Part 1: Musings of a Metropolis Victim

This is it. This is exactly how and where I’m going to die. Trapped under 2 tons of concrete. My right leg skewered by 12 foot long rebar. Unable to move. Throat hoarse from yelling for help. Slowly suffocating in the dust and smoke. Bleeding out. Alone.

No one can hear me. I’ve been screaming for what feels like hours. Nobody is coming to get me, ‘cos nobody knows where I am. And frankly, nobody cares. I’m alone in a city where nobody knows me, and every single person here is probably running for their lives right now. That’s what I was doing too, before. Before I tripped. Before a dozen people trampled me in the stampede to get out of the alley. Before I saw a bright flash of red light tear through the building on my left, and I heard that sickening sizzling sound. The sound I’d heard moments ago when the red beams tore through a building a distance away. The sound had been faint before, but this time it buzzed loudly in my ears, setting my teeth on edge. I could almost feel it vibrating my skull. And with that sound, the red beams; slicing through concrete and metal as if they were butter. The last thing I saw was slabs of what used to be the building wall, come tumbling towards me, and then blinding pain in my right leg, and then darkness.

I’m awake now, so I can fully appreciate the searing pain of having a 4 inch thick, half-rusted metal rod piercing through my ankle. Actually that’s a lie. It was about half a minute right after I woke up; the moment I unthinkingly tried to move my leg that I really felt the peak of the pain. It’s faded into a dull throbbing ache, since I learned to lie still and not disturb my leg. I had to learn that, unless I wanted to pass out again.

There was a shard of glass stuck in my cheek, but it dislodged while I was yelling. Now there’s just blood. Blood, a hole in my cheek and more pain. But bearable pain in comparison to my leg. The slabs of concrete wall had miraculously piled on each other at such an angle that they created a small pocket of space around me. Did I say miraculous? I meant to say, like some sick cosmic joke. ‘Cos instead of crushing me instantly and that being the end of it, I get to sit in a pool of my own blood and slowly watch the world go dark around me.

I can’t hear much except for what sounds like distant booms. I don’t know what those could be. More buildings coming down? Or maybe something else… The funny thing is, I can’t hear any screams. When it all started, there were screams everywhere. Everyone was on the street looking up at that monstrous thing, sitting in the sky right over the city, like some colossal spidery monster with long thin limbs poised high over the tallest building in Metropolis. And then the resounding boom, that made the ground beneath us tremble. The woman standing near me in the street had screamed first. And then it seemed like everyone was screaming all at once.

The pool of blood collecting around my leg is sizeable now. My leg actually doesn’t hurt so bad anymore. Is this what dying feels like?

I don’t remember why exactly I had started running. I didn’t even know what I was running from or to. It was just what everyone around me was doing, so I followed in the panic. I didn’t know where I was going. I was just a week into my work-assignment in Metropolis, and I still had no idea which street led where. So I just ran. I remember looking back for a moment up at the sky, and seeing fire raining down. And I could have sworn there was something else. Two shapes, one black and one red, hurtling through the air in the midst of fiery debris.

Who are they? Did they cause this? Are there more of them? What was that ship doing here? What the hell was going on? …One thing’s for sure, I am never going to find out. I am going to suffocate in this dark hole of concrete and death. Alone. And maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe everyone in the city is dead. Maybe that’s why I can’t hear any screams anymore. Maybe it’s better that I die in here, than out there. Maybe they killed everyone in the city.

What if they find me? Would they help me? Would they destroy me like they destroyed the city? I don’t know. And I’ll never know. ‘Cos this is it. This is how and where I’m going to die.

The Thing Is | by: Samanlie