Watch a live version of this song (not quite the same as the version I wrote to).
A fine grain of ash floated above the city, summoning water molecules to it with static attraction. A drop formed, with the grain in the center of the globe. The light from the explosions below shot through the globe, turned, bent, flipped, exited, like a camera obscura. The globe gained weight, deformed, started to fall.
Water stained hot cement. The drops evaporated until they cooled the surface enough to collect. A rivulet snaked down the cement, dripped, tap-tap-tap through layers of shattered wood, paper, crushed and melted office furniture, twisted rebar, and more cement, cracked and crumbling and dusty with fractured grit. The water rolled down, pulled by gravity, gathered up dust and ash until it ran thick as chocolate syrup. The water dripped thickly on a human forehead.
Her eyelashes fluttered. Rona woke, coughed, felt pain, felt the pinning weight on her legs, felt the lingering heat. Daylight found it's way down, diminished but present. It let everything in monochrome gray. An alarm still blared from somewhere beneath her. The sludgy water rolled between her nose and left eye. She smudged it away and saw her hand, missing two fingers, the stubs burnt--cauterized. She looked at her hand as if it wasn't hers. She let it rest out of sight.
More water rushed down, less viscous, clearer. Rona let it run into her mouth. Someone near her muttered loudly. Someone else screamed.
Hours passed. Darkness came and went and came again. The water rolled down again, and Rona woke and drank. The others stopped making noises.
Another day. Sounds overhead. Helicopters, dogs, human feet in heavy boots. Radio squelches. Hands shifting debris.
"Help," she said, her voice barely above silence.
Darkness came again. Rain again, clean and cold. Rona shivered. Her heart skipped beats. Her breathe was shallow.
"This is not it," she said quietly.
Rona cleared small bits of debris from her chest. She pushed and pulled, screaming against the angry resistance of fractured bones and freed her other hand, ripping at the skin on her arm, and vast red scratches formed. She reached above her and pushed apart large chunks of wall, and made the opening where the water dripped down wider. She found purchase against a stubborn protrusion of rebar above her. She pulled, and put her weight in it. She wriggled her hips setting her nerves on fire. the fabric of her jeans resisted the rubble. She unbuttoned, reached again for the rebar, and pulled, wriggled, and slipped from the grip of the collapsed building. She pulled up again on the rebar, and forced her way through the opening.
The cavity above was three feet high, and was once a full story. Rona slipped in and crawled past a crushed human skull that stank of rot already. She crawled following the path of the water, soaked into maroon carpet. There was another opening, but nothing to pull up on. She gathered her bare abraded legs beneath her, screaming, and pushed herself up into the next cavity, defined by five feet of rubble. She climbed up, then laid out on the old roof of her building.
The rain hit hard and cold. It washed her body free of the grit. Flashlights crisscrossed, shone into her eyes. Voices, shouts.
"This is not it," she said.