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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Like the blitz, but not, because it happens in the future. Oh dear.

Submitted: June 03, 2008

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 03, 2008



Twisted perceptions

It was dawn now and the sun rose over the ravaged city of London. Everywhere, people were salvaging what they could from their destroyed homes, women clutching crying babies tightly. The bombs had hit hard, demolishing everything, from Piccadilly Circus to Buckingham Palace. As we stood there, gaping at the crater that had once been Hyde Park, a neighbouring house burst into flames. A teenage girl ran out the door, carrying two babies in a sling that she made from a blanket. She thrust them at my mother, her eyes imploring us to take them. The moment we had them in our arms, she rushed back into the burning house, quickly returning pushing an old blind man in a wheel chair, his Labrador guide dog running behind them. She continued on, her courage unfailing, saving all the inhabitants of the house. When her deaf sister cried out for her two bright canaries, left in her room, the lass ran back in, getting the cage, saving two more flickering lives. In and out she ran, dodging falling timber, not stopping until her whole family stood congregated around the burning building which had once been their home. She was so brave, so heroic and yet, so pathetic-looking with her clothes burned away, her hair caked with ash, her soot-streaked Sunday best reeking with smoke.

A man ran by, calling for a doctor to save his badly burnt wife. My father volunteered his medicines and followed the man to his home, leaving us alone, without his skills as a doctor. My sister, who until then had been asleep opened her eyes, peered through my arms and promptly started to cry. I sang to her, hoping to quiet her but she wailed on. The bombs had destroyed our future. We were left without a home, without any possessions, alone in a city that was being annihilated. Where would we go? Who would take us in during these dangerous times? How would we restart our lives?

All night, we had heard the explosions and the police sirens. My cousins, sister and I had snuggled up in the living room, trying to smother the noises with the covers. My mother and father had been at the window, dark silhouettes against the bright, dancing flames. The radio has been on as well and from time to time, we would turn the volume up, hoping for some news. It never came. All we heard was the crackling of the fires, the crying of women, men calling out to their families and above all these sounds, the bone-chilling wails of the living mourning their dead. Around the city, corpses were being wept over by those who had been lucky enough to run away from the bomb site in time. Now we had no more covers to smother the sounds, no more radio to keep as a shred of hope. Little did we know that the worst was yet to come.

At seven o’clock the next morning, after a sleepless night on the streets, the first of the phosphorus bombs fell. Wherever the multi-coloured fire hit, plastic, glass or bodies melted away. My sister, a sweet faced two-year-old toddler approached a piece of warped metal, eager to play with the shiny object. As a chemist, my mother had seen the dangerous chemical before and lurched forwards, pulling my sister back to safety. As she straightened, a shell exploded next to her feet, its contents flying all over her. I drew my sister into my arms as my mother stripped down, trying to avoid all contact with the potent substance. As we stood there, petrified, my mother screamed. The phosphorus had reached her skin and was burning it as I stood there, helpless. She writhed on the ground, shrieking, the chemical gnawing at her body. With a final moan, she stopped moving, murmuring my father’s name. She had given her life to save Poppy, who would never again know the soothing touch of a mother’s hand. She had died a hero, in the prime of her life, saving her daughter.

That night and in those to follow, her screams haunted my every hour. Britons world-wide wept emphatic tears, their hearts aching for their countrymen and nation, their prayers futile. All were glued to their radio sets, wish it had just been an awful nightmare. It was reality. It was all over. The war had been lost. London was in flames, Edinburgh was the crater of an atomic bomb and Dublin was a ghost town. Great Britain could do nothing but surrender. The United States had one more victory.

© Copyright 2018 PhantomDancer. All rights reserved.

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