Everything happens so fast I don't have enough time to process what has happened before I am knocked off my feet in a fierce blast. My ears are ringing so loudly it is as if there are a hundred bells jingling in my ears. When I open my eyes, it is to a scene of absolute chaos. Dust swirls round and round and there are piles of rubble surrounding me. The stalls around me are either knocked sideways or are lying crushed on the ground. I can see people lying, unmoving, with others crowded round them shouting and screaming.
For a second I wonder where I am and what the heck just happened, but slowly and surely it drifts back, the text, the bomb, the hurry to stop it. I was too late. I hadn't managed to stop it at all.
I lie there, shocked, for a few seconds, my heart filled with guilt. I gently move my arms and legs. Nothing seems broken, though they do ache quite a lot. My mouth is dry and my head hurts like someone is hammering on it.
I scramble to my feet and start staggering towards the bus station. I NEED to get away, I didn't want to see all the horrified screams, all the injured, all the dead people. I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.
" Stop! Please, help me, I don't know where my mum is!" I spin round to see a dark haired girl standing in front of me. She has black mascara running down her cheeks and the side of her head is cut badly. There's a vulnerability in her eyes that make it hard for me to turn away. I can't do nothing, I have to help, since this is all my fault. I could have prevented this if I had only found the bomb.
"It's okay, calm down, I'm gonna help. Where were you both before the bomb went off?" I ask gingerly.
We, we were by that stall, then I went off," as she turns, horror fills her eyes. The stall she is pointing at is nothing but a pile of fallen material and ripped cloth.
We walk slowly towards the fallen stall. The girl's footsteps are heavy. When we get to the stall, I start lifting up the clothes and poles, form which the clothes hung from. Nothing is here.
The girl finds nothing either. " Whereabouts do you think she could have gone?" I ask, putting a hand on her arm. It is cold and shivering. The jacket she's wearing is torn and frayed.
I grab a massive coat that is lying on the ground and hand it to her.
"Uh, maybe to look at the clothes section, or, or the groceries? I don't know" her voice quivers and she shakes her head.
" Lets have a look around. What was she wearing?"
"Um, a brown, a long brown coat, black ankle boots, she's got long dark brown hair, um, about as tall as you."
"Okay, lets have a look. You look by that fountain, and i'll look around here." I say, turning around and scanning through the people stumbling around.
Just then, something catches my eye. The point of a pair of brown boots are peeking out from behind a crowd of people bent over a little boy. I walk over, holding my breath. As I near, I see a woman lying on her back, her face to one side, her hair messed up over her face. Long dark brown hair.