The alarm sounds at 6 a.m. like every morning. As always, it takes him a while to get up on his feet. He would simply stay in bed a couple of hours left. His body is heavy and in the way to the toilet the joints squeak.
He takes a bath and gets dressed with his blue t-shirt, tie, black trousers. He has three important meetings and then the weekly team workshop and also an appointment with his boss. He expects having a salary increase soon, or maybe that day, who knows.
His mind is somewhere else thus he does not pay attention while having breakfast. It is then he has this strange feeling right through his chest.
He freezes, his right hand rubbing his chest. He thinks that feeling is weird. He can not explain what he feels : it is somewhere between feeling sick and being troubled.
In that moment his left hand put downs the cup of coffee and, as his body has a reflex reaction, this gesture is abrupt. The coffee spreads all over the place like an explosion. His blue t-shirt is full of brown spots and the kitchen is a mess.
Without wasting any more of his time he changes the t-shirt while he keeps repeating to himself that all that had been a bit strange. However, he does not give the matter any more thought, he does not want to be late for work.
He goes out and decides it will be a good idea to walk. He looks up at the sky : there are a couple of clouds but it will probably not rain. The wind is cold. For sure a little bit of fresh aire and a walk would do him good.
He hears a strong noise as if a gigantic block of stone had fallen nearby from several stages. Most surely from a construction not far away.
The wind blows stronger and the cold pass through his costume. He should have taken a coat, even if it was summer. Temperatures didn't respect the seasons anymore due to global warming.
Heavy drops start to fall upon the streets. Their sound is unexpectedly loud. His heart squeezes in his chest. The hair curls. Was it a storm ? Will he be in time for work ?
A sudden tumult raises somewhere and he hears the noise of cars stopping abruptly and horns sounding loudly. Was it a car crash ? Shall he go see if he could do something ?
The water has soaked him within the blink of an eye, he was going to look pathetic for his meeting.
The wind was still very cold however he starts to be very hot. It is weird, he thinks, nothing seems coherent that morning. And then the birds started hurling persistently high, annoyingly. He looks up but he does not see them. The sky has become grey but he does not see any clouds. He looks around and the landscape is grey, faded.
He noticed then that he has not see anyone that morning and the scenario suddenly seems sordid, grim, suspect. What is going to happen that morning ? Why his heart starts expanding in his chest as if it wanted to escape ?
His eyes move crazily looking around, trying to search a reasonable explanation to everything that was happening : it was either a natural disaster, either his imagination, maybe he was stressed, or he was dreaming.
He was well awake. The torrential water stops as suddenly as it started. But its noise continues like stones falling and shocking on the ground. Drops of sweat start running through his spine. His bones crack inside his body. The feeling of wanting to escape grows but it is not his flesh that wants to run away, it is his whole being which desires to get away from his own packaging of tendons and tissues.
He starts throwing glances around, he still does not see noone and the idea of coming back home crosses his mind. He looks back and he sees with horror that the buildings on the road he has just walked are falling down.
Screams from people he can not see start sounding in his ears. He knows, even when he does not see them, that they are running. Voices raise up and call each other saying things he can not understand. He is paralyzed. His head can not understand the seconds that pass by slowly. He can not decide if he does not understand what is going on.
A strong chilling scream, very strong right in front of him wakes him : a man is crushed by a fallen horse that has dead. Where does that horse come from ? He approaches the man to help but when he reach him he was already dead.
He steps back horrified and when he looks in front of him his heart stops beating before the scene crossing before is eyes :
People are terrified and run away from each other, some have weapons and hit anything on their way. There are fires all around and the smoke is abundant and suffocating. The earth shakes. He thinks he sees a wild animal, like a kind of ape, devouring a dog.
His throat dries. His breath gasps. Where is the policemen ? firemen ? There are corpses, died people, crushed bodies, burned bodies, murdered people. There are a few persons alone that scream, others escape having nowhere to go, without knowing, like him, what to do.
He contemplates all that holding his breath.
All of a sudden he sees a little girl, maybe two years old, that is standing in the middle of the street. Not far away from where she stands the ground has parted opening a large pit. He looks quickly around trying to see whether her mother or father are nearby. Nobody is looking at her, no one cares.
Her pink dress is fraying as if someone had tried to take it and had torn it.
The noise around is strong and chaotic, however his eyes remain focus on the little child that, like him, does not move. The crowd was running from right to left. He hears gunshots and the sound of metal being inserted on the flesh. A man screamed. Or was it a woman's cry ? There are detonations, metallic noises, the sound of iron striking iron.
He hears someone approaching and something makes him move towards the girl in order to protect her. He runs and grab her in his arms. Someone shouts something he does not understand to his ear, the sound of the voice is spooky.
He holds the little one and carries her in his arms. Her weight hits him. He felt so light until he has touched her. He had the impression his physical body was not even there anymore. However now he could feel their hot skins really touching. His blue t-shirt was ripped.
He doesn't know where to go. A heated breath of air hit them both. A supernatural force propel them into the air. A violent gust rips the girl off from his arms.
His body lays on the hard cement, he could barely rise. Everything burns : his head, his eyes, his nose, his skin. He tries to find the girls but she has disappeared. He can not save her.
The air is heavy, it is difficult to breath. Every breath of air is toxic. He kneels. He looks at his hands. He discovers with horror that they are raw. He is so dizzy he can't even tell if it hurts. He raises his eyes. No eyelashes left. It is difficult to see with the light reflection coming from the middle of the mist. Would that dread ever stop ? Eventually it would never end.
And he feels in that moment an overwhelming, going through his entire body, eternal terror.
Crédit Photos: Tabitha Turner