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"Inevitable Dawn"

          It is April 19, 1999, two days after, and the sirens have temporarily stopped. Since it happened, the sun has been entirely blocked out. Smoke chokes the air like an eerie, ominous mist. There has been literally no movement in the surrounding area, and the silence that pervades is reminiscent of a dream I once had. I woke up, dressed, and went outside. I drove all the way to work and then I finally realized that the entire world had come to a halt. People were frozen in mid-step, birds dangled in mid-flight, mouths stretched in mid-sentence. Unfortunately, the silence that surrounded me then was just a dream, that I soon awoke from. This silence, however, is all too real.

          Satellite communications were restored briefly, and I was able to make one call on my cellular phone to my parents, but the line was dead. God save them. Final evaluations here reveal only minor abrasions and contusions, except for my son, Richard, who is complaining about pains in his side. The smoke has yet to clear, and the air has taken on a taste of sulfur. I have begun to reconstruct my grandfather's ham radio in an attempt to intercept any military signals, as all FM and AM transmissions were destroyed following the initial blast. In surveying the surrounding area, I found our home to be the only one to have been spared a direct hit. Any possibility of survivors is minimal.

          My suspicions have been confirmed. In a joint Russo-Iraqi-Serbian strike, cities across the country have been bombed in retaliation for the U.S. Kosovan air strikes. Initial estimates calculate fifty million dead on impact on the east coast alone. Using the ham radio, I was able to tap into an emergency frequency. Broadcasters announced to all listeners to stay indoors at all cost. Government officials suspect that the second wave of bombings carried chemical weapons that could prove extremely deadly if exposure exceeds approximately fifteen minutes. My son's pains continue, but any possibility of professional medical attention has been eliminated. It has begun to rain, a sign which my wife, Rebecca, and I only hope will alleviate the factor of the chemical radiation. At present time, all seems stable, but more bombings are expected, and food supplies are becoming limited.

          It is now April 22, 1999, and we have finally determined what has been ailing Richard. It appears that during the tremors following the initial strikes, the bookshelf in his room collapsed and fell on his ribs. Although we have not entirely confirmed it, his symptoms lead us to believe that he is bleeding internally. Despite the lack of medical attention available, we have done all that is possible to induce hemorrhaging. Now we can only wait to see if the clotting will commence. On better terms, the rain did clear away some of the smoke, and parts of the city are now becoming visible from our window; however, we both have become doubtful as to the extent in which the rain has cleared the chemical radiation. Large piles of wood and concrete are erupting all around, like volcanic islands surfacing from the Pacific. The sulfurous smell of the air has become less concentrated, yet emergency broadcasters still advise to remain indoors. However, I am not sure how much longer we will be able to heed this warning. With the rapidly diminishing supply of canned foods, and the recently dried out plumbing system, I am afraid that I may have to go searching for survival needs.

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