This is a short story I wrote last year for an English assignment about 9/11 from the Twin Towers’ point-of-view.
Also, the title sucks. Do you guys have better ideas?
I stand tall above the gridded streets of New York, breathing in the smoggy air weighted on the city like a smothering blanket. The roads are choked with dust and traffic and cars and litter. But this high up, I have an unobstructed view of the clouds roaming through the blue sky and the birds flapping about.
I am the tallest in the area and I truly scrape the sky. The others jut out of the ground beneath me, like sparkling stalagmites in an urban cave. Only my twin, the one who shares my design, comes close, six feet beneath me.
From my place leaps and bounds above the tiny people, I watch the city grow and breathe. The seasons come and go, snow covering the cityscape in a layer of frosty white powder, and the lone flower pushing its way through the concrete at my feet.
Towers rise and fall. The city is always changing. Always in perpetual motion.
I feel the wind blow against my sides, trying to pull me from the ground. And I feel the rain beating down, flushing the people from the streets of my city into the protective arms of inside.
The days are sparkling and bright, the sunlight bouncing off the cresting waves in the water and the glass city. The nights are effervescent, like a glass of champagne. The people are owls, never sleeping. They roam my streets.
New York at night is a city of starlight. Like the night sky itself had descended and decided to call my city its home.
The day of my Collapse was unfitting for the destruction of such a lovely creation of glass and steel. The skies were a perfect blue, like the color of dreams, with puffy white clouds floating through like the sails of ships flying somewhere far away.
It was the day of Collapse and Destruction and Fire and Death. The sky should have cried for us, the fallen.
But my faithful friend, the sky, didn’t cry. He stayed bright and beautiful, hovering over the city. It was a day that shouted that nothing could go wrong.
Until the sky was choked by smoke and ashes from the burning ruins of my city, the collapsing rubble smoking and burying my people alive.
I don’t know if I saw the plane coming. Or if I saw it, I didn’t notice it. It was nothing special. Another bird, another plane, another cloud in the big blue sky. Planes passing overhead was a normal occurrence. It had become mundane. A routine. A fact of life.
I didn’t see it until it came too close, its wingtips blazing in the morning sun. Even if I had seen it before it was far too late, there is nothing I could’ve done but await my Collapse, for I am rooted to the ground.
I think it would’ve been harder if I had known what awaited my fate. To stand there and know what was to happen and do nothing. To be helpless in the face of demise.
The plane was a pinprick in the sky. Nothing but a dollop of color in the painting of the city. But it grew larger and larger as it came closer and closer. It took on the sharp teeth and claws of monsters. The horns of demons. The shadow of death. And I took the fear it doled generously like candy at a fair.
I think the first impact was the worst. See, I cannot feel pain as humans do, for I am constructed of imagination and glass and steel and I am nothing but a building. A mere structure to raise and level. But I am so much more. The people make lives inside me. Lacing my insides with love and hate and joy and tears. And although I cannot feel pain, I can feel the horror that comes with the sight of a plane crashing into me.
I feel as the steel of my spine folds into itself, folding like a sheet of paper being made into a bird. My glass shattering, raining down on the people below.
I feel the screams as the people inside of me try to flee, but they are trapped in my too-narrow stairs. I feel as they are crushed by me, the building they trusted to keep them safe from the rain.
A pillar of smoke rises into the sky, ash raining from the sky like the tears of flame. I breathe in and dust coats my insides. I watch as pieces of me fall to the streets, shattering into a million pieces and disappearing forever.
People pour from my doors. I watch them leave in masses and think of the ones still trapped in me. I can feel their hurried footsteps, their quick and frightened breaths. I urge them to go on. To leave me behind and be saved. Saved the way I know that I cannot be.
Some of the courageous fight against the river of people, struggling to get inside me. To get others outside, to the idea of safety. Even though they know that the last sky that they will ever see was full of smoke.
The fire rages, and the glass of my windows warp and twist. The glass no longer crystal and beautiful.
I thought that I would never fall. One of the only buildings in the city that the people could never bear to part with. I would live in the city forever, watching as it changed around me. But the change never touching me.
But here I am, falling. I fall in stages. Great, shuddering gasps as gravity pulls me down to the ground, from which I was so far before.
My brother collapses first. Other buildings fall around us, eaten away by the fire.
I can still hear his screams as his last breath is taken and he is nothing but a pile of rubble littering the ground. I can still hear the screams of the people that were inside him.
The last thing that remains in my memory is the sound of fires blazing and the sight of sirens blaring and the dust drowning the sky.
© ARACHNID WEAVER 2018