NEW! Drop Down Now Included In Vertex

This month another new addition to the Vertex Framework is the S5 Ultimate Drop Down. This is a feature that was seen in several Shape 5 designs. Many have asked how to add to other designs so we decided to build this into the framework so every design here on out will have this functionality. Be sure to read more about this new feature here: Features:

  • Customize almost everything! Shadows, borders, gradient, opacity
  • Contains 6 module positions drop_down_1, drop_down_2, drop_down_3, drop_down_4, drop_down_5 and drop_down_6
  • Auto adjust to the height of your content
  • Set your own open and close text
  • And many more features!
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10
Jun 2013

Crash and Burn – Chapters 1-3

Image courtesy of wallpaperswide.com and Google Images

Image courtesy of wallpaperswide.com and Google Images

Chapter 1 – Numb

All I feel is numb.

I remember waking up in hospital, and having no idea why I was there. I remember how my heart felt, when I woke up there. The way it hammered against my ribs, like a trapped animal in a cage. That’s kinda how I feel now.

I remember how badly my collarbone ached. How it felt like a hand was ripping at my flesh, tugging my bone, digging its nails into me. And the way my legs felt like lead, all cemented into their casts.

I also remember how the confusion was choking me. But it’s all clear now.

I remember how the doctor had to break the news to me, too. I can still picture the way he kept glancing at his clipboard nervously, and the way he kept stopping through his sentences, leaving hints, hoping I would catch onto his drift so that he wouldn’t have to say it. So he wouldn’t have to say those words I refused to let my brain soak up.

They’re dead.

Every time I try those words out on my lips, I choke. The words don’t feel real. They don’t taste right. But it’s no lie. They really are dead.

They left me behind. Sometimes I wish I was with them. I don’t want to be here anymore.

I hate how the people who’ve come to visit me always say, “I’m so sorry to hear that.” How could they even think that sentence is even worth saying? It doesn’t mean anything to me anymore. Words can’t bring people back from the dead. No matter how much I wish they could.

The doctor’s words from that night I woke up in the hospital still swim around aimlessly in my head. “But…they didn’t make it.” His voice echoes.

That voice doesn’t stop echoing.

Sure, I know how they died, but being told by the doctor that night made me feel like I was the last to know. It feels like a lie. I wish I could remember that night, remember why they died and I survived, remember why I wasn’t taken with them.  Remember why I was left here by myself.

If I knew what happened that night, I would know who killed my parents. I don’t care if it was an accident. Whoever it was still killed my parents. And I will never forgive them for that.

But it’s not as simple as that, even though I hate myself for wishing that it was. I had a sister too…or should I say have. We all thought my little sister had died with my parents too. But then they realized she was missing from the scene. They think she’s dead. I will never forgive them for not finding her. The thing is, I am the only one who would know if she was involved in the accident or not. I’m the only one who would know. But I can’t remember.

Sometimes, the hardest thing isn’t having to deal with all of the fake condolences that roll through the door. Sometimes it’s not even the fact that my family is dead. The hardest thing is that I have no memory of that last day that I was with my family. No memory of their faces, or the things they said to me. No memories to remember them by on their last day.

The doctors say my memory of that night will come back. I have no idea how long it’s going to take for the memory to come back.

It’s been three days since that night. And I just lie here, staring up at the ceiling. I feel so empty. So…numb.

 Chapter 2 – Little Felix Moon

As I wheel down the sterile corridors of the hospital, I can hear the muffled hacks of those who are sick and the shuffles of the nurses caring for their patients. I have a broken collarbone, so my left arm is bound to my chest. Both my legs are broken too, so I’ve been given a wheelchair. It sucks.

You know, my whole life sucks right now. Even though as I glance at the deathly sick patients through the slightly ajar doors, and I count my blessings because I’m healthier than them, I envy them, because they still have a family, huddled around the bed, stroking their sick loved ones hand to show them that it’s ok, that everything will be fine. At least those people don’t have to feel the way I do – empty. I feel empty all the time. After I eat, after I sleep, it just doesn’t change. It feels like my insides have been ripped out, like something’s been taken away. I feel like a shell – A hollow, empty, shell.

I guess I kind of see my misery like a beach. The sadness just washes over you, like you’re caught in high tide. The waves of agony crash over you, knocking you back into the rough sand. Sometimes you get caught in a rip, and you forget that you have to swim diagonally back to the beach, the beach being reality. I still can’t tell if this is a dream – because I’m still in the water. I haven’t quite reached the beach yet.

Stupid simile I know, but it works.

I’m in a children’s hospital, and they have this room where the kids can go to socialize with other kids. It’s a distraction really, from their illnesses. That’s where I’m headed now. The nurse says it will be good for me, to meet other kids. Why don’t adults ever get that teenagers can’t socialize with little kids half their age. I’d rather stay in my room, grieving over the death of my family, than going to see little kids with horrific illnesses. But I guess I have no choice.

Before I even reach the door, I can hear the squeals of little children, their laughter. Little kids seem to have this thing, where no matter how sick they are, they are still as happy as if they weren’t sick. I guess they don’t really understand what’s going on. As I roll through the door, the sense of happiness almost stops me. Happy emotions are a shock to your body once you’ve been nothing but miserable. Some kids are running around, like it’s the end of the world, squealing. Others are scribbling on paper, sitting at tiny tables, quarrelling over the crayons. You wouldn’t even think some of these kids were sick. And then there are the really sick kids. Tubes run from their heads to their toes, some connected to drips, and others connected to machines – but they are still smiling. Although the room is painted brightly, it’s still has that sterile feel. No paint job can ever camouflage the fact that it’s a hospital – a sterile, cold, unforgiving hospital.

I don’t really know what to do with myself in the room, so I wheel over to a window. I peer outside and see the best scenery yet – the parking lot. I sigh and direct my glance away from the window. The first thing I see is a little boy. He’s sitting at one of the tiny tables, all by himself. He has a yellow crayon in his hand. He’s holding it loosely, so it sags down onto his paper. I try to look away, but his eyes have mine in a deadlock. His eyes are this sapphire blue; as crystal clear as the waters on a paradise island. And he just stares at me. He is maybe all of seven years old. I feel as though I should say something, but I can’t find the right words to say. He gets up from his little table and walks over to another tiny able right next to me, clutching his paper and crayon in his small hands. He sits down and starts scribbling furiously on his paper. I realize I’m still staring at him, and look away quickly. But it’s not long before my eyes wander back to him.

His lips quiver into a little smile. “I’m Felix Moon. What’s your name?” He doesn’t look up from his page, still colouring. His voice is like a little tinkly bell. At first I can’t form any words, but eventually I manage my name.

“Aiken. Aiken Green.” I say, a little surprised by this little kid’s boldness.

“Oh.” He comments. He lifts up his page so it’s in front of his face. He tilts his head to one side, as if to get a better perspective of the drawing. “I haven’t seen you around here before.”

“I haven’t been here long.” I reply quietly, struggling against the urge to think about my family. Pointing out that he hasn’t seen me around before makes me wonder how long he’s been here. I want to ask why he’s in hospital, but I don’t dare. He puts down his paper and looks at me; once again those piercing eyes jab at my soul.

“You look sad.”

“Oh, well, yeah. I guess I am.” I mutter, resting my chin in my hand.  I guess it wouldn’t be hard to tell my emotions right now.

“Don’t be sad. My mamma says it’s not good for you.” His voice is surprisingly comforting. And he’s right.

“Yeah, your mum’s right.”

“Yeah, that’s what she says.” This makes me smile. When did I forget that smiling makes you feel so… happy?

“Felix, it’s time to go see the doctor.” A woman’s voice calls from across the room. He looks over his shoulder and gets up. He picks up his picture and holds it out to me.

“You can have it. I have to go now, but maybe I’ll see you tomorrow.” He says. I take the picture slowly, not taking away my eyes from his. He turns and runs to a woman on the other side of the room, taking her hand as they walk out together. He waves at me before he leaves through the door. I can’t help but stare at the door, a little part of me hoping he might come back. I peel my eyes from the door to the picture in my hand. It just looks like a bunch of scribbles, but there’s something about it. I fold it up and slide it into my pocket. I look around the room. It feels like there is something missing, because it’s dull all of a sudden, even though bright sunlight is streaming through the large windows. There’s something about that boy.

That night I lay in my bed, the picture under my pillow. For the first time in days, it’s not hard to fall asleep.

Chapter 3 – The first puzzle piece

The stretcher bumps up the back of the ambulance, jolting my body, sending fireworks of pain through me. Blood runs into my eyes and down my face like sparkly ruby tears. I clutch my shoulder with my right arm, stifling a groan of agony. Everything is blurry. I can just make out two figures beside the stretcher, and they’re talking, but I can’t make out what they’re saying. All I can hear is sirens. My heart feels as though it’s in my throat. The air feels like a knife on my lungs as I choke it down. The doors of the ambulance close with a thud, and the ambulance begins to move. The ambulance races down the road, bumping my body around in the stretcher. Every bump we hit feels like I’m being bashed with a metal baseball bat. The air seems to get thicker with every shaky breath I take. I can barely keep my eyes open. The paramedics are talking to me, but I can’t hear what they’re saying, and I don’t know what they’re doing to me. Everything is happening so fast around me, but I feel like I’m in slow motion. A dull throbbing in my head grows into pounding that feels like a hammer is hitting my skull. A cry of agony escapes my lips as I press my left hand to my head. There is only a few more seconds of the agony before it all completely stops – and everything goes black.

My eyes snap open as I wake up with a start, sitting up frantically and gasping for breath. I run my fingers through my short chestnut hair in an attempt to calm down my racing heart. I take a few deep breaths. It takes me a few seconds to realize where I am, the hospital slowly coming into focus. 2:34 am blares a fluorescent green in the darkness and burns into my retinas.  I close my eyes and I can see it all over again – the ambulance, the blood. I open my eyes quickly, trying to erase the image. It’s all but two seconds before the déjàvu hits me. The ambulance, the stretcher – I know I’ve seen it all before.  The clockwork in my mind starts turning and the pieces are fitting together. And then I know that flashback was from that last day, the day I lost everything. Although the last time I saw it, it wasn’t a dream.

I don’t sleep the rest of the night. I replay the flashback over and over in my head, trying to remember anything else from that last day. But all I see is the same blood; feel the same pain. It feels like taking a step forward, but then being knocked back two steps. My memory loss is like a puzzle. I’ve put one piece in the right place, but it feels like there are thousands to go.

To be continued…

By Alicia M. 10WI

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