Death to the Innocents

Hiroshima, Japan

The child watched as his mother raced for him from the other end of the street, her skin seared from the instantaneous wall of heat. His tears did little to soothe the agonizing flame licking at his flesh. His clothing burned off in a flash; the rest of his body followed.

The instructor screamed for the students to duck for cover as soon as the mushroom erupted. In the longest few seconds the children had ever known, the windows blew out, the walls collapsed, bodies instantly puffed to ash. For eight hundred of them, it was the last thing they ever saw.

A father roamed the scorched streets, stumbling in between the unrecognizable charred bodies. The last time he had seen his daughter was at the school, but the remains revealed nothing. He sobbed. The darker patterns on his clothing fused with his flesh, serving only to remind the dead that he was near them.

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