Ash, smoke and rubble. Screams and flames rose to the black night skies, burning them in smothering red ash. My throat pained with each breath I inhaled. The smell of sulphur was thick in the poluted air. The building was falling; crumbling like a tower of sand, reduced to nothing but dust in the wind.
I had seen them running into the building. My mind found it difficult to register the sight. They were children, younger than myself, barely thirteen, perhaps fourteen years old with thin gangly bodies. They were suicide bombers. They gave their lives for our suffering. Now, they burned with us. We burned with them. A cynical statement to human equality.
Just seconds ago, I was in that building. If I had left a minute later, I would have been part of the blood and rock, burning in the hell fire. Now I was a spectator; simply a bystander to this carnival of flame and death. It was strangely mesmerizing, staring at the people, scurrying like ants on a burning hill. How insignificant it all felt....how insignificant I felt. Their deaths would be quantified by a simple number. Like a prisoner, nameless and faceless to most, forgotten by others.
"Beautiful isn't it?" he whispered, his breath cold as ice. He emerged from the rising dust and walked toward the crimson glow. A black cloak shrouded him in darkness. Beneath the black veil covering his pale, white face, I caught a glimpse of his eyes- ghostly, ethereal eyes, with a strange fantastical glow unlike those of any man. They scared me. He seemed to glide on the earth, blending into shadow and ash, till he disappeared within the burning embers.
That night, I did not escape death. He simply grazed my arm as he passed me by. His imprint, however, will remain with me, like a scar that clings to your wrist. I will remember the touch of his breath on my skin, till the last nail beats against my coffin.