But what was worse than the bombings was the screaming, and moaning, and crying. I now found myself spending most of my time in my bedroom since it was facing the woods and had only one window. I boarded the window with my kitchen table to block the noises. I hated the cries—hated the torture. I didn’t want to know what was going on, but it seemed I had to face it sometime.
After six rounds of explosions, the world around me quieted. It was too silent. I was paranoid by this point. I almost came out of my ball in the corner of the room, but then the sirens came. Wailing in the distance and getting closer, cop cars, ambulances and whatever other emergency vehicles zoomed through the streets.
I could smell burning human flesh nearby, a bitter, vile smell I wished I could forget, but I couldn’t react. I squeezed my eyes shut harder and tried to count to one hundred without the sounds of screaming forcing me to stop.