On reaching Holderness Road, she heard the sound of the siren, warning of an enemy attack. The noise was so deafening, frighteningly so, even though she had heard it many times before. It couldn't be a raid. All the talk was of the war ending, so surely it must be a mistake?
Ahead of her, further along Holderness Road, she could see that the picture-goers were leaving the cinema and streaming out in all directions. Something made her glance upwards to the dark sky above and she heard the noise of an aircraft. She squinted, seeing nothing, and then it was just above her head, the enemy plane so low she could see the pilot in the cockpit. She jumped back in fear as the plane dived lower, its machine gun blazing. Then the ground beneath her shook as a bomb exploded. She was flung against a door of a shop as its plate-glass window smashed into smithereens. Screams filled the acrid air, her eardrums felt like bursting, lights popped and flashed, a kaleidoscope of colours stinging her eyes. Heat whipped round her body and falling masonry rained down upon her head, hitting her hard. She lifted up her arms to protect her head and face, closing her eyes in an attempt to ward off her mounting terror. There was an unnatural silence, and then panic broke loose. People were shouting for loved ones and friends. Opening her eyes, Rose saw the carnage all around her and her body went cold at the horror. A woman was cradling an older woman, a man was clawing with his bare hands at a pile of rubble, cries and moans filled the air, and everywhere there was smoke and rising heat.
Her first thought was for her parents. She struggled to her feet; her knees were bleeding, her hair and face were covered in plaster and bits of debris, and her coat was torn. But she was alive. With shaking limbs, she negoited the path strewn with obstacles of bricks, fallen timbers and broken glass.
She plunged foward. She had to find her parents.