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Rated: 18+ · Fiction · Action/Adventure · #2267415
Journey through genres
'Cough!' Dust and smoke filled my lungs. As I opened my eyes they filled with debris. It was pitch black. All I could hear was a high pitched whistling and the throbbing of my heart. Then the pain set in. A heavy weight pressed down on my legs. Was that blood? Something wet was seeping through my trousers. Then, maybe I pissed myself. A metallic taste filled my mouth. "What the ..." I couldn't even hear my own voice.

My mind went into overdrive. What happened? How badly hurt am I? How do I get out of here? And then ... where's Bobby? My little boy was standing beside me before ... before what? I started to feel around, hoping for a little hand, a tiny boot, a tousled head. Nothing. "Bobby?" I tried to call out but it was just a squeak. I coughed again. I couldn't stop coughing. It hurt. The tears came, washing out the worst of the grit. 'Don't rub', I could hear my mother saying, in my head.

I had to move. I had to find Bobby. I had to get us out of here. A creaking from somewhere above me was followed by a crash. Something heavy just missed me. I tried to move my legs but whatever it was that lay across them was too heavy. I tested my arms; they seemed okay. There was no pain in my back or neck. Dare I sit up? As I did, a spinning sensation overcame me. I took a deep breath and it subsided.

The area took on a blue tinge. Emergency vehicles? Yes. There was movement somewhere deep in the gloom. "Hello, is anybody there?" No answer. I tried to increase the volume and called out again. A bright light fleetingly swept in my direction, but it seems they didn't see me. "Hey, I'm over here." My voice had no strength. I started another fit of coughing. My ribs hurt; maybe they were broken. I should try to stay still, but I had to find Bobby.

I leaned forward to feel the object pinning my legs. It was warm, so wood not metal. I felt along the length. "Ouch!" Splinter. I found the end. Using my arms and my legs I did my best to lift it. A sharp pain ran through me as something, probably a nail, ripped my skin. Deep breath and try again. I have to get free. I have to find Bobby. One last push and the wood moved, just enough to free my legs.

The bleeding has stopped. Will my damaged legs carry me? I struggled to my knees and begin to crawl. Starting where I fell, I move in a widening circle, all the time felling for any sign of my child. I find a hand and grab it. It is too large for Bobby. I feel for a pulse. None. This person has passed. Tears sting my eyes, fearing the worst. The blue light is still there, but dimmer. There has been no movement in the distance for a while now. Has the world deserted me?

I feel my pockets, looking for my mobile. Even if I can't ring for help, I can use the torch. I touch my hip pocket. The familiar shape is inside. Reaching in, I realise where the bleeding was coming from. The screen is smashed. Fragments are still sticking in the wound. But the torch is totally useless. "Bobby!" A small cough came from somewhere in the dark, not that far away. I followed the sound. Debris blocked my path. I had to find my feet so that I could climb over.

My leg didn't much like taking my weight, but I eventually managed. The blue light was brighter now and I could see a little. There was the cough again. I moved toward the sound, climbing over and ducking under the debris. "Bobby, are you hurt?" I crouched down.

"I ... I don't know. I don't think so, Mummy." Bobby was sitting cross-legged on the floor. He was covered in dust. A tiny trickle of blood ran down his forehead.

"We have to get out of here. Can you stand up?" I needed to help him to his feet, but soon we were moving toward the light. Ducking under was no problem for the child. I had to lift him over some of the rubble. A murmur of voices came from the direction of the light. Then I heard something else; machinery.

Even in the limited light I could make out the outline. It was one of those robot things they use to disarm bombs. That must be why the people with torches had left; they found another device. And we were almost on top of it. I tried to remember the layout of the building. The emergency services were at the main entrance, but I recalled fire exits to the side of the main hall.

"Come on. We need to go another way." I grabbed Bobby's hand and reversed my route. It seemed a little easier, having taken the path before. "Now, which way?" We had been facing the stage when the explosion happened. Now where were the green signs? Left or right? "Over there."

It was hard going. More debris had fallen since we left this space. Climbing over, crawling under, always listening for tell-tale creaks from above, we hurried to the side of the building. In my head, I could hear minutes ticking down, see a digital display flashing as it readied for the big BOOM!

I found the fire door, or what was left of it. A glint of light framed the twisted metal. There was no way this would be a simple 'push bar to open'. The bar was hanging on by a thread. I started kicking at the door. That did little to move it. I searched the immediate area for anything I could use to pry the metal apart. As luck would have it, a chair had parted from its base plate. I heaved the chair and worked on the metal fixing. The explosion had loosened it and after a while I got it free.

I pushed the end into the small gap between the doors. I levered it and the metal door began to twist. I just had to open it enough to release the catch. Bobby joined me in heaving on the bar. With a click, the lock released. The door moved a little, but was so twisted it dug into the ground. Bobby and I started kicking again. It moved an inch or so, but would take a long time to open. And all the time the clock was ticking.

Then a gloved hand appeared through the gap. "We'll soon have you out." More hands appeared. Then some kind of mechanical device. More light filled our space. Fresh air came through the gap. Then, with a loud crash, the doors opened. I lifted Bobby and shot through the hole. With hands assisting, we made a dash away from the building. And just in time. A shout went out and everyone began to run.


1189 words

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