A loud boom shook the ground as dust blew in my face.
“Run!” Daniel shouted.
Blinding light lit up the night sky. If only these were celebratory fireworks, but they weren’t.
I stared. My feet felt as if they were entombed in concrete. This couldn’t be happening. Not now,
Daniel pulled on my hand. Seconds ticked by as I imagined my body being blown to bits. Sirens faced in an out. Swishing knives cut through the air, followed by rumbles. Each one got closer.
Multiple alarms sounded as transformers blew across the city. I felt something burning and slapped my arm.
“Ashes,” Daniel said.
I wiped off the soot. How could this be? One minute we were celebrating our first kiss, and the next we were running for our lives. I brushed my long brown hair back with my fingers. Another missile whizzed by.
Daniel pulled me along as grass burned underneath our feat. Minutes later, he found an enclosure that reminded me of a bus stop. Was it secure or was it designed only to give a sense of security?
I struggled to catch my breath. “We’re going to die.”
Daniel’s brown eyes reassured me. ”We’re in a bomb shelter.”
For the uninitiated like me, I never dreamed I would need one. We didn’t have such things in America.
“You’re shaking,” Daniel said. He wrapped his arms me. I didn’t want to think I’d taken my last breath.
A thousand thoughts supplanted that one. Was my mother still alive? When I returned from the first century, I never told her where I had been. She would have taken me to that psychologist who wrote that stupid report. The wretched principal would have expelled me .
Why couldn’t this attack have waited a few more days? Jesus told us to marry, but we just returned to Jerusalem.
Daniel whispered in my ear, “I love you, Shale.”
I broke into sobs.
A dog barked.
I touched Daniel’s shoulder. “Did you hear it?”
Daniel’s eyes met mine. “What did he say?”
Now the sirens drowned him out. I stepped toward the shelter entrance, but Daniel blocked me.
“I’m not going to let you rescue a dog.”
“The dog needs help for an injured child.”
Daniel stared. “No, can’t be.”
“We must go.”
"You stay here and let me check.”
“You don’t understand dog talk. I must go.”
Daniel grimaced. “Let’s hope he keeps barking, and watch your step. There could be unexploded bombs.”
The only light came from fires burning in the distance. Shadowy embers floated from the sky.
The dog barked again.
“What’s he saying?”
I translated. "Hurry."
Straight ahead, a shadowy four-legged figure appeared that reminded me of Much-Afraid. He wagged his tail.
Another bomb screeched The boom nearly broke my eardrums.
The dog took a few steps back and lowered his head.
Then I saw two bodies. A small child was stroking one them, a young woman with mangled hair. I stumbled over bloodied shoes.
I knelt beside the child. “Thank God, she’s alive.”
“Her mother and father aren’t,” the dog said. “She has no one. God sent me to find a rescuer.”
My vocal chords went dry as numbness filled my throat.
“I must go rescue others. Take care of Shira.”
“Wait.” I reached over and stroked the dog’s head, focusing on his crusty eyes. “What do you mean?”
“You are the ones God called.”
“I understand animal speak, but I don’t know this poor child. What was her name again?”
"Shira," the dog replied.
"Shira," the dog replied.
My eyes turned to the little girl. I tried to pick her up, but she clung to her dead mother.
“Others need my help," the dog said. Then he took off, disappearing into the darkness.
“We need to find her relatives,” Daniel said. He walked around to the other side and searched the pockets of her father. I looked for a cell phone.
“Nothing,” Daniel said.
I stroked the child’s back and spoke in Hebrew. “Sweetie, come with me. Your mother and father are sleeping.”
The child lifted her head and focused her mournful eyes on me. After a brief hesitation, she lifted her arms. I picked her up. She was small and light—and couldn’t be more than three.
“Let’s get out of here,” Daniel said.
“Where should we go?
“Jacob’s. He can help us find her relatives.”
When should I tell Daniel she had no relatives?
I am going to upload the first three chapters as "The Prescience" goes through the final edits. Hopefully it will be available by the fall.