 

The fire station was right down the street from our house, so the firemen came quickly and put the blaze out. They had paramedics tend to my sister and bring her in the ambulance. My mother drove in the ambulance with her, but they had me sit in the police car and follow them to the hospital. Despite the police officers’ best efforts to take my mind off the situation at hand, I could not stop worrying and thinking about her.

My sister died that day at the Spring Valley Hospital. She had inhaled too much smoke and was put on a ventilator for a few hours before passing away quietly. 

I have never been the same ever since. A piece of me died that day with her. 

Our house was pretty old, and the plumbing was not great. Just as my sister started wrapping another lock of her hair around the barrel of the curling iron, the water pressure in the faucet got stronger and splashed water everywhere. My sister tried to turn the faucet off, but the handles were stuck and wouldn’t budge. 

I remember standing in the doorway, watching the water drench my sister for a moment before I fully processed what was happening. The water got on the curling iron and the outlet on the wall. Sparks ignited, and the outlet quickly broke out in flames. My sister was so terrified that she just stood there and screamed as flames danced around the room. They covered the vanity, shower curtain, and walls.

Right when the fire broke out, I ran into the kitchen and frantically shrieked to my mother what was happening. I called 911 while she filled bowls with water and heaved them into the bathroom.

My mother was able to put some of the flames out so that she could get my sister out. My sister looked terrible; she was coughing violently and had burn marks covering her arms and legs. 

The fire station was right down the street from our house, so the firemen came quickly and put the blaze out. They had paramedics tend to my sister and bring her in the ambulance. My mother drove in the ambulance with her, but they had me sit in the police car and follow them to the hospital. Despite the police officers’ best efforts to take my mind off the situation at hand, I could not stop worrying and thinking about her.

My sister died that day at the Spring Valley Hospital. She had inhaled too much smoke and was put on a ventilator for a few hours before passing away quietly. 

I have never been the same ever since. A piece of me died that day with her. 

May 29, 2021 19:11

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