Near To Me

Mercy Lee is sitting in front of her highschool, in the green and manicured
lawn, eating her lunch. She brushes stray strands of her long, auburn hair
from her face as she takes a bite from her sandwich. There she is; real,
alive, and near to me.

I walk across the parking lot. This is as close as I could get. So little
time to save her. I feel my heart thumping in my ears. My throat is tight.
Have I come soon enough?

I make it to the little courtyard in front of the school where Mercy sits.
She has stopped eating her sandwhich, and is looking up at me. She smiles.
Those pictures never showed how beautiful she is, here and now.

“Hello.” Mercy says. She places her sandwhich down on her lunch bag. She
offers her hand. For a moment I just look down at her. I’ve finally made it
to her. I take her hand.

“My name’s Mercy.” She says. “How are you?”
I don’t reply. I just pull her to her feet.
.
I hear doors slam out in the parking lot. The two gunmen are walking our
way, laughing. So little time left.

“They’re here Mercy. We must go.” I tell her. I try to pull her towards the
soccer field, to safety. The gunmen never went there on this day. She’ll
live if she follows me.

“What’s going on.” Mercy asks, refusing to follow. I turn to her, look into
her gentle eyes.
“Those two students, Rick and Joe, are going to attack the commons area and
kill as many people as they can. I must get you too safety.
“No.” Is all she says.

She pulls her arm free of my hand. She runs across the courtyard, to the
front doors. Rick and Joe are, maybe, fifty feet away. I run after her.

Mercy makes it to the doors. I’m too far behind. I cannot catch her.

“Everyone! Run! Someone’s coming to hurt you!” I hear her shout. She’s
standing in the door, holding it open. I’m almost to her. I’m stretching out
my arm. I few students turn to look at her.

A loud shot rings in my ear. Another one. Mercy‘s body writhes, then falls
to the ground. Rick and Joe are laughing. The students turn to see where
Mercy has fallen, sees the others with their guns. Everyone starts to run.

I slam my body into Rick, knocking him to the ground. He hits the cement
sidewalk, yells a swear. I try to wrestle away his gun.

Joe kicks me in the back of the head, and pulls me away off of Rick. He
holds the gun on me while I lay helpless on the ground. He smiles like a
viper. Then he fires.

Rick and Joe enter the school. I crawl over to Mercy, leaving a trail of
blood like a wounded slug. She is already gone. I could not save her.

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