Doing something that almost seems routine I wouldn't have expected this to happen

Naïve as a child of only nine, and ignoring the evil in the world

I never thought the fine powdery flakes that fell from the sky were a sign that something bad was to happen

I can so clearly remember standing in the street playing with a good friend

The puny white clumps falling like the snow we never got

Fluttering gently down, I reached by hand up to catch one

And I watched as it turned to small bits between my rubbing fingers

White began to dot the black street, and dusty clouds seemed to be coming closer

Not long after, the white powder began to become suffocating

I couldn't help but get them up my nose and in my mouth

The smell of smoke grew closer, and I began to cough

My mother ran outside to get me, and my friend was ushered upstairs to her condo

My mother warned me that I needed a mask to go outside

My dad gave me one

It smelled like old plastic and dust

Later that night I was rushed to bed, unaware that the powder was a piece of someone's memories that I had crushed in my hands and shoes

The very things that had gotten into my lungs and brought the smoke

I drifted to sleep, unaware of the future

My dad burst into my room and yelled at me to get up and pack my things

I didn't understand and went outside

The blasting noise of a siren hit me the instant I opened the door

An officer was driving throughout the condos warning everyone to evacuate

Fear went through me, I knew what this meant

Our house was going to get burned down in a blaze of flames and everything inside would be gone forever

I packed everything I could into a little princess carrion I had

Everything else, I carried in my arms

We packed the car full, barely enough room for Missy's stuff

I remember Mom proposing we leave the dog

I remember getting angry and picking her up

We ended up spending the night at my grandma's

The late night news said that school was closed

I was scared

My mom ushered me to go to bed

And somehow, I fell asleep

The next morning, we found out we could go home

The nightmare was over

But for others, it was still very much real.