The pale blue vase hit the floor with a crash. Shards of glass struck her fingers and her left eyebrow. Luckily there were no windowpanes left in the apartment, otherwise she would have lost fingers and eyes. The blast had been very strong. She felt an intense sadness envelop her when she realized she could now recognize, not only, the noise made by each and every projectile, but also, estimate the damage they would cause. A tear mixed with blood from her open eyebrow was gliding down her cheek. She refused to accept what she had become. An arms and explosives expert. When all she had ever wanted to be since being a child, and growing up as an adolescent, was to become a good and loving wife, a caring mother of five healthy chubby children who would run to her on their way back from school. They would enter the house in a flurry of sounds, shouts and laughter, they would give her a hug before running on to the kitchen for their meal. They would know what she had cooked before arriving home, as the luscious aromas created with love in her kitchen would reach as far as the corner of their street; on windy days, they would smell it as far as two or three blocks away.
Today, she stood in the middle of her living room shivering from the cold and the shock, the sadness and disbelief. The temperatures had dropped sharply in the last two days, the electricity had been off for the last week, forcing people to light kerosene heaters to warm up… if you were amongst the lucky ones who could find kerosene. Food too had been hard to find lately. Going out a hazard. She brushed off her bloodied tear with her wounded hand, leaving another streak of purplish red across her face. She was dirty. She knew it, she felt it. She stood and contemplated what was left of what had once been a very chic French-style designed living room. None of the original furniture was left. There was but a dirty and broken sofa, damp, full of lice, or other insects, the names of which she did not wish to know. But with which she unfortunately now shared a life. There was also a carpet. It had once been in her bedroom and had a drawing of Minnie Mouse on it. It had once been bright pink, yellow and black. Now, it was washed out. The bright colours had given place to uniformly brown stains. Minnie’s face was entirely covered by them. Only one of her shoes seemed to have kept some panache.
Maybe not. She had been on the carpet when the explosion occurred. It had knocked her down close to Minnie’s right shoe. Her first reflex after she realized she had been hit and was bleeding, had been to wipe her hand clean on whatever was closer to her…. Minnie’s right shoe was now sullied too, brownish red.
She knew she would have to leave the place. It had become too dangerous. But to go where. She did not know of any safe place in the country. She knew she would have to make up her mind really soon. Maybe tonight. Or perhaps tomorrow morning. After that it would be too late.
She was looking out the glassless window when an eagle appeared and seemed to look her straight in the eye before going back up.
She had never seen one in this part of town. She had never seen any at all.
She wanted to believe it was a good omen. She needed it so much.