Word Count: 873
She opened her eyes only to be met with a thousand tiny needles piercing themselves in to her corneas. She refused to give in to the pain, she needed to find him. Screams of agony rung like white noise in her ears as fear and despair descended amongst the crowds. Engulfed in the thick cloud of grey dust, she went unnoticed amongst the chaos, darting between the misery and rubble she called out for him in desperation “Zac! Zac can you hear me? Za-” the ground beneath her rumbled, shaking the earth with its might, ‘not again’ she thought, ‘no, not again, not before I find him.’
The few buildings that remained trembled, glass fell from above shattering around her. The earth groaned before more cracks appeared tearing their way through the concrete. She lifted her face to the mourning sky, staring up at the grieving clouds through her pale green chrysolite eyes, ‘what the hell is going on?’ More glass showered around her, what little light there was left in this world reflected from each shard, creating thousands of prisms of light throughout the sky. She stood transfixed by the beauty, she didn’t notice the building in front crumbling before her…
My eyes fluttered open, I could feel the dust lying heavy on my lids. I tried to wipe them, but instead was met with a sharp spasm shooting up my left arm, I cringed from the pain. Don’t panic, do not panic, I closed my eyes, and started to take in deep breaths through my nose, slowly the calm spread through my body, settling my nerves, now think. A dull ache throbbed in my arm with each desperate attempt my heart made to pump blood to my hand; I could feel the pressure from something lying upon my arm cutting off the circulation. I lifted a finger, sending a piercing twinge up my arm. Biting my lower lip I continued, lifting each finger individually despite the agony, followed by my thumb and then my wrist, my eyes stung from the moisture,I had full feeling in my entire had, that was good.
I brushed the dirt from my face using my right hand, but I could barely see anything due to the lack of daylight. I coughed freeing my lungs to make room for fresh air; the sound echoed for a long time and slowly the lack of noise dawned on me, where were the screaming crowds from before?
My mouth was dry from the musty air; I could taste it on my tongue. My hand was numb from the lack of blood, if I didn’t move soon I was going to lose it. I started to get up, using my right hand I tried to lift the broken concrete that was crushing my arm. I slidmy fingers beneath it and once I had a firm grip I locked my hand around it and began to lift.
The pain that ensued was unbearable. I tensed my jaw, and closed my eyes, breathing through my nose but putting the full strength of my body in to one arm was impossible. I used my feet to search for some support until I hit something hard with the soles of my boots. I shifted my body towards it, causing pain to tear through my muscle. I tensed my jaw further.
I am not going to die here, not now.
I lay down on my back, bent my knees, placing my boots firmly on the surface beneath me and using all the strength I had left I pushed; adrenaline coursed through my veins, I blocked out the pain and continued to push. Damp from sweat, I fixed my eyes shut come on, you can do this, you have to do this. I let out a roar that filled the air, reverberating around me, I lifted the concrete slightly and pulled my left arm from beneath it before all my limbs fell back to the ground in exhaustion.
I waited; I’m not sure for how long. Time didn’t seem to matter here, it was always dark. I sat gathering my thoughts, trying to piece together what had happened to get me here. I searched for some sort of indication amongst the darkness, making out silhouettes of shapes. Bringing myself to my feet, I ventured out into what looked like the remains of a road.
All around me were bodies, like forgotten dolls they lay motionless on the floor. The smell of rotting flesh burnt my nostrils. There were crumbs, where buildings once stood; I must have been knocked out as the office tower collapsed. There was no sound, only silence apart from my pulse which was progressively increasing as the realisation of my situation was settling in. I was alone, surrounded by the remains of buildings, vehicles and bodies on the floor, they all merged together becoming shadows of their former selves.
Nausea slowly crawled its way through my insides, before constricting itself around my throat; I fought to keep control of my breathing. I stood deserted amongst the carnage, desperate to see some sign of life before lifting my head to the blood stained sky, in the centre a black sun stared straight back at me.