The bullet burned from within her chest. It felt as though she had been stabbed with a white hot knife. Blood seeped from the wound and spread across her skin. She could feel it winding a path slowly down her stomach. The pain was intense and yet she was unable to do anything that might alleviate her suffering.
Bullets ricocheted off burning cars and tore through the plastered walls of nearby shops. People were screaming and fleeing in all directions. The air was full of smoke and was rank with the smell of gun powder. Pandemonium reigned and panic was spreading throughout the square.
She lay there, huddled against what had, an hour earlier, been a government building, but was now nothing but ruins. She had no idea who had shot her; had it been done accidentally or intentionally?
Other figures sprawled out on the ground. Some were in the street and others, like her were propped up against the sides of buildings.
A window smashed out above and she did her best to shield herself from the falling glass. Shards sliced tiny cuts into her right forearm and one nicked her forehead. Blood was streaming from the hole the bullet had left and was pooling around her.
She tried to yell for help, but her throat was raw from breathing in the smoke and she succeeded only in coughing wretchedly. Her eyes burned and teared; she could only see a few feet in front of her.
Suddenly a man leapt over some debris to the left of her and crouched down, covering his head. An explosion detonated behind him seconds later and yet more shrapnel filled the air. The man waited a moment longer and then looked up. His terrified glaze met hers and she mouthed the words, “Help me.” He flinched and then got up and ran. He made it only about fifty feet before he was struck down. His body fell onto the corpse of another.
Realizing that her survival would be determined only by herself, she tried to stand. The building was constructed of a rough, light tan stone and the texture was abrasive against her scrambling hands. She managed to half turn her body, but her legs refused to function. She was in agony. Black dots exploded across her eyes and she lost all vision. The noise around her blurred; everything sounded as though it was happening underwater. She slumped slowly to the side.
On the edge of consciousness, she focused on the last few senses still registering information from around her. The ground was even, small pieces of rock and metal were scattered all around her. Yet more flew through the air, striking and marking her skin. She tasted blood and wondered vaguely why it had such a metallic tang to it. She was covered in it; it seeped from dozen of small wounds and flowed from the hole left by the bullet. It soaked her clothing and the rank smell of it assaulted her nostrils.
She had to get out of the square. She rolled fully onto her stomach and tried crawling towards an open doorway in the government building. She managed only a few feet before the pain of dragging her wounded torso across the uneven ground grew to be unbearable.
At last, she was forced to accept the inevitable; she would not survive. She lowered her head to the ground and closed eyes. The shooting ceased; the pain faded and she was gone.
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