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Death Touched Me When I Was Eight

by Denise Willis about a month ago in Short Story
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I will never be a child again

Death Touched Me When I Was Eight
Photo by Chirag Dulyan on Unsplash

The story and the child in the picture are fictional, and the account of what happened that day at Rob Elementary school is a fictional account of what a child may have seen. Nineteen students and two teachers died at the hands of an unbalanced young man with no parental guidance to fall back on. He shot his grandmother before going to the school to attack innocent children and posted it on social media.

We must make changes to keep from losing any more innocent lives. Any child that went through that horrible experience and lived will have PTSD and needs the best psychological counseling available. I hope all the children who went through that horrific day get the help they need.

Thank you for taking the time to read this story.


I turned eight last week and got the bike I wanted forever! Dad got it for me, I know, cause Mom would never let me have a nice bike until I was twelve. They won't let me ride it to school, but school is almost out for this year!

It's six in the morning; my room is dark. I'm staring at the ceiling, thinking about the program we're putting on for our parents today and that next week is the last week of school before summer. My part in today's program is small, but Mom will be proud of me. Dad has to work and can't come because he has a challenging job. He's a cop, but I can't call him that in front of anyone; still not sure why.

I got up early and got ready for school, my chest filled with joy about how close summer was, and off I went with my younger sister and my best friend, Tony. The three of us always hung out together. Tony was imitating a monkey and making fart noises under his arm. I couldn't stop laughing, and the more I laughed, the more my sister laughed. Being silly was contagious, and we were good at acting stupid.

The program went great! My Mom waved from the third row of smiling parents sitting in the gym, and I ignored it because I was too old for that stuff. On the way back to class, all of us kids hurled goofy jokes about the program around; Tony was still making those farting sounds, and a few parents lingered to walk back to class with us. My stomach was rumbling, but it was too soon for lunch. I forgot to stuff some snacks in my pockets and felt the hunger pangs. It was getting closer to lunchtime when I saw a dark figure enter the classroom, clutching a large rifle with a crazed look on his face. My heart raced, and my neck felt stiff, my body unable to react. Was he going to kill us, or was he running away from something? All sorts of thoughts ran through my mind, each more horrific than the last. I had a knot in my stomach and proceeded to get sick when the dark man shot the teacher and laughed. Then he turned the gun on the classroom with a twisted smile. I was shaking inside.

I could see the teacher in the adjoining room open the window and begin pushing kids out the window, and I wished I was one of them. The guy with the gun continued shooting at us randomly. Fear coursed through my body, and I couldn't think. I pulled out my cell, dialed 911, and tried to tell the cops what was going on, but when I stood up and put the phone back in my pocket, I slipped on some blood and slammed hard onto the tile floor before darkness consumed me. The next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital with my head bandaged and aching.

I am among the lucky kids that survived that horrible morning. My best friend Tony wasn't so fortunate, and neither was my little sister in the next room. The tears rolled down my face when I thought about the blood, my friends in pain and screaming. I wondered why God spared me; my sister and friends died.

My bike doesn't mean as much to me anymore, and I would gladly give it up if it would bring back even one of my friends or my sister. Life will never be the same for me again.

Short Story

About the author

Denise Willis

I love art as much as writing, and when the world feels dark, I get out my paper and colored pencils and draw while listening to music. When my husband and I were going through a divorce, journaling is what got me through that..

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