SEPTEMBER 30, 2010 THURSDAY 6:20PM
He could see nothing. He could hear nothing.
Adam was lying flat on the ground. He didn’t know where he was.
He felt so tired. Every muscle in his body was being torn. Each nerve on fire.
A sledge-hammer was pounding in his head every second, blowing his brains to pieces each time it did.
Adam did not know where he was. He tried to remember, but couldn’t. He tried getting up, but couldn’t. Nothing moved. It was as if his body had stopped following his orders. The pain dropped a notch, or maybe it had been paining for so long that his body had got used to it.
“Hello?” Adam said. But, he didn’t hear his own voice.
“HELLLOOOOO!!” he screamed. Still nothing.
Not even the low rumbling buzz in the larynx when one screams.
And then it dawned upon him. His body was completely paralysed. His eyes were closed, and so was his mouth. But, now that he realised that, he felt no panic. None whatsoever. As if he knew exactly what was going on, even though he had no clue at all.
Adam tried sucking-in a deep breath. The cold air had a strong pungent odour of formalin, the “hospital-smell” as he liked to call it. Mixed with it was an equally strong, but more familiar smell of burnt petrol.
Burnt-Petrol!! That comforted him. The smell of Burnt-petrol always comforted Adam. Ever since he was a kid, he loved the smell of fresh exhaust. He loved it so much that often on a damp rainy day, he would simply go to the freeway near his home and stand by the side, smelling the burnt-petrol in the exhaust of the cars that whizzed past him. For a moment he felt he was a kid again.
But, with the next whiff, the formalin brought him back to where he was. The immense pain returned. The muscles tearing, the nerves burning, the sledge-hammer re-started inside his head. It was harder this time. Harder and faster. The pain was too much to handle. He passed out.
OCTOBER 1, 2010 FRIDAY 2:00AM
He woke-up with a start. He still couldn’t open his eyes. He was still paralyzed. The only reason he knew he was awake and not dreaming was the throbbing pain he was experiencing. He somehow knew for sure that even in the most terrible nightmare, he could not imagine himself experiencing so much pain in one go.
Now that he was awake, Adam took in a deep breath trying to find comfort in the familiar smell of Burnt-petrol. But somehow there was no trace of it. The air he sucked into his lungs was entirely devoid of the smell he longed for. He felt the wet slush sticking to his back as he lay on the ground. He suddenly realised, he was drenched to the bone. It had rained and he was lying on open ground somewhere. As he lay there, not knowing where he was, trying to remember how he got there in the first place. He had a sudden flash of a memory…
The bright orange sky above was burning. Burning like the glowing-end of the Marlboro-menthols he once smoked. It was as if, GOD had decide to restart afresh and had set fire to the whole universe. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in the 26 years of his life.
At the same time it was also the most painful thing he had ever witnessed. He was inhaling the burning sky. He could feel the pain rising with each breath. But, all he wanted to do was to watch the sky, watch it burn until there was nothing left to burn.
But, the “little voice-in-his-head” had other plans. He had always done what the “little voice-in-his-head” told him to do. And now it was telling him to RUN.
Run as fast as he could. Run for as long as he could. Away from the mushroom cloud he could see gradually growing in the horizon.
He didn’t understand why.