There is no glass left in the window. When was there last glass? Was it yesterday? Was yesterday just yesterday? There is no glass, and there were never curtains, and there is light lighting the entire room, and there is light burning all of us in the room, nowhere to go. Watching help;ess;y. I don’t want to be here. Where else is there for me to go?
There is no glass left in the window. It didn’t survive the first shrieking flash, the collapse of the interior ministry just over on the hill; it’s doubtful that if there was glass it would do much, how could it hide the flames licking the skyline, the screams drifting disconnected from everywhere. My own head. The wails of mourning.
I’m waiting. Sitting underneath a wooden table. My wife next to me. Kids cradled between us, I can feel their shaking fear, I have felt it since the bombing started, I feel myself being strong and not shaking for them, I don’t want this, I don’t want this. I must be a man. I must be a man. I must be a man.
Another flash of light followed by a shriek of sound. Our building rattles. I think I gasp but I can’t be sure. I look at my wife and her eyes are full of fear. Where else is there for us to go but here? To go on the streets. Never. We could use the table to block the window, but then what if our shaky building has a missile strike close, we need to have something protect us from any of our own hidden projectiles biding their time as a brick in our wall. My children are still shaking. Is it even worse now? Like lightning another flash of light. Farther away, it takes a delayed moment for the sound to touch us, like lightning followed by thunder. But so much worse. So much more powerful. Was that parliament? What will we wake up to tomorrow? Will there be a tomorrow for us? I look at my wife and see her fear.
Another flash of light. Another flash of light. Time is becoming meaningless. All the moments are the same. Another flash of light, followed by the anticipation of more flashes of light. The inbetween time one of darkness except the shadows of fire, silent of the unholy thunder but rift with pain. Fear in the air everywhere. The people in the apartment above us, below us, to the right of us, to the left of us. Are they all okay? I can feel their fear, and I am sure they know mine. My children’s. There is no glass left in the window. There is nothing separating us from the outside, we are a part of the landscape, we are in the war field. Humane bombs killing those people I love, tactical strikes to free us of a dictatorship making my wife live with terror, making my children know that the world can be a bad place. Making them have to touch something in their hearts, realize something, have something ripped out of their innocence. This is not right. How could this be right. This is a city. This is my home. The place I was from. Why would some other place decide to do this? To sit down and have all their important people decide that the action they want is to contort places like my apartment, my city, into a place that rips the innocence out of children.
My children have stopped shaking. Have they gone to sleep? There has not been a sonic boom for awhile. They are not shaking. They have gone to sleep. My wife whispers do I know how long it has been since the last strike, I shake my head. We wait. We wait lifetimes for another flash of light, another clap of thunder. All we see is fire, hear is screams wailing to the innermost crevices of my mind. We wait. We wait. We wait. The sky no longer a starless black mess of the illumination of smoke. We begin to see tendrils of grayness streaking about the infernal red blackness. We wait longer. We wait. It is over, for at least a little while. What do we do now? What is there to do now? Make tea? Go about our day? How will we ever begin to live another day knowing that the night could be pierced with the destruction of our lives? How will my children ever get a good nights rest when they have to fear the bombs might fall again?