Wayland Middle School's Literary Magazine

Dead Bloom, chapter 1 by Ashley Zhu

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18

Iris was dead.

It was strange, even as she regained consciousness there was no doubt in her mind that she had died. She opened her eyes to the same hospital room she had languished in for months. It had the same soft blue walls plastered with health promoting posters and odd paintings. The same TV still jutted out from the wall across her bed, slightly crooked. Various boxes and crates still lined the shelf on the right side of her bed. There was only two differences in the room. One was the view from the window, instead of a busy parking lot and barren garden, a never ending expanse of white, almost like the sky, bathed the room in cold light. The other change was the flowers on the bedside table. Cheerful yellow roses, soft pink chrysanthemums, and fresh picked daisies surrounded by branches of thyme were replaced with four white lilies, arcing gracefully out of the now dry vase; the cut ends of their stems already starting to shrivel.

Throwing off the blanket draped over her body, Iris heaved herself up to see what was going on outside the room. She opened the door to a sea of bobbing heads. Hundreds upon thousands of people were all running in the same direction down a long, wide hallway. They ran in a trance like state, looking straight ahead, never turning, even when someone slammed into them from behind. A door appeared in the wall opposite to Iris, and man darted out, immediately joining the swarm. A mass of different outfits blended together, turning the throng of people into a river of hospital gowns, military uniforms, hiking gear, swim suits, everyday clothing and more. Looking more closely, Iris realized that every single person was barefoot, unshod feet slapping against the white floor. Iris stepped out of the room, trying to see what the people were running to, and was bulldozed over, sprawling onto the ground. Desperately, she struggled to stand, only able to get her knees a foot off the ground before she was launched forward again, landing on her palms, neck snapping backwards at the unexpected impact. Again and again, Iris was rammed forwards, backwards, left, right, pushed down until her nose kissed the floor. Craning her neck to look for the door she came out of, Iris watched, despair growing as it faded back into solid wall. More and more people added to the stampede as doors appeared and disappeared. Scrambling, Iris managed to claw her way to the wall, plastering her body on top of it. Suddenly, the solid support against her back dematerialized and plunged her backwards into darkness.


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