The dust was thick. The coughing was
continuous and never ending. Whimpering could be heard from small children who
could not understand the darkness..
Mum when will it end?
Dont worry it will be over soon.
I just hope yir Da and wee James made it on time
The sirens were ear piercing. The
noise of thunder was in the distance. The room began to shake..I could feel
mothers heart beating and her hands were shaking. I grabbed her tight. I
knew what she was feeling. I was terrified too. We never knew whether or not Da
and James made it tae the shelter..They must hae but the black oot happened so
fast. We didnt know if anyone but the people who were already oot on the
streets made it to the shelters. The cries of small children got louder. I
could hear a young woman singing a bonnie lullabye in the distance. The man
sitting on the bench just a bit away from us said he thought it was going to be
bad tonight.."Retaliation from Montys strike a few days prior." Another
man told him to shut up because he was scaring the wimin folk and wains.
floors began to shake and dust fell from the ceiling. Screams of desperate
terrified people echoed through the shelter. I could barely see the man who was
sitting to my left it was just so dark..He was quite calm. I was shaking so
hard that my teeth were chittering together and making a noise that would have
been funny under different circumstances. I felt a hand reach out and wrap
around me. It was warm, secure and comforting. I felt a strange presence.
Immediately my teeth stopped chittering and I could feel a calm feeling come
over my whole body. Who was this person? I tried to smell him..to sense him..
It was hard with all the dust floating around. Hard to concentrate..
one was close! We fell over onto the floor. I fell on top of a body. God only
knows who it was but as we reached out in the darkness to regain our positions
I felt the hand again reaching out and holding me. Surely one of the tenement
buildings got hit. That was close enough to have been our own. The curiosity
was raging inside me. Shite..Here I am inside the shelter in the dark..I
dont know whether my Da and brother are deed or alive and Im
curious! What the hell! I held on tight to him and wrapped myself around his
waist. I looked up to where I thought his head might be and said
Shh..its okay. We will all be out of here shortly. It will be
held onto him closer. I felt so completely safe with him. Mum reached over to
make sure I was alright.
Are ye alright lass?
bombing subsided slowly..you could hear the thundering move to the
distance..The people in the shelter could tell from frequent visits that the
lights would return soon.
Bodies began to shuffle towards the doorway..One
woman was crying so hard I knew she was going to collapse. Some people could
tell they said when loved ones were lost..she must have had that chilling
feeling tonight. Her cries told that awful story that I had heard over and
lights came on and bodies rushed for the double metal doors. I desperately
tried to look around for my mysterious asian friend..I couldnt see
Written by Isabel Hodge