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This is the second story I ever wrote. The assignment was to finish this sentence: It was a freezing day in ______ as I stepped out of the elevator to the sound of ______.

This story was written while Ronald Reagan was in office.

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It was a freezing day in the city as I stepped out of the elevator to the sound of the fire alarm going off. I ran through the office to get to the fire escape, but when I got to the office, everyone was just sitting down doing their job, completely ignoring the loud fire alarm. They said it was just another drill and we had too much work to do to waste time on a false alarm. I was terrified because I could smell the smoke, but I couldn't convince anyone that there really was a fire. I walked over and felt the door to the fire escape; it was burning hot. Then the flames started consuming the walls around us and the room was getting so full of smoke I was choking, but even with the fire in plain sight, I couldn't convince anyone that it was real. They just sat there doing their work, insisting it was a drill and paying no attention to the fire alarm or the fire.

Slowly I realized that the sound of the fire alarm was actually my alarm clock going off and I was safely in bed, but what I didn't realize was that my dream was merely a premonition of what was to come. After sleeping through the alarm for 15 minutes, I shot out of bet, got dressed, and wolfed down part of a hamburger left over from dinner, all at the same time. I just barely made it to the bus stop in time to catch the bus for work. I had been at work for 30 minutes when they broadcast over the radio at 7:45 a.m. that Russia had launched a full scale nuclear attack and our radar detected over one hundred warheads headed for the Continental United States. They said our country was not prepared for the attack and we had twenty minutes to do whatever we were going to do before the bombs started to explode all over the U.S.

We had over six hundred people at work in our building that day, and everyone was trying to leave at the same time. The elevator was made to hold no more than fifteen people, but we managed to squeeze in twenty five. Somehow it held up under the load and made it safely to the bottom floor, where we all crowded out and fought to get out the front door. It was amazing no one got trampled in the fight to leave.

Once outside, there were mobs of people running down the street with the cold harshness of terror on their faces. Everyone was shouting and crying hysterically, fearing for their lives. There were two children crying that had been separated from their parents, begging for someone to help them find their family, but it was hopeless to search for anyone in the mass of people. The traffic was already bumper to bumper with horns blaring, and the mobs of people on the sidewalks were moving faster than the cars.

I really didn't know what to do or where to go, (How can you escape a nuclear blast?) so I just started running aimlessly down the street with the crowd. I tried to sort out the facts and figure out what had actually caused this attack. I knew that electing President Jesse Jackson was a mistake. He was against building a stronger military and stopped Ronald Reagan's Star Wars (Strategic Defense Initiative) project cold. He sold off almost 1/2 of our strategic weapons for money he felt would be better spent on Affirmative Action and HUD. What good would that do us now? The Russians had sworn revenge on the United States after (Ex-President) George Bush launched what they considered to be an unprovoked attack on Syria, their sister country, but Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev was too afraid of him to do anything about it. President Jackson's attitude against the military gave Gorbachev just the advantage he needed.

Wham! I hit the pavement face first. A giant of a man with grey hair knocked me down as he ran by screaming, "It's the end of the world! Run for your life!" I rolled out of the way as fast as I could so I wouldn't get trampled in the crowd. I hoped that my family didn't hear about the attack; that way they wouldn't have to go through this fear and hysteria. If they were still in bed asleep, they wouldn't even know what had hit them. That would be best. I slowly stood up and reached in my jacket for my cigarettes. They weren't there! I had left the building in such a daze that I forgot them. I was freezing in my light jacket and having a nicotine fit to boot, so I headed back to work to get my cigarettes. If I was going to die, I wanted to have at least one more smoke. Even someone about to be executed is allowed that much.

I fought my way through the crowd of people and was halfway back to work when suddenly, there was a bright light from the north, like another sun. The cars stopped dead and the whole mob of people turned and looked in awe as the top of a mushroom cloud formed over the horizon. They must have hit the naval submarine base in Kings Bay, Georgia. I knew there wasn't much time left before they'd blow Mayport or the Naval Air Station off the map, so I stared running back as fast as my feet would carry me through the mob, driven by the obsession of smoking my last cigarette. I imagined how good it would taste and could almost feel the cigarette on my lips. Then there was a blinding white light...

Copyright (c) 1986. All Rights Reserved.

Last updated by LadyBlue Friday, June 10, 2005 07:18 PM