1. The explosion
My head pounds, trying to escape my body. I try to sit up but immediately fall back down in pain. I can't remember a thing. My vision blurs and the world spins, making my head hurt even more. I focus all my energy on assuming a more comfortable position. It feels as though I'm lying on a bed of nails. I wave of pain covers me and I groan. This doesn't feel real. Sort of as though I were looking over my own body. I black out. A memory comes to me, dark and nightmarish. The start isn't so bad. I'm in a high school, playing outside with what I assume to be friends. We're laughing, all of us. I study each of their faces. Two are boys and the other two are girls. And there's me, or what I suppose is me, sitting on the cold, cracked, concrete laughing along to whatever it is one of us said to make us all laugh. I'm happy. But then I get a panicked feeling, as if I know something's about to happen. I look around, my heart beating faster and faster. Then it happens. There's a large booming noise, and a huge fireball speeds towards me. I scream. So do my friends. Everything's moving in slow motion. The large black cloud of smoke drifting away. The uncountable sirens of nearby firetrucks. The screams of the dying children. It's awful. I wish for it to stop but, as if in answer to my wish, it get's worse. Focusing on each and every dying scream. Then I swoop back to my own body, and watch as several rescuers lean over me. One leans his head to my chest, checking for a heartbeat. He slowly lifts his head. Shaking it. Everything goes black, and I'm back, my head pounding still. I groan and shake myself awake. I scream, and it echoes loudly, again and again. Tears sting my eyes as the reality sets in. My friends are dead. My teachers are dead. Everyone's dead... except me. No I doubt if I were dead that I would feel pain, or be able to scream. For the first time, I take in my surroundings. It's dark. Probably either early morning or late evening. Something's strange about this place. It's very quiet, nothing like the New York I know. But that's not it. I can't quite put my finger on it. But I'll figure it out later. Maybe a freshly rested mind would work better. Because right now, I'm exhausted. So I close my eyes and drift off to sleep.