#175 Sirens

by Mary Hartel

You can’t always hear it, but it’s always there.

I gaze out the window, cars zoom past. I can hear the sirens, flashing, and fading away. I can hear them screaming, as nothing but hope, and despair, runs through their veins. I can hear them fighting the infamous battle. I sit there and watch our world go round, bursting with life and death.

To fear one is to fear the other. To be one is to be the other. When I stare at my reflection, nothing’s changed. Yet everything’s different. As each blaring gaudy truck goes by, it’s just a reminder of how many lives have been lost, how many battles have been won. And how much suffering still out there. The signals are like a cuckoo clock, chiming every hour, and reminding us of what our world really is—

“—Vanessa, come, darling supper’s ready.” I rise and go eat the roast and potatoes with my family. After that, my dad helps me finish up my math homework, I check Facebook, and update my status to “can’t wait until the weekend! Sleepover with @TerryLogal!!!! Gonna be fun!:)” And then watch the new episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians.

That night, I lie in bed awake, until I once again hear the familiar whistles of the sirens passing by, like bells of terror. You cannot beat the inevitable, you just have to die, live, but most of all fight at its commands.

I fall asleep, thinking, just another day.

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