I had to keep running. My lungs burning, my legs cramping, I wanted to look back. I
couldn't look back. My attention faltered; I stumbled. Adrenaline. I needed more adrenaline. I re-
caught my footing and ran hard, one step per second then two; I forced myself to sprint faster. I
began to fly. The rain deprived valley below me looked almost helpless as a bomb was dropped
onto it, spreading flame like a whispered breeze. The breeze caught me, I began to fall.
I bolted upright, my eyes wide and forehead sweaty. I blinked a few times and realized
that I was in my bed, soft and warm. I lay back down and remembered that the night before was
Wednesday, church night. Great, I had a doctor’s appointment later that day. I sighed and looked
at my watch. 7 O'clock. I decided that I had better get ready; mom would be coming upstairs in
about ten minutes. I slipped on a layered tank top and some shorts, and headed to the bath room
to brush my teeth. I stared into the mirror. I looked terrible. My hair was a knotted nest, and my
dark circles seemed to be mocking my tiredness. Splashing my face with cold water, I grabbed a
towel from my expensive towel warmer. It felt good after the cold.
"Rayne, I'm coming upstairs, you'd better be ready." My mom's voice echoed up the
curved staircase loud and clear.
"Alright, I'll be ready." I rinsed my mouth of toothpaste and skipped the floss, I'd make a
mental note to throw some unused into the garbage before she came in. I stepped into my room
at the same time my mom did. She really wasn't my real mother, she was my step pig. I didn't
like how I had to call her 'mom' against my will. And I really didn't like it when she married my
dad, but a kid really never gets a say in that kind of thing, do they.
"Rayne, get downstairs and wait in the car for me. I might be a while." I looked down at my feet.
There wasn't exactly a way to disobey her.
"Yes mother." I walked past her without even glancing her way. She grunted in a satisfied
manner, and I made my way towards the stairs, reluctantly, I looked back. The pig was already in
her mud pit. Otherwise known as, her room. I stopped at my mom’s new photo of the American
River, Sacramento. I really didn’t understand why she had a picture of dad’s believed suicide
spot, but I didn’t have the stomach to ask her.
I changed my direction and headed to my dad’s old room. I walked in and coughed. It had
gotten dusty in the last seven months. The coughs kept coming and I felt my heart’s pace
accelerate as it always did when I got overexcited or exhausted. I tried to hold my breath until I
I was looking for—my dad’s old wallet. I had always hidden it in the first closet to the
left, under all of the fake wood used to hide valuables. No one could ever find it there but me. I
pulled it out and kissed it, then stuck it into my back pocket. I hurried downstairs; mom must
have heard me cough by then.
I advanced into the kitchen and grabbed myself my favorite china cup, I poured some