|Agony in the Sea of Flames
Author: hippiechick2112 PM
Rebel, drug addict, lover, dreamer: all of the names describe the life of Angela, a woman whose life turned around after the death of her parents. After years of trying to find happiness, she discovers it and builds a true life around it.Rated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy/Family - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,207 - Published: 09-20-10 - id: 2849180
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Agony in the Sea of Flames
Note and Disclaimer: Ok, I obviously am taking extreme liberties with rock stars, but here, I am writing the story of a girl whose family grew up with them. This is another story I've been playing with since God-knows-when, so I apologize if I offend anybody or make mistakes about anything. But the character of Angela – and her family and friends – belong to me, so don't use them without my permission, please!! Thank you!!
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Prologue – September 17th
The images were so surreal in my mind. It seemed like I had not lived them yet and was viewing it for the first time: the past that could never be, but is now. It was the same dream I had been having for years now, but it was so different from the other times. Indeed, it itself would never go away and never has…never will.
A new twist in the story kept me from waking up, a new ending to a story that I knew about in reality. I could keep asleep and not scream when the morning air hit my lungs. I could happily stay in my dream and think about it, that happy-never-after ending. But, it had to be true in my mind. It had to reassure my mind that the nightmare was never going to be. But it was never to be. I could wake up, longing for them, calling for them, and then I realized that they were truly gone.
Well, in this dream I was a little girl, a little girl small for her age, perched in her back seat, reading a book given to her when she waiting for her medication earlier in the day. Her mind was that of a teenager in high school and her mindful watch over the books proved relieving. Her parents, meanwhile smiling joyfully at the night ahead of them – clear and cold, but with a series of stars dotting the night – sat in the front seat. Her father, in the driver seat, was perfectly sober. Not drunk as he usually was, for the little girl's older sister asked that for her birthday, the father whistled to the radio, playing classic rock, hits from the decade or two before. Her mother, petite, pale and pretty, sat wearingly in her passenger's seat, wishing the trip to be over with.
Indeed, they were traveling up to Hartford, to pick up the little girl's sister and brother from a relative, and Interstate 84 was long and without traffic for once. The hour was late and school was the next day. But the little girl didn't seem to care. She had a good book to read and her worries about life, in general, were vanishing with each turning page.
Sighing when the radio began to play something he didn't like, the father turned off the noise. There was silence for a second, but then his annoyance became known. "They play nothing but shit on the radio these days," he said. "Damn fucking music drives me batshit sometimes. The hair is idiotic, the voices are nothing but screams and the shit is played everywhere. The youngsters love it, too."
"Calm down, Kevin," the mother said, rubbing her breast – something that was done a lot, as the girl saw – and sighing. "It's only a sign of the times. The older kids seem to like it more. We're just older hippies. See, it's like what we did. It's a new cultural rave." She reassuringly patted the father's knee as he was driving, causing him to flare up in anger again.
"Krystyna, I'm driving!" he yelled back. "Can't you teach the girl some safety here?"
Meekly, the mother moved her gentle touch away and turned around to face the little girl. She wanted to explain the outburst, but couldn't bring up the courage. The father was often like this. Ever since he came back from Vietnam a little more than a decade ago, he seemed different: older and colder. The war had changed him drastically, from someone who gladly went to serve his country to someone who returned bitter, a survivor.
So, the lesson from the episode began because he had demanded it. It had to be taught quickly, to amend matters before anything got out of hand. "Angela…Angie, excuse my behavior, please," she started to explain. "Mommy even forgets that you can't distract the driver by touching them. It might cause them to crash."
"It's ok, Mommy," the little girl said. Shaking her blonde head, which was often tangled from running in the schoolyard or the family's backyard, she closed the book so that she, the student, could hear the teachers in the front seats.
"It's important for you to remember," the father added, "so that when you grow up, you can drive safely. We don't want you to be hurt by anything." His voice sounded genuinely concerned for once, like that night so long ago. The little girl was often sick, too, and the money for her medication was never there. The bottle would always drink it up.
"Or to drive a motorcycle like Daddy!" The mother said and laughed, the first time in a long time it seemed, and got the driver to laugh as well. The motorcycle, decorated with memories from Vietnam, always gave the mother a pain in her head. The loud motor coughed up a lot of smoke and was always taken out whenever possible, even in the coldest mornings. The drive was shorter, the father had mentioned, and faster. Besides which, nobody would mess with a veteran's motorcycle…whatever that meant.
The stickers are mad and always scary, the little girl always thought. The license plate even told people to not mess with a Vietnam veteran: NAM69.
The little girl giggled. She wanted to show her parents that she could ignore small issues such as a scary motorcycle. "I love your bike, Daddy," she said, trying to admire a figure that was too distant to be cuddly. "I love you and Mommy, too."
"Oh, Angie honey, we love you, too." The mother sighed, the moment of happiness gone from her fingertips, one that her little girl had supplied for her. The father had even turned his attention back to the road, honking his horn at the other drivers and yelling words she would never say in front of the children.
The mother then returned her sad stare to the window, watching as the car passed through tunnels. It was a sight best not seen, but always a familiar scene in the little girl's mind. Yes, she had seen it a lot. Always glancing out of a hole from her bedroom as her sister slept in the top bunk, the little girl saw her father drink and, in the kitchen, where the little girl saw the actions, her father would hit her mother. It repeated sometimes, but sometimes it stopped. Then it came back again. The mother would be sad in the time there was no hitting, but then she would cherish the memories her children gave her.
Soon enough, they were in Hartford, in some tunnel. And it was strange how the little girl knew that one tunnel was destined to be the end of their lives. Indeed, the car behind them that the father had been cursing about was following them closely. The man was swerving the car wildly and it made the father nervous.
"Damn drunk drivers," he said, forgetting that he, too, drove drunk many times, especially on his motorcycle. Except he always had the sense to keep his balance and not hit others. He had the talent to, they all said. Drinking had no effect on him.
There were no policemen about to arrest the man behind them. The tunnel went by quickly and yet, the car behind them would remain in his spot. The little girl dropped her book, looking at the passing walls of terror. Where was the place? She would think to herself how the ending was supposed to be coming up. Or was it? Why are they still intact and driving onward? Where were the sirens, the lights and the hand that would carry her to another destiny? Her parents were still there. The man behind them was still there. What was going on here?
A sense of fear went up through the little girl's body as they went through a tunnel and on a bridge, about to go on an exit ramp. Gasping, the little girl looked out her window, putting her hands to the window and leaving a sweaty handprint on the glass. There, there's the spot! It's there! She looked back at the tunnel, at the corner before a ramp took cars up and up, but there was nothing.
The little girl also knew something was supposed to happen, but nothing happened. The man behind them had disappeared and the tunnel seemed nothing special. But it was! It was! There was something fishy about this. Her father had said that a lot especially when he took the little girl fishing and he wasn't getting anything on his line. Fishy was a word she liked and it described the scene very well. The spot she saw was bad. It felt bad. So, why was it bad?
"Angie, take your hand off of the window." The father spoke to her in sharp tones. "The window isn't meant for your hands. It'll make it dirty. We won't be able to clean it well without a special cleanser."
"Ok, Daddy," the little girl answered, her natural curiosity about the bad place gone. But the thoughts remained in her head. The place they passed was terrible. So, why didn't anything happen to them like it was supposed to?
"We're almost there, Angie," the mother said out of the blue. Her melancholy had seemed vanished, but was still in the voice. "Baby, why don't you take a nap? Cassie and Danny will be in the car soon. They'll keep you company soon. Grandma and Auntie wouldn't like a tired, sleepy child. They don't like them to be grumpy and sleepy for school the next day."
"Sleep is good," the little girl answered. "I'm tired." Her forehead then hit the glass again, leaving a mark, but sleep was coming to her surely. It was late and her bedtime was past.
Her parents had taken her to the depths of space, it seemed, and hours had passed it seemed. The stars twinkled their good nights and wished her to slumber. The head rolled back, still thinking about the tunnel and how they were supposed to see and experience the bad things, and hit the seat's head rest. Her eyes closed, knowing about the love her parents gave her this night. They loved her and her brother and sister very much. They wouldn't leave them and even if they did, their love would always remain with them.
Voices from the front seat kept her from staying awake. The little girl wanted to know what they were all about, but all she could remember were angels closing her eyes and sweet dreams keeping her from thinking about that tunnel.