Light giggles run through the small children’s bedroom. Pastel pink and blue wallpaper wrapped around the walls with white vertical stripes that ran from the ceiling to the tan trip outlining the floor. Two twin beds with matching bedding sat against the walls across from one another. A singular nightstand sat between them with a lamp on it.
In the middle of the room was a circular table set with all the fixings for tea parties. A total of four place settings sat around the table with white tea cups and matching saucers. The small wooden chairs were filled with stuffed animals propped in them; a white rabbit, a maroon teddy bear, and an army green fox.
An eight year old female child drank from the tea cup in front of her that was filled with water that she pretended was tea. She hummed softly a little tune as she swayed gently from side to side in the chair. Her raven hair was tied up in a loose ponytail at the base of her neck.
She wore a pink princess dress that reached her knees with long white socks and a pair of black Mary Jane’s. Atop her head was a plastic tiara and white gloves wrapped around her arms, covering her fingers.
Samantha reached over to the teapot and used both of her hands to pick it up, pouring herself more water in her cup. She set it down carefully as not to spill the water inside. “Want another animal cracker, Mr. Teddy?” The little girl asked with a grin that reached ear to ear. She placed an animal cracker on the small plate in front of the teddy bear.
“You are very welcome, Mr. Teddy.” She chimed, nodding her head a little. Her fingers moved around to the back of her head and absently played with her hair, twirling it around her fingers. “I think I might ask mommy to cut my hair. What do you guys think?” She asked, lowering her hands to her lap and lightly patted her knees in an alternating pattern.
She shook her head from side to side, feeling the wisps of the ends of her hair tickling her cheeks. A giggle escaped her lips and her hands shot up to her cheeks, halting her shaking head.
There was a knock on the door frame and her mother walked in, a smile on her lips when she saw her little girl playing while using her imagination. Her giggling and smiling always made her day. “Good morning Sam. We have to pick up your sister from her friend’s house in a few minutes. Think you could get ready for me on your own while I get lunch made so we can all go to the park for our picnic?”
The moment her mother walked into the room, Sam turned her head to look at her. The grin on her lips grew larger and she nodded her head furiously. “Of course I can get ready on my own! I put on this dress all by myself!”
Her dress was on backwards with the tag hanging out the front. It was a rather valiant effort on the little girl’s part.
Beatrice walked further into the room and kneeled down next to her daughter, her smile growing ever larger and softer. She placed a kiss on her forehead. “Alright. I’ll come get you in five minutes, okay? Come downstairs when you’re ready to go. Love you, sweetheart.”
Sam nodded her head with the smile that never seemed to leave her features. “‘Course mommy! I’ll be right there! Leave it to me!” She proclaimed proudly, raising her hand to her forehead in a playful salute.
“I love you too.” Beatrice replied as she stood to her feet and proceeded to walk to the door, giving her daughter a wave before finally leaving.
“Okay…Time to get ready.” Sam mumbled to herself. She pushed herself off of the chair and walked over to her white painted wood dresser that she shared with her sister. She picked out a black tank top and pair of green pants, lasting plucking her maroon pullover sweater. She placed the clothing she picked out onto her bed and changed out of her princess dress to put on the clothing she set out.
Once she was done, Sam walked out of the bedroom and down the hall, her fingers tracing along the walls. She descended down the stairs with her hand on the railing while she skipped down the stairs gleefully, jumping down on the last step to the hardwood floor. She rounded the corner and pranced into the kitchen to lean against the cupboards.
“Ready to go mom! Need any help with the lunches?” Sam asked.
Beatrice looked down at Sam and shook her head. “No. I’m just finishing up. But thank you for the offer.” She folded the four paper bags closed and placed them inside of a wicker basket. When she took it from the table she hooked the handle in the crook of her elbow.
The front door opened up and closed. The sounds of footsteps soon followed. “I’m home!” A deep gruff male voice called out before the footsteps became louder.
“Daddy’s home!” Sam exclaimed happily, clapping her hands giddily. She rushed to her father and wrapped her arms around his legs, hugging them tight.
Her father reached down and ruffled up her dark hair with his hand, a chuckle rumbling in his throat. “It’s nice to see you too, Sam.”
“Welcome home, Adam. How was the office?” Beatrice asked while making her way to her husband. She leaned in for a quick peck on the lips and he happily kissed her back. A smile sat on her lips.
“It was the same as always. Nothing that I couldn’t handle.” Adam answered with a slight shrug of his shoulders. He leaned down and picked up Sam, propping her up on his hip. “Do you mind if I join in on picking up your sister, Sam?” He asked, looking down to his daughter with a smile.
“Mmm…nope!” Sam replied, humming softly as she shook her head. “I’m sure that she’ll be happy to see you with me and mommy when we pick her up from the sleepover and go to the park for our picnic.”
“We should get going then. We don’t want to keep your sister waiting, do we?” Her father remarked, tapping the end of his daughter’s nose with his finger to receive a giggle from his little girl.
With that, Adam carried Sam to the car and Beatrice wasn’t far behind them. They got into their little white red-seater car and buckled themselves in. Her mother sat in the driver’s seat, her father in the passengers seat, and Sam was in the right side of the backseat. The basket had been set in the middle back and would be between the two girls.
With the press of a button, the garage door opened up and Beatrice started the car. She shifted it into reverse and turned around, placing her hand on the back of the passengers seat to back the car out of the garage. Once she had successfully done so, she faced forward and pressed the button to close the garage door. After that, she finished backing the car out of the driveway and put the car in drive to begin their journey to pick up their other daughter from her friend’s house.
As they began the drive, Sam’s brown eyes wandered to the window and stared at the outside as it passed her by. A smile sat on her lips as she lightly bounced, excited to see her sister and hear all about her sleepover.
The radio came to life with a press of the button and soft music filled the car as it drove onto the streets of the large metropolis city of Estoa.
Sam watched as her imagination awakened in the car, seeing her stuffed animals come to life outside of the car. They appeared on the sidewalks and ran at the same speed as car was going, keeping up with it effortlessly. Mr. Rabbit hopped over the black steel street lamps, Mr. Teddy raced Mr. Fox on the sidewalks. The fox easily weaved through the bear’s feet in attempts to win their race.
“Go! Go! Go!” The little girl cheered, “G–“
Their car suddenly came to a stop as the car in front of them slammed on their brakes as they crossed the intersection. The cars driving perpendicular to them stepped on the accelerator to t-bone the white car.
The windshield and the other windows on the car shattered from the impact. The hood of the car bent upward and exposed the engine. The metal doors caved in, making it impossible to escape from the inside.
Bits of metal and glass flew everywhere, littering the streets. Smoke bellowed from the four cars involved in the crash.
Sirens ran in the distance and rang louder as they neared the scene of the car accident. When the impact came, Sam lurched forward and banged her head against the back of the passengers seat. Her head throbbed and she rubbed her head with her hands. She looked up to find her parents, battered and bloodied with glass and metal shrapnel lodged in them. She looked at their chests to see if they were breathing and her eyes widened when their chests were still.
“M-Mommy…d-d-daddy?” She slithered out of her seatbelt and climbed over the console to shake her parents awake. Tears welled up in her eyes when she made the realization that they weren’t waking up. “No…we need to pick up my sister…we…you need to wake up…” She pleaded as the hot tears fell down her cheeks.
Her body shook as she began to sob and used her palms to dry her tears that didn’t seem to stop. She wrapped her arms around herself in a hug as her head drooped to the floor of the car.
Smoke seeped through the cracks into the car like a miasma. Sam started to cough as she breathed in the smoke, making her nearly choke. Her eyes opened just a little, the tears blurring her vision. She used her sleeve to dry the remainder of tears before using it cover her wheezing cough as she inhaled the smoke.
The paramedics and the other emergency services finally arrived at the scene of the accident. They quickly assessed the situation and worked as fast as they could. They used the jaws of life to pry open the door to the car. The smoke cleared quickly out of the vehicle and one of the male paramedics saw Sam alive inside the car. He reached in and pulled her into a hug, taking her out of the vehicle. He called out for a mask for her and once he got it, pulled it over her mouth and secured the strap around her head.
“It’s going to be okay.” The man told her, his eyes softening a little bit as he looked her over for any serious injuries from the accident. “We’ll get you cleaned up and put some bandages on those owies.”
Sam nodded her head slowly, the tears returning in her eyes as she watched a pair of paramedics taking out her parents’ bodies from the car and zipped them up in large black bags. She turned her head to the male paramedic in front of her, “What about the owie here?” She put her hand to her chest, over her heart as the tears fell from the corners of her eyes. She sniffled a few times as her nose began to run from all the crying she had done and was currently doing.
The caring look in the man’s eyes softened and he nearly began to cry, tearing up a little bit. He placed a hand on the top of her head, ruffling her dark hair. “We’ll patch that up as best we can, but it will heal… I promise.” He lifted her up onto the end of the ambulance and started to clean up her knees, taking out the bits of glass that were embedded in her skin and cleaning the blood. When he was finished, he wrapped some gauze bandages around her knees.
All Sam wanted to do was hide in the shadows and be there until the stabbing pain in her heart went away. She wanted to disappear until it was all over. A strange feeling shook her core and an odd tingling sensation prickled her entire body from her head to her toes. A dark essence began to crawl up from her toes and melt into the shadows cast by the bumper of the emergency vehicle, her feet seemed to become the shadows and disappear into it. The black essence covered her entire body and slipped into the shadows, making the little girl disappear. This effect only lasted a few moments as Sam appeared on the ground with her knees to her chest.
Another man in a matching paramedic uniform walked up to the little girl and took out a needle, plunging it into her neck and everything went black. Her body crashed to the ground and the male took her into his arms, throwing her into an ambulance to take her to the hospital.