Chapter 3: The Bombing

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 97

"My baby!"

 

"Everyone out of the streets! Stay inside!!"

 

"My leg!"

 

"Over there! Another one!”

 

“Protect the toilet paper!”

 

Smoke and fire surrounded me; the entire street blown apart by the bomb. My body was sore, and I was unable to do anything but groan and slowly try and get back up.

 

I felt sore, my eyes blurred and my ears ringing. I covered my ears, pulling my hands away after a few seconds to feel blood. But the alarming part was that it was coming from a big cut on my pinkie, not my ears.

 

The ringing eventually faded, but my lack of sight didn’t. I could hear not one explosion, but two. Three. Four. Five. One by one, explosions at every street corner in the distance. I could hear the car alarms, hear the screens and the sirens. The restaurant's windows shattered, glass shards coating the concrete. There were two women to my left, their bodies sprawled out in the street. One was certainly dead, the other was still crawling away.

 

Despite being shaken by the explosion, I was able to begin crawling away from the blast. I moved my knees across the concrete, scraping them as I tried to make my way towards the restaurant. It was only after I began to pull myself up the wall that I remembered I was not alone.

 

I turned my head to see Hunter helping up Space, Quinn beside them. The boy was clutching at his arm, staring out at the explosion.

"Anikan!?" Hunter shouted, spotting the two of us moving through the smoke.

 

"We need to get out of here!" I told him.

 

"No shit! Come on get to the RV!" he shouted back.

 

The four of us took off towards the RV, circling around the restaurant as we heard gunfire in the distance.

 

We ran up to the RV, jumping in and swinging the door shut. The others were all watching out the window, except for Maddie who was holding Julia tightly and covering her ears. 

 

"What the hell is going on!?" Andrew shouted at us.

 

"I don't know! A terrorist attack!?" I exclaimed, unsure of the situation.

 

Hunter pointed to Spencer, "dipshit, turn on the news!"

 

“Forget the news, get us out of here!” Andrew shouted to Luis. He immediately slammed on the gas pedal, speeding us out of the parking lot.

 

The scrawny boy scrambled for the TV remote, picking it up off the floor and turning on the TV. The news channel appeared, a flashing red breaking news symbol already on the TV. 

 

"We're getting reports that two hundred and seventeen cities were just involved in a simultaneous bombing ranging in about a fourteen-block radius. Mass casualties are to be expected, and the source is unclear, but we will continue-"

 

"Stupid news networks! Don't give us breaking news unless you know what the breaking news is!" Andrew shouted at the TV before punching the glass screen, causing him to yelp and begin sucking on his hand.

 

"Oh my god... Quinn..."

 

Maddie was looking up at Quinn, who was shaking at he clutched at his arm. He moved his hand away, revealing several cuts on his arm. Space quickly grabbed a rag in front of the TV and wiped the blood away, revealing several glass shards. He must have cut his arm on the glass from the window. 

 

"Does anyone have any bandages!?" Space exclaimed.

 

Quinn pointed to one of the back compartments, "c-check there. If Luis has heeded my advice, he began carrying a first aid kit."

 

Spencer opened up the compartment, tugging on the handle until it swung open. He dug through all of the junk, pulling out what seemed to be two pump shotguns. He looked towards us with confusion, all of us looking to Luis to question why he casually kept two shotguns in his footlocker. He simply shrugged, returning to the wheel.

 

Eventually he found a small red box behind the guns and tossed it to Space. She tore it open and pulled out a clean cloth, wiping down Quinn's wounds and cleaning the blood and glass away. She then grabbed a yellow beach towel laying in the corner of the room and wrapped it around his arm.

 

"Apply pressure!" she told him before walking off towards Luis.

 

"I invented a drug, I know how to treat a simple medical wound like this," Quinn shouted back at her.

While Space treated Quinn’s wound, Luis drove out of the parking lot, speeding down the road towards the bridge in the distance. We were only three blocks away, and as long as traffic wasn't too bad, we could get onto the bridge, get across to the mainland, and hopefully out of range of any more explosions.

 

"Luis! Turn! Turn!" Andrew shouted at him.

 

We drove past two burning cars, Luis luckily turning to the left and avoiding a large car accident at the end of the road. Everywhere we turned, there seemed to be more and more danger.

 

I stared out the window, spotting one of the explosion sites near the theater. There were several bodies lying near the epicenter of the explosion. An older woman was bawling, holding the body of a young girl in her arms. Her body was covered in burns, her eyes drained of life.

 

Nearby was a smashed up car that had slammed into another, two bodies lying nearby. A man and a woman, the man dead from the crash. The woman was slowly getting up from the ground, or at least trying too. Her left leg wouldn't respond, and she could do nothing but grovel and scream, the pain overwhelming her body.

 

I stepped back, falling onto the floor of the RV. I just felt numb. It was something out of a dream, all of this death and destruction. This is what you saw in the foreign countries, suicide bombings in civilian areas that left hundreds dead. This was in the middle of a modern day city on the edge of one of the biggest states in the entire country. 

 

"Anikan? Anikan!?" Space shouted, grabbing my shoulders and shaking my body. I shook my head, the ringing in my ears slowly fading away. I hadn't even noticed it was still there, but until now everything was quiet. I ran my fingers through my hair, brushing out several shards of glass. Luckily, I couldn't find any wounds on my body other than a few cuts on my fingers.

 

"Are... are you okay?" I asked her as I heard another scream from outside.

 

"Me? I'm fine, are you?" she asked.

 

I nodded at her and she helped me up, sitting me down on one of the seats. Her presence was a bit calming, especially in this situation.

 

"We're all gonna die! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!" Spencer screamed.

 

Andrew growled and threw the TV remote at him, "shut the hell up!"

 

Maddie was sitting on the floor, hugging Julia who was crying into her shirt. She was scared by the explosions, and so was Maddie judging by the tears in her eyes. I looked at them before walking back up to the front, watching as Luis neared the bridge.

 

We were approaching the East Bridge, one of the two ways off this island. It was long, but stable, large red beams connected by struts on each side. I remembered the bridge as a peaceful place where I could admire the ocean, despite my fear of heights, but those memories were being replaced by the sight of burning bodies and car collisions.

 

“Mom… what about mom!?” Julia asked Maddie.

 

It was then that it occurred to us all that the people back there weren’t just civilians, some of them were family. I turned, looking out the window to see smoke coming from my neighborhood. If my house was still there, it was destroyed.

 

And then came an even bigger explosion, and Space let out a gasp as a large tower in the center of the town exploded floor by floor. She whimpered quietly, tears streaming down her face, “m-mom… dad…”

 

However, we didn’t have time to mourn. Our attention was averted when Luis swerved past a crashed bus, heading towards the bridge.

 

"There are police evacuating people from their cars on the other side, but there’s some cars blocking the road! I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it!” Luis shouted to us.

 

There was a large explosion near the bridge, one of the major support beams on this side was damaged. It wouldn't hurt the structure of the bridge but judging by the burning cars and bodies around them, it did hurt a considerable amount of people. Police were trying to help, but many of them were killed in the blast.

 

"Ram it."

 

Hunter was glaring at the crash, balling his fists. He looked back to Maddie and her sister before looking back at Luis and giving him the most serious look I had ever seen him give,

 

"Ram it," he repeated, “we’re not gonna die, and we’re certainly not gonna die this way.”

 

Luis sighed before tightening his grip on the wheel, "if we die, you owe me ten bucks."

 

Slamming his foot down on the gas pedal, he drove the RV forward, speeding through the open road towards the blocking cars. He swerved to the side at the last minute, driving through a small opening between two cars. He smashed straight past them, pushing the vehicles out of the way as he sped onto the bridge. 

 

"Keep going keep going!" I urged him, "just gotta get to the other side before-"

And there it was. A large explosion on one of the four main support beams. The explosion took down most of the beam, causing the bridge to crumble. The concrete around it began to crack and break, cars falling one by one into the water. Luis sped up even more, and we passed by the explosion before a second hit the beam on our side of the bridge, the rest of the lane behind us exploding.

 

Another explosion in front of us, and Luis swerved out of the way to avoid a large part of the beam above us crashing down. It smashed into the bridge, breaking through right into the water. The entire bridge was falling apart piece by piece, and if we didn't get off of it soon we'd join the other cars down in the water below.

 

Suddenly, the road in front of us exploded. It was far enough we could avoid the blast hitting us, but it left a chunk of the road broken apart. Luis quickly swerved to the side, driving into the other lane and scraping the front corner of the RV against a blue pick-up truck.

 

Above us, a large column of the bridge exploded, rubble and rock falling down upon us. Luis turned to the left, just barely avoiding the rubble as it smashed into the bridge behind us. When I looked back, I was astonished. A major part of the bridge connecting Greenbrooke City and the mainland was destroyed, and slowly the rest was crumbling to pieces.

 

"There! There it is!" Space shouted, pointing out the window at the end of the bridge. There was a large traffic jam on the road leading to the bridge, but there was just enough of an opening to slip into the parking lot next to the bridge. Luis swerved to the right, slipping right through the opening, with only a few scratches on the car from the border.

 

The RV came to an abrupt stop, all of us being thrown forward. I groaned, falling onto the floor beside Space. Luis and Hunter immediately got up from their chairs, running out of the RV and leaving us there. I got up afterwards, following them with Andrew and Space trailing behind me.

 

The five of us bolted out of the parking lot, watching alongside a crowd of people the destruction of the bridge. Cars were spilling into the oceans, bodies and rubble following. Space whimpered, grabbing onto my arm and crying into my chest after looking away. It was horrible. It was barbaric.

 

"The hell is going on!?" Andrew asked one of the nearby officers.

 

"Please stay back! If this end of the bridge explodes, we need people away from the blast zone," the officer urged him.

 

Andrew stepped back, but didn't go back to the RV. He stopped, looking ahead towards the source of another scream. We could all see it. A car near the edge of the bridge, beginning to roll off the edge towards a broken part of the railing. Only a few cars were keeping it upright, and it wouldn't be long till they tumbled into the ocean.

 

In that car was a young boy, pounding on the window with all his might. The windshield was shattered, blood covering most of the glass and even more laying on the hood. Whoever was driving was dead, and the boy was now alone. 

 

“There’s a boy!” one officer shouted, looking out at the car.

 

“We can’t get to him! It’s too dangerous!” another officer shouted as he stared down the virulent flames raging in front of him, “we need to wait for the fire department!”

 

Hunter swore under his breath, staring at the scene with anguish. Just watching it was painful, because we couldn't do anything.

 

"Come on, let's get out of here," Andrew told us, turning around to walk back to the RV.

 

But Luis didn't listen. He walked forward, ignoring us all. At first he was walking, but then he was jogging, and then finally he was running. He sprinted straight past the officer, shoving him out of the way as he ran onto the bridge. He hopped over one of the stone barricades, bolting onto the bridge and over to the cars.

 

"Luis!" Maddie shouted, running towards him. Spencer and I both grabbed her, holding her back from running ahead.

 

We watched as the bridge began to fall apart, breaking off from the mainland as more and more pieces spiraled down into the water below. Luis bolted up to the car, pulling on the door handle to no avail. When it wouldn't open he stepped back, grabbing a large piece of concrete lying on the ground. 

 

"Step back kid!" he screamed. The kid looked away as Luis slammed the concrete brick into the window, shattering the glass with a single hit. He reached through and pulled the kid out, slicing his muscled arms on the glass as he did so. He picked up the kid and ran, bolting towards the edge of the bridge.

 

Things weren’t looking up for him though. The bridge was coming back too fast, and just as he ran away, the car he was inside tumbled off the edge of the bridge, large cracks growing alongside the road in front of him. But still, he pushed his body to the full limit, trying to make it to the edge, trying to save the kid.

 

And then, a crack appeared in front of him. He fell, tripping on the crack and dropping the boy. The young boy fell out of his arms, rushing to his feet and looking back at him.

 

"Run kid!” Luis screamed, struggling to find the strength to get back up. The kid ran, bolting back towards the edge of the bridge as fast as his little legs could carry him. Luis got back up and ran, too far behind the kid to catch him. He was strong, but not enough to outrun the destruction.

 

"Luis!" Maddie shouted again, shoving Spencer and I aside.

 

She tried to run onto the bridge to help him, but was shoved to the ground by Hunter. He held him back, using all of his strength to keep her from running out onto the bridge.

 

The kid ran as past as he could, tears streaming down his face as he raced across the bridge. Behind him, Luis managed to stand up, taking off right behind the kid. He looked at us all, a determined look on his face as he clenched his teeth. We all knew him as someone who would never give up.

 

And he didn’t. He kept running and running, just as the support beams holding up the bridge gave out. Slowly the concrete began to fall apart, breaking down into the ocean below. Luis looked back to see the cracks catching up with him, but refused to accept the realization.

 

“Luis!” Maddie screamed, shoving Hunter aside. Even I ran forward, hoping to help, but was stopped by Andrew. He grabbed my wrist, yanking me back.

 

Maddie reached out, holding her hand out as Luis raced towards us. The kid raced off the bridge, Luis only feet behind him. And then suddenly, it gave away.

 

Hunter grabbed Maddie’s wrist, yanking her back before she grabbed his hand. We all watched as he lost his footing, the ground beneath him breaking apart. His hand reached out to hers, but they never touched. Maddie let out a final cry as Luis fell to his death, among hundreds of others, into the ocean below.

 

I broke out of Andrew’s grasp, staring forward hoping that Hamster, no… Luis… would climb up the edge and back towards us. But alas, he didn’t. He was gone, and no amount of hoping would bring him back.

 

Hunter stepped forward, marching towards the cops guarding the edge of the bridge. Maddie rushed to him, grabbing his arm and yanking him back.

 

“Hunter c’mon we gotta-”

 

“No! I’m going down there and I’m dragging his ass back up here!” he screamed at her.

 

“Calm down!” Andrew shouted as he stepped out of the RV. He approached the two, staring down Hunter with a look of anger.

 

“What is wrong with you people!? You’re just gonna leave him behind!?” he exclaimed, “I thought you were his friends!?”

 

“We are his friends Hunter!” Space shouted at him through tears, “but he’s gone! W-What the hell are we supposed to do about it!?’

 

Andrew grabbed Hunter’s hand, dragging him into the RV with Maddie behind him, “let’s get outta here before we get blown to pieces by another one of those bombs.”

 

The two marched into the RV, Maddie following behind. Space walked behind the two and I looked to the boy, who was sitting on the ground staring at the explosion.

 

"W-What's your name?" I asked the kid, still shaken by the explosion.

 

"Axel... um... sir," he said, looking at me with fear.

 

"Come on, we need to leave now. Is your family on this side of the bridge?" I asked him.

 

He shook his head, "no... they're…."

 

Axel looked back over to the bridge, eyeing the burnt city behind us. I cursed under my breath, kneeling down and helping him up off the ground. The two of us rushed into the RV, watching as more and more police cars came speeding around the corner. I stood in the doorway, staring out through the smoke as the sun slowly began to set.


Submitted: August 10, 2020

© Copyright 2022 AnikanDarkness. All rights reserved.

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