Pierre stood at the foot of a large, broken bus. The cracked glass shards lay shattered on the floor in little pieces, reflecting and twinkling the bright sun above them. Rust had swept the bus like a plague, the heavy rainfall of the previous months had lead to peeling yellow paint and dull brown patches were the rust swarmed. Pierre looked momentarily out toward sea; the English Channel massed a mere 100 feet away from him, sitting still, un-quivering. Pierre turned around once more, this time to his village, Gris Nez, which stood tall at the top of the hill. Pierre refocused on the bus, he knew his mother wanted him back by 5, but this game of hide and seek took priority. Slowly, he placed his small foot on the first step of the bus and a resounding creak echoed through the deserted hull.
‘Bonjour Gusto!’ Pierre teased, and in hearing no reply he darted up the stairs and into the interior. The smell of must and grime hung like a fog in the bus, and tiny dust particles floated around, disappearing in and out of light. Pierre crept down the row of chairs toward the end of the bus and, coincidently, the only window that remained intact. Pierre gazed into the back window in a hope of seeing the reflection of his hiding friend, but instead, all that met his gaze was the clouds and sea behind him. Pierre continued his journey and jumped heavily when a small figure leaped from the row in front of him. The boys fell to the floor laughing and giggling, sending clouds of dust into the air, which hung above them.
Pierre’s eye caught the back window in his fit of laughter and suddenly his face became one of intrigue, not happiness.
‘Gusto, regarde’ murmured Pierre, pointing to the back window. Gusto, who was still in a fit of laughter, turned around to look at the window, his small face too became one of intrigue. The back window had one single bright orange ball reflecting off its surface. The ball had taken up all where the sea and blue sky had been before and the bright light appeared to be getting bigger, expanding further and further along the reflective surface. After a few seconds of expanding light the back window, without warning and apparently spontaneously exploded. Fragments and shards of glass were sent in all directions and with screams of fright the two young boys ran to the front of the bus and out. The sky, which had before been a bright, powerful blue with a few wisps of cloud, was now a dull dark orange. The almost unrecognisable cloud was a brighter orange, easy to pick out among the dark sky. The two boys stopped running immediately, their eyes stuck on something out to sea. The sea was not calm any longer; the waves had grown much larger, coming more frequently and with vigour. The sea reflected the sky and was a resounding orange. Pierre turned, hearing the call of his mother who was running down the hill toward him screaming his name. Pierre ran toward her but was stopped halfway by a terrific crashing noise. The seemingly never ending sound resulted in Pierre falling frontward into the soft sand. His mother fell backward, pushed by an invisible force and the noise commanded her to cover her ears. She looked out toward England momentarily, across the vast stretch of ocean. The country didn’t appear whole anymore and it was evident she was not looking at England itself. The huge mushroom radiated in front of her. The skyline was dominated by a pulsating monster growing larger and larger by the second. She pulled her eyes away from the giant, and started toward her son.
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