"Jump, loser," sneered Jakob Phillips. "You've got nothing to live for. Just jump already!" I didn't flinch as his group members flicked paper balls at me. All the way up on this tower, and I had been thinking about it. The tallest building in the city was a beautiful place. I wouldn't mind if it was my last.
Still, I ignored Jakob. His girlfriend, Kirra, made no attempt to help me. She was once my best friend, until Jakob took her. He moulded her and twisted her and plucked at her locks until she was a bad girl bully who tried to pluck on mine.
My sketchbook, though. I could live for that. Unbeknownst to my horrible peers, I had a plan. I had my sketchbook, the one that held all my best drawings. I had submitted it into the highest art school in the state and I would be gone in less than a year.
I checked the calendar on my phone quickly. The seventh of November. Little more than a few weeks were all it would take to get me out of this hellhole. I would be surrounded by people just like me for once.
I breathed in the air, lightning and vapour swirling up my nostrils. A storm was coming — and quickly, I could feel it in the way the air rustled impatiently around my body. Others began to run inside as rain fell, but I stayed. Soon it was just me out there, smiling like I hadn't for years. Jakob and his crew looked at me like I had two heads, and I looked back.
I knew what was happening. It was something I'd written about, and what had made others call me crazy. But as the earth shook, I knew I was right, and as the towers around us toppled to the ground, it was confirmed.
From blue-grey storm clouds appeared a tunnel of light. People gathered around me, screaming and panicking, as a doorway opened and two angels stepped out. I exchanged calm glances with them, and allowed them to pick me up and carry me to stand in the doorway too. They would save me from the end of the world, like I'd always written.
Others were sobbing and screaming to get into the tunnel, some falling off the edge of the building as they leaped to try and join me. I heard the screams of Jakob and Kirra, the cries of parents, and —
The angels and I both stopped. I turned to them in normal serenity, as if the sky wasn't bursting with red wormholes and the rain hadn't turned to blood. Which it had.
"If anything goes awry," I said in a stone-cold voice to the angels, "Save Me First."
I leaped back to the tower and ran around the main building, looking in every nook and cranny. My bag thumped against my thigh, containing my phone, my pencil case, a muffin, and four sketchbooks. Had I really heard a baby crying? Did I really need to risk my life? Did they really need to save me first?
They did, I realised, rounding the final corner. There she was; short gold locks, flabby cheeks, barely bigger than a puppy. Plastering a grim expression on my face, I stepped toward the mother.
"Give her to me."
The lady looked quite shocked and offended. "Why? So that you can jump her off the building to save her from doomsday?"
"No, so that she can come with me to heaven. Look." The angels materialised beside me and shone their halos.
"She will be safer with us than she is here. And trust me — you will come to heaven once this living hell is over. You will see her again."
The mother reluctantly let go of her child, and we carried her away with us.
Not bothering to say goodbye to the world, I asked myself — if anything were to happen to this child, would I want the angels to save me first?