Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Short Story » Historical Fiction

E - Everyone

The Day the World Fell Apart

by hermione2001


NOTES: I have a little note before you begin reading. First, 9/11 means a lot to me. With it comes anger, grief, etc. I could have lost family members to those terrorist attacks that day had they not passed away the year before. Also, my parents had lived just outside of New York a few years before that happened. Had God not called my family to move, we could have been affected by that horrific event. Personally, I was three months old so I don't remember much of anything but I have done research and it is a subject I know a lot about. Some stuff I need help with: can someone who knows NYC well direct me as to where people would most likely live, and go to escape 9/11. I just put random names (Manhattan and Queens) in when in reality, I have no idea where they are. As always I thank you for your comments/ reviews! -Hermione

9/11/01 12:00pm EST Manhattan

Chaos. Pure chaos. People everywhere, flooding the streets. Screaming, crying, yelling into phones. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. It felt like the world was closing in around me. The reality? The world was ending. The strongest country in the world could be gone, diminished in the next hours. The Twin Tours had fallen. It was rumored thousands were dead. And nobody knew what to do. I pushed my way through the crowd trying to figure out what to do next. Do I go home? Or try to find my family?

9/11/01 8:00am EST Manhattan

The first period bell rang. History. Wonderful. I trudged into the room, mad at my parents because I couldn’t stay home. Lucy did. That was my younger sister. She was in 8th grade and my parents practically bowed down to her. When she was four she had a major allergic reaction to nuts and latex. She was in the hospital for a week. The entire time spent in the ICU. She almost died. Since then my parents have babied her. She gets whatever she wants, whenever she wants. Today, Lucy was “feeling short of breath and Momma, I just need rest.” The truth? She had a major history test she didn’t study for the night before. My mind wandered back to class. I had taken my seat and Mrs. Hadley had said something to me. I looked up at her with a blank expression on her face. She smiled and repeated herself, “Can I use your presentation as a ___ for the class today?”

“Oh. Yes, that’s fine,” I replied. She nodded, and I handed it to her.

“Thank you dear.”

“You’re welcome.” My mood had brightened slightly but soon plummeted like a rollercoaster when three classmates walked in together. They were the “mean” girls. They were loved by the faculty and staff but hated by all students. Their names were Beatrice, Brooklyn and Emily. But everyone calls them the Bees as in Queen Bees. I like to call them the Dictator Bees. They sat down chirping a sweet hello to Mrs. Hadley and then, when her back was turned, cast judgmental looks towards me and my outfit. Today it was jeans, a t-shirt and a bomber jacket. I shrank under the gazes and focused on Mrs. Hadley. Would this day ever end?

9/11/01 12:15pm EST

I pushed my way through the crowd trying to gather my thoughts. I had to find them. Good think Lucy was home. Oh God! Lucy! What would she be thinking? Was she OK? We were only a few blocks away from the World Trade buildings! I ran in the direction of home. I stumbled and fell. I hit my head and blacked out for a minute. When I woke up, a familiar face loomed above me blocking out most of the noise. It was Jacques. But everyone called him Jacq. He had been my crush since last year. Now, amid chaos, here he was.

“Julie?” He said concern filling his beautiful emerald green eyes.

“Jacq.” I replied quietly. He stooped down and helped me sit up.

“Are you OK?”

“Umm… I think.” I replied blushing deeply. He smiled then his expression got more serious.

“What were you doing running in the direction of the Towers?” My eyes shifted to the ground studying my shoes.

“My family lives six blocks away and my sister is home sick. My Dad works in WTC 7 and my mom was shopping around there this morning.” His face fell.

“Have you heard from your sister?”

“No.” he nodded and then turned, heading in the direction of the towers.

“Come on.”

“Where are you going?”

“To get your sister.” I ran up behind him and pulled him back.

“Jacq! It’s too dangerous.”

“No. My parents were over there too. I need to Julie.” His voice broke a little.

“Ok.” We ran towards the towers.A few people yelled at us to go back. In about 30 minutes we reached my apartment building. I looked past it. And my throat clenched. Jacq pushed me into the lobby. It was dead silent. Hank, the doorman wasn’t seated at the front desk. There was no one bustling in an out running errands. It was just me and Jacq.

We decided to take the stairs just in case and as we were climbing them I heard a crash that sounded like a bomb going off. Then I heard screams. Again, I fought back tears. Jacq must have sensed this because he grabbed my hand and pulled me faster up the stairs. Finally, we reached the 12th floor, where our apartment was.

“It’s 21B.” I said as we ran down the hall. We arrived, and I pulled my key out of my backpack. My hand shook so hard I couldn’t fit it in the keyhole. Jacq took it and unlocked the door. We hurried in.

“Lucy?” I called. No answer I tried again, “Lucy!” Nothing. I became panicked and started searching through the rooms. She wasn’t in the living room, kitchen or her room. Not in the bathroom. I opened the door to my bedroom. She was on the floor passed out.

“LUCY!” I screamed. I fell to the floor beside her and started checking her. She hadn’t done anything to herself. He face was swollen and I spotted tons of hives on her cheeks.

“Go get an EpiPen! They are on the counter in the kitchen grab two and dial 911. Jacq ran and did as I said. I leaned over Lucy and rolled her on her back. Her heart was still beating but barely. She must have come in here to use my phone, but I had no idea what she reacted too. I started chess compressions praying the whole time for Jacques to hurry up. I gave Lucy two breaths, but her chest didn’t rise. She must have had an asthma attack as well. I continued compressions until Jacq came back. He threw the EpiPen’s and I grabbed one and stabbed Lucy’s thigh with it. Then I grabbed the inhaler while Jacq took over the compressions and forced it into her mouth and gave her two puffs. No response. I took the other EpiPen and stabbed her again. This time, her eyes fluttered open. She looked at me, a terrified expression on her face.

“Lucy! Oh, thank God! What happened?” I said, “never mind, I need to call 911.”

I dialed, and the phone rang and rang and rang. ON what seemed like the hundredth ring, someone picked up.

“911 what’s your emergency?” but in a hollow, exhausted voice.

“Hello? I’ve just come home, and my sister had a sever allergy attack and an asthma attack at the same time!”

“Ok honey. What’s your name?”

“Juliet Rosalia Clairmont.”

“OK. Are your parents there?”

“No. They’re….” She understood.

“OK. Have you administered epinephrine and an inhaler?”

“Yes. I used two EpiPens and an inhaler before she came too.”

“Ok. Good. Now where are you now?”

“I’m in the Hillsborough Apartment buildings. We’re about 6 blocks from the World Trade.

“I can’t send paramedics to you, but do you think she can walk? We need to get you to a hospital that isn’t overrun. And you need to leave your building. It’s not safe. “

“Yes ma’am.”

“Alright. Do you have family in other parts of the city?”

“Yes. In Queens.”

“Good. I need you to go there. See if she can walk or if you can carry her or support her. Your goal right now is to get out of there. Take extra Epipens and an inhaler. And be prepared to go slowly. Do you understand?”

“Yes ma’am. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome sweetie. I hope you get there safely.”

“Ok.”

“Alright, goodbye. I’ll be praying for you.”

“Thank you. Goodbye.” I set the phone down and we gathered Lucy to her feet. With that began our journey across New York City. Once, one of the most active and flourishing cities of the world, it was now left in decay, ruin and grief.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
22 Reviews


Points: 42
Reviews: 22

Donate
Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:45 pm
AutumnDawn wrote a review...



this story it.... it... just perfect. the perfect mixed of history.
while I was reading it towards the end I felt tears brimming my eyes because how beautiful .
the ending is just perfect.


--------
“Yes ma’am. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome sweetie. I hope you get there safely.”

“Ok.”

“Alright, goodbye. I’ll be praying for you.”

“Thank you. Goodbye.” I set the phone down and we gathered Lucy to her feet. With that began our journey across New York City. Once, one of the most active and flourishing cities of the world, it was now left in decay, ruin and grief.


-------

9/11 was the day where the whole of United States came together as a nation and as a family to face the threat they had just find out about.
if you are interested in 9/11 you should probably check this stuff out.

United 93 - movie (it made cry because of how brave they were.)

102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers - Jim Dwyer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_s ... 11_attacks (didn't know which ones to pick out. )

it really hurts to know that it takes a devastating event to bring America. I wish we could get together just because we are AMERICA.

- thanks so much for the beautiful short story.




Random avatar

Points: 4
Reviews: 6

Donate
Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:56 pm
santiesther wrote a review...



Hi there,
This a very cool story, and personally I absolutely love the concept of historical fiction, or taking things that really happened and putting characters that may not have existed inside of them.
I loved that this story made a point of focusing on one character and stuck with it. It made it less confusing to read than some other POV or attempted POV stories that I've read. I also want to slightly caution you against long periods of uninterrupted dialogue. I had trouble following what was going on during the long dialogue sequence in the middle.
Also, I loved the whole "EST" diary-entry-esque idea that you had in the beginning, but abandoning it in the second half of the story took away from the choppy effect that this story would have had. I'm not sure if that's what you were going for, but it certainly would have been cool :)
Nice job!




User avatar
57 Reviews


Points: 548
Reviews: 57

Donate
Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:30 pm
1nspire wrote a review...



This is a really cool story. I loved the way that the first sentence immediately grabs the reader's attention! Also, I think the title is great and describes these events perfectly.

I have a few suggestions that I think will help improve the story. In the 1st paragraph at 12:15 I would've liked to see more varied sentence structure, as many of the sentences begin with I.

Secondly, I would suggest showing the reader some of the details rather than just telling them. For example, when the girls walk into the classroom, I don't think that it's necessary to specify that they are the "mean girls" since you do a great job of describing them afterwards.

Lastly, in the line " The strongest country in the world could be gone, diminished in the next hours." I don't think diminished is the right world to convey this idea. I think that "demolished" or "destroyed" would be better suited. They are slight hyperboles, but based on how the narrator is feeling, I think that an extreme statement is necessary.

Aside from that, this piece was very well written. Great work, hope you have a great day!




User avatar
1137 Reviews


Points: 50080
Reviews: 1137

Donate
Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:12 am
Carlito wrote a review...



Hey hermione! (hermione here :p)

Great topic! I was nine on 9/11 so I still have some pretty vivid memories. My brother also lives there now and I've been there several times to visit. I've been to the new freedom towers, the 9/11 memorial, and through the 9/11 museum (which is super well done and I highly recommend if you ever have the opportunity to go. super sobering and raw).

First, to address your questions about NYC. I'm no expert, but like I said, my brother lives in Manhattan and I've been there many times to visit :)
The trade centers were in Manhattan which is one of the five boroughs. Within Manhattan are neighborhoods (and these are fairly large areas). As you can see here the trade centers were located in lower manhattan in the financial district. From my knowledge, people don't live in that neighborhood (i could be wrong though...). The two neighborhoods closest to the financial district are Chinatown and Tribeca. Tribeca, from my understanding is super trendy and expensive and famous people live there (not sure if that was the case in 2001). I've been through Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Soho, and Tribeca and they're all pretty expensive, trendy places to live. Not that a family couldn't live there, that's just what I've heard of them from my brother. And it could have been different in 2001, don't know.

I found this forum about the dust on 9/11 from when the buildings came down and how far it traveled. I'm thinking of when they go back to try to find the sister. They would likely be covered in dust, everything around them would likely be covered in dust, and the apartment would also be covered in thick dust if they were only a few blocks away. I read that the dust from the buildings was all over Manhattan and traveled even farther than that.

As far as where they could go to escape. I remember hearing many people fled across the bridge to Brooklyn. If she lives in lower Manhattan getting to Brooklyn would be faster and easier than getting to Queens, but if she has to go to Queens, she has to go to Queens. Map of the boroughs. But, remember that on that day all transportation was completely shut down. There were no buses or taxis or subways in operation. Everyone was on foot.

I like that you focus on one family and even one girl as she navigates through this day because there are soooooooooooooooo many individual stories of what people went through on that day.

I think my biggest qualm is that I felt like we were missing some pieces and I wanted more info. It also starts to fall into telling territory rather than showing territory. I think you should go chronological but still include the times because certain times on that day are ingrained in us at this point and I think that adds a good punch. I think you should start with the moment she finds out what happened and really dig into how she finds out, what her immediate reaction is, what the reaction is around her, and the chaos that ensues. Through that reaction we can learn that her sister is at home and her mom is in one of the buildings. Show us the total panic. Show the teachers trying to organize everyone and keep people calm. Show how she's able to get out of the school and her processing what her plan is because she's alone and she can't get through to anyone. Etc.

When she reaches her sister and calls 911, I wouldn't expect her to be able to get through. The phone lines were clogged and the emergency crews were obviously already all in service. I think they would have been totally on their own.

And then what happens? How do they get out? Remember it will be super hard to breathe at this point if they're in lower manhattan after the towers go down. There will be dust and debris everywhere. Sirens and emergency crews everyone. Total and complete panic and chaos.

Overall though, I love the overall sentiment of the piece and I think it's awesome that you want to pay homage to the events of that day <3
Let me know if you have any questions or if you'd like feedback about something I didn't mention! :D




User avatar
18 Reviews


Points: 607
Reviews: 18

Donate
Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:22 pm
carlak2003 says...



Aww, this story is so relatable to so many people.
I love how you made it as if it was your own sister.
I love that you made a little note at the top. To be honest I couldn't write how you can and interpret many different things into one story




hermione2001 says...


Thank you so much! I am really passionate about this so it's awesome that someone enjoyed it. If you want, I can give you some tips on how I write stuff like this. Just message me and I'll let you know! It's totally up to you! Thank you for reading! -Hermione




*cries into coffee*
— LadyLizz