Description : Scarlett Red
Mom yells for me to get the phone from her nightstand, her voice pitched higher than usual as it echoes down the hall. I open my eyes and try to shake the stuffy grogginess from my head. What phone? Has she forgotten our phone’s been disconnected? Stupid medical bills. I glance at the clock. One-eleven glows back at me. Mom must be getting ready to go to bed. She usually stays up late reading. She claims it helps her escape from the pain. I rub my face and wonder if I dreamed her calling me. Mom screams at the same time I hear the door to our apartment slam on its hinges.
What’s happening? I stumble out of bed and run blindly toward my mom standing at the front of the hall. Other than streetlight bleeding through the blinds and casting shadows on the walls, it’s dark in our apartment.
A man in a ski mask approaches Mom. “Move,” he barks in a gruff voice.
“We don’t have anything.” Her words are low and shaky. “Even the TV is broken.”
I skid to a stop behind her, but she throws her arms outward. She’s not letting me past her. “Stay back, Sebastian.”
I’m big for a seventeen-year-old. The masked man must’ve felt threatened. He quickly points the gun at me and narrows his dark eyes.
“No!” Mom screams, jumping in front of the gun just as it goes off.
Her slight frame flings back into mine and I catch her. “Mom!” I yell, stunned into immobility. As we fall to the floor together, the intruder empties his gun into us. Heart pounding in fear for my mom, all I can do is...