‘Student’ by Anonymous

For a moment, they thought they heard voices. Their icy fingertips were lost in a sea of dust.
Slowly, their heavy eyelids opened to see masonry put together like a jigsaw. Above and
below them, beside and between them. Rich, acrid grit filled their nostrils as their lungs
fought heavily for a piece of opportunity. A piece of hope. A piece of life.

Silence oddly filled the air. It was as if all noise had been snatched from earth, as dusty and
grit like fog found its way into every corner of their world. A splinter of light seemed to creep
gingerly across and broken canopy of an aged, Edwardian ceiling; it had crumpled like paper
in just a short moment where everything had changed.

They reached out to anywhere and felt a cold warmth from the fragmented inklings of human
life. Without speaking, they both immediately acknowledged that they were now alone in
which they had not planned for – a world they could have never imagined.

Deathly drips reverberated ominously across the cold, unforgiving concrete floor. A final
resting place? Echoes of what once seemed to gather around them, as their eyelids fought
against a veil of dust which tasted of yesterday but not tomorrow.

They didn’t hear the sirens; they didn’t hear the shouts of the firefighters. They missed a
gloved hand, which bent down and felt around them. They didn’t see the flash of the
torchlight; or was it the moon? Their world was slowly slipping out of their icy finger tips as
they found themselves longing for that untouched meal which had looked so warm and
inviting, on their best willow-pattern china for a rare Sunday meal together. Their last. They
longed for the wireless, to tell them the good news of their sons in the skies and on the seas.

They thought they could hear voices. They couldn’t be certain, and they would never be
sure. It was time to go now. In unison, their eyelids almost creaked to close.