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  • elliejauthor

Bullets on the bus (2)

Everyone dived to the floor. I curled up under a seat. The grime of a thousand shoes muddied my clothes. An old paper tissue and a crinkled chewing gum wrapper lay by my knees. A child was crying. 'There, there, pet. It'll be over soon,' soothed a woman. An elderly man lay on his back in the isle, staring at the roof. 'Mister,' the voice was mine, 'Mister, cover your face.'

'At my age?' he joked, 'I'm too old for this.'

A sudden explosion of glass. A million diamonds flew across the bus. Shards embedded themselves in the back of my hands. In faces. In legs. Blood ran down my fingers. Smeared the floor. I winced. An urgent banging on the bus door. A soldier. A soldier with a gun. An SLR. The driver struggled to his feet. Opened the door. An English accent. In all that mayhem, an English accent. That's what I remember most. It sounded so strange. 'Get out of here! Go!' he yelled. The driver slammed the accelerator to the floor.

We all survived, of course, and now, I can draw on that trauma. But the truth is, we all have trauma in our lives. True, some have more than others, but it's there in each of us. Use it to inspire passion in your writing.

PS. The Troubles lasted from the late 60's to the late 90's. In that time 3,500 people were killed and 47,000 were injured, bringing the total dead and injured to over 50,000.

RUC. Royal Ulster Constabulary

IRA Irish Republican Army

SLR - Self Loading Rifle.

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