A Potential Disaster Story?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Had a an odd burst of inspiration and decided to write some part of a story. 2 hours later I feel quite pleased with myself. Not for the faint-hearted. Just an opening to a potential novel.

Submitted: August 06, 2014

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Submitted: August 06, 2014

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Total destruction. Chunks of razor sharp shrapnel fly past me. No time to react, just blind panic and fear. I drop to the ground and curl into a ball. The darkness comforts me as I pray and hope for my life to be spared. I hear screams from all directions, some from far away, others right by me. Terrible screams, screams of anguish, pain, and overwhelming loss. Fear takes me as I break down into uncontrollable waves of tears. Why is this happening? Why me? Where did I go wrong to deserve such a thing? I remain curled up, unable to return to reality, eyes squeezed shut, rocking myself in my arms.

Something touches my shoulder. Suddenly I slingshot out of my state of breakdown and slowly uncurl myself. A woman looks down at me with an expression of concern and anguish. "Are you ok?" I nod sheepishly and she moves on down the street. It slowly dawns on me that the panic has passed, so I cautiously sit up and take stock. I feel ok, and with a quick scan of my body I realise that, miraculously, I am unscathed. I stand up almost in a trance state as I realise how stunned my senses are. There is a dull ringing in my ears and everything appears blurred. I crease my brow as I look around me in confusion whilst I remain in a trance. But then a sound breaks through the muffled ringing in my ears. It gradually gets louder as I search for where the sound is coming from. My eyesight slowly becomes clearer too, almost in tandem with my hearing. And then snap. My trance vanishes in an instant. My senses return. I bear witness to the horror that surrounds me. The panic may have gone, but the screams remain. I immediately focus on a scream just ten or so metres to my left. A young man is writhing on the ground in a bloody pool, as the woman who passed me and two others attempt to calm him down. A large metal spike seems to be buried in his gut, and every one of his shuddering movements appear to be making the wound worse. I realise the paramedics have resorted to shouting at him in an effort to get him to stay still, but beside his blood curdling screams of pain I get the sense that he can hear nothing else. Two of them pin him down to the pavement, as the third grabs a large needle and jabs it deep into his thigh. The young man doesn't react. He continues to howl like a wild animal as the pain killer evidently takes very little effect. He thrashes and wails, claws at his tear stained face and continues to add to the pool of blood which now covers much of the paramedics too. The three of them try to maintain their looks of hopefulness, but slowly their expressions turn to that of desperation. They continue in their attempts to calm the man, but this time with a degree of futility. They repeatedly tell him "Stay strong, an ambulance is on its way!", "Everything is going to be ok!" and "Don't give up on us now." He remains oblivious to their words, perhaps even to their presence, but then he catches his breath and the screaming halts. His writhing slows. He gasps in shudders. He grasps at thin air. And then his arms and legs slump to the ground, his eyes stop moving, and he lays there, deathly still. The paramedics bow their heads in resignation, as they kneel as still as the man that they could not save.

Shortly after, two of the three pull themselves to their feet, and after a short pause they turn their backs on the dead man and trudge along the street in search of another horrific injury. The woman that spoke to me remains there, head bowed, perfectly still. I tear my eyes away from the scene that I bore witness to and survey the area around me. Once again I am shocked, as I realise the expanse of the horror. I was so immersed in the awful incident that I stood there oblivious to the countless corpses that lie all around me, each and every one of them as still as the man I just watched die. Apart from the woman and I, there is no one else alive. Stunned silence in the dead street is all that remains.


© Copyright 2020 Jack Goodwin. All rights reserved.

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