With this weeks picture prompt and the most recent terror attack in London, I was compelled to write this short story based on what it might feel like to be in this horrendous situation.
The explosion rips through me, suddenly deafening me, a physical push from every direction at once. Vision obscured with smoke and dust, snippets of sound stolen by the ringing in my ears. I feel around, fumbling shakily with numb fingers. Something warm and sticky puddles underneath me. Panicked thoughts start breaking through the fog of shock; flashing images, moments of time, punctuated with the screams of the dying, haunted with the souls of the dead.
Is this hell? How did I get here? I search my memory, I search the cloud in front of me, hoping either will provide me with a clue.
I just manage to get my feet beneath me when a blurry shape slams into me and we both collide with the floor. The ghost above me scrambles, blood flowing down his white outline, saying nothing he crawls off me and disappears back into the storm.
Again, I get to my feet, shuffling forward, a blind zombie, brain dead, cold and numb.
How long I walk, stumble and crawl I can’t say. The smoke never clears, equally dulled are my senses, my mind.
Rough hands appear, grabbing me, snatching me. I hit back feebly, trying to escape. A monstrous mask appears, not a face. An actual monster. It roars and covers my face, squeezes me closer to him. Warm plastic moulds to my face, held there by this creature. I panic, I scream- well try to. I want to run, hide, cry. The sweet rush of oxygen hits me before I can act and ignites reasoning within me, I understand. A firefighter, masked and oxygenated, a saviour, not a monster.
“Can you hear me?” He roars again directly into my ears. Unable to speak I nod numbly. “Can you walk?” He questions me and again I nod. “There’s been an attack but you’re going to be okay, you’re fine, I’m getting you out of here”.
Tears leave tracks down my cheeks as I’m evacuated to the world above. Sunlight has never looked more beautiful to me.