Friday, 16 September 2011

The Crash

I'd left work, it had been a stressful day. The sky was clear but it was beginning to get dark, it seemed like the perfect time to go for a run. With work being so busy I'd been neglecting my fitness regime, I was going to take this time to zone out, to just think about the burn in my muscles rather than everything else I had to deal with.

My plan was to run through the suburbs, towards the city and back. I was running down a road, one not often used by cars. My feet crunched over  fallen, orange leaves and trees hung over my head. There were a few houses down that road, each of them had a dog tied up outside. Those dogs barked at me as I ran past. I remember thinking how weird that was. Why were all those dogs outside?

I paused to catch my breath as I came out of the trees. I could see the city ahead of me. There was a shuttle being launched, one of those huge ones that was probably carrying all sorts of cargo up to the space station. At first I didn't realise quite how lethargically it was moving. It was climbing at an angle I'd never seen from such a large space shuttle. It climbed and slowed before arching over the city. I realised what was going on. Gravity grabbed it and began to sink downwards, now picking up pace.

I knew I should run, get away from what was no doubt going to be a huge explosion. I doubted that the crew would be able to right the ship now. But I couldn't drag my eyes away as it sunk behind the trees. Moments later a cloud of fire and smoke shot upwards and the ground shook. I could feel an immense heat, the smell of smoke filled the air and the sky turned red.

I began to run, north and away from the city. Back home. I wondered if my father had the sense to leave his lab and make his way home at a normal time. God, I hoped so. I spared a quick thought for all of those in the blast radius. Even I, a few miles away, could feel that heat. I was still worried that a ripple of fire was making its way towards me. I ran faster than I ever had before and didn't stop until I'd arrived at my house two miles away.

I tried to ring my father but the line was dead.

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