Sunday, 28 December 2008 - 9:21 am

The flight

Yesterday feels like a dream.  If there wasn’t an ache radiating out from the bones in my arm, I might wonder if it was real.  I should have written this last night, kept it fresh, but I was so tired when we finally stopped.  We just found a place we could all fit inside, slid down onto the floor, and stopped for the night.  Dillon used my lap for a pillow.  I don’t even remember him settling down there; I was asleep so quickly.


After the hotel came down, we only had a little time to recover.  We patched up what injuries we could, but the explosions were getting worse, and closer.  Broken gas lines turned into fire spouts, angry dragons at every turn.  We had to pick each other up – literally in some cases – and run for it.

Another building came down.  Or two; it was hard to keep track.  Carter shouted at us to just keep going, not to stop.  The impacts were so close, though – I was knocked off my feet by one of them.  It was hard to see, and we had to keep calling out to make sure we didn’t lose anyone.  Ripples of coughing voices calling out names in sequence.  Sometimes the sequence faltered.

I kept seeing pictures of the First World War in my head, of men going up and over the top and just running towards the enemy.  It’s so crazy, but they did it anyway, because they were told to, because they had to.  They just ran through the bombs and the projectiles whizzing around them, through the smoke and the fog.

There was no enemy for us – just the city falling in on itself and trying to take us with it.  The enemy was the skyscrapers teetering over us, the ground under our feet, the muzzles of broken pipes, the choking air.  All we could do was run, clambering over debris and broken city.  Those of us who could clung to someone else on the way.

We didn’t stop until we got to the bridge, and then it was only to fall to a walk.  The great glowing beast was at our backs, flinging structures at the ground and glaring fire at us.  We could feel the bridge trembling under the pressure and that made us hurry on.  I’ve never been shaking and running at the same time before; I was so tired.  The firemen chivvied us on right to the other side, and I joined in when they ran out of breath. 


We lost four people getting out of there.  No-one’s sure when or where.  A couple of the guys wanted to go back, but none of us were in any state to do that.  Not even them. 

Of course, the fucking dog was fine.


There’s shouting outside; I better see what’s going on.  What do they mean, there’s something wrong with the sky?