These were the sensations I felt right before I opened my eyes. My eyes still seemed reluctant to open. Was this a Monday morning? I could not remember. Gradually my senses were becoming more alert. I could feel that my back was drenched. I felt incessant cold pinpricks on my skin, like… rain. With drop, another shiver went up. I forced my eyes open.
My hard pillow had been brown earth. The same brown earth that had somehow gotten into my mouth. I spat. There was dirt, as well as some blood. Something hurt. Badly. Something stank. Terribly. Still unable to move much, I turned my head a little to check my surroundings. On my left was a dilapidated one-storied structure with a shutter. There was graffiti all over its walls, but some of the old grey wall was still visible. The shutter must have been green, but dust covered it completely. On the roof was a rod, and above that, a cylindrical flag was hoisted. The flag was dirty, like a wash cloth in a cheap restaurant. Its colors must have been white and red on a good day, but now it was just a muddy brownish grey.
And beyond it lay the sky like an all-covering blanket, covered with clouds that looked menacing.
This is what I woke up to – a grey building with a grey flag against the grey sky. A heavy drop of rain fell into my left eye. I blinked and tried to sit up. I wiped my eye with the back of my hand. The pain was unbearable, like someone was scraping my skin out with a butter knife. My hand was covered in half dried, clumpy blood. It was then that I noticed my nails. Black and blue. Rotted. Scraped and broken. Clotted blood. I looked down at my clothes. They were now reduced to rags. I looked up at the grey flag again. But why? How would a flag have answers?
I got up. A blinding pain shot up from my right heel to the bridge of my nose. I staggered. Momentarily, my breath seemed clamped in my throat. There was nothing to hold on to steady myself, so I waited a moment. It was then that I heard the whooshing noise. Like ocean waves crashing on the shore. It could not have been the rain, which had reduced to a drizzle. The noise seemed to be inside my head. Oddly, there seemed to be no other sound. But that stench. Where was that coming from? What was it?
Up ahead, I saw a wall. It was strange that it was built right across the road I was on. Like a dead end, but more abrupt. As though hastily built to keep something in. Or keep something out. Despite the pain in my foot, I started walking towards it. With each step, the pain seemed to increase. I turned back to look once, and I saw I was leaving a trail of blood. Suddenly, I wanted to cry. I was scared, cold, alone. Where was everybody?
—-Read part 2 here—-