Broken Nerves

a historical fiction story by Anabelle W., based on the Kent state shooting on May 4, 1970.

My parents sped away in a taxi headed to the airport. They were flying into Texas for my great great grandfather's funeral. I never met the man, but I know that he's ancient. He died at age 115, but I have seen pictures of his 100th birthday party. He looks like he has been around for 500 years and fought in every war since.

"Let's grab those bikes," my brother Harry said. He had promised me a ride around campus to show me where his classes were. I am planning to go there myself when I get his age.

"Meg, come on!"

"I still have to find my helmet Mr. President! Can't you wait just a second?" Harry's full name is Harry S. Truman after president Truman, hence the nickname Mr. President.

When I found my helmet we hopped on our bikes and started towards campus.

Once we rode past his math and science buildings, we headed toward the commons, which is a large, grassy area in the middle of campus. The commons was full of people. An anti-war protest was going on. Some people held signs, some screamed, some chanted, some sang. And then we heard the trucks.

"Stay close and follow me," Harry said. It was no use. The national guard had released their tear gas and people were running everywhere.

I was pushed off my bike. When I stood up, some men holding guns herded us into a side street .

                 BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

The world stopped.

When I woke up, I didn't know where I was.

"Mom!"

"I'm right here Meg. Harry, go get the doctor. Tell him she's awake." That was when I fully recognized where I was. A hospital. I also noticed a large throbbing pain coming from my lower back. I put my hand on the place where I was hurting and found a large bandage wrapped around me. It felt like there was a gaping hole about an inch wide underneath that bandage.

After sleeping for a few days, I was hungry. I decided to walk to a nearby vending machine and get a snack.  Not a chance. When I tried to get out of the bed my legs wouldn't move and I fell right on the floor. I couldn't get up either. Mom helped me back onto the bed just as the doctor walked in followed by Harry. The doctor explained everything.

While I was at the hospital, I finally talked one of the nurses into finding me a wheelchair catalog. I would be needing one of my own very soon. The bullet had hit my spine a few inches above my tailbone. The bullet was removed, but there was no way to save my spine. I am paralyzed. My life has changed!

More Info On The Shooting

Robinson Memorial Hospital identified the 4 dead students as Allison Krause,Sandra Lee Scheuer, Jeffrey Glenn Miller,and William K. Schroeder. 9 others were injured.

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