The Explosion

A sudden explosion, like a shot

That was a shot, a big crash. If you have never heard an explosion, it seems more like a shot, but its sound wraps you completely. Furthermore, the air flicks and the floor starts shaking terribly. You feel like a pawn, a lost deaf pawn, while the world all around you start bringing back its colours.

The explosion sent a shower of glass splinters inside Maria’s cubicle, inside the Trust bank; some of those fragments ended up even inside her herbal tea. Maria bounced out of her chair, ending with her skirt up and banging her head on the floor.

When she recovered, she looked around and noticed a group of people watching out of her window, murmuring something. The explosion didn’t happen far from her window, so you had a premium view of the whole situation.
“Do you see, there’s a car burning!”
“Oh, a terrorist!”

The explosion, Go back to the future, a story by Daniele Frau.
The explosion, by Daniele Frau.

Gradually, Maria started listening to the first voices. She stood up, leaving behind some glass splinters and no one, not even Mauro from accounting, noticed her. They heard for days about that invasion, about the aliens coming from the sky, but they all thought it was a joke. Now, they started to feel afraid. Some of them began to mutter the words aliens and terrorist and the two words, they discovered, there were perfect together.

“It must be them.”

Inside the newspapers, it was even more difficult to keep calm. After discovering that it was a taxi that one exploded that morning, they jumped on their feet, ready to question the last passenger. That’s how they reached Maria, which we already know.

Maria gave her side of the story, then she put her hand on her bosom and sighed:

“I could be dead now. It’s a miracle I’m alive.”

That’s how the words terror and terrorist started bouncing on the TV channels; they plaster it across the headlines for the entire nation to wallow in. Maria began to be the potential victim of that potentially tragic event. Someone started to produce data about what could have happened if the explosion had occurred in summer in the overcrowded streets.

The communication vacuum left by the main event was so vast that only one person had the strength and ability to fit in: the Head-of-the-state.

The Head, image by Gabriele Manca DMQ PRoductions for Daniele Frau's original story Go back to the future.
The Head, image by Gabriele Manca DMQ Productions.

“People!” he said, letting the loudspeaker spread his echo on every corner of the Central Square. Here, thousands of people listened to him with rapt and worried expressions. You’d only hear the occasional baby crying and the helicopter blades sweeping the clouds.

“Today, our glorious Country is under attack.”

The Head-of-the-state kept his usual reassuring smile under the beard, spelling his words like an actor would. A soap opera actor has a chance as a politician if he learns how to do some faces at the right time.

“Remember, Africans and Indians, communists and homosexuals, Southern people and Muslim. No one of them scared us, so no one will!”

His voice raised gradually, starting a bit hoarse at first to reach a manly, firm tone towards the end.
“No, no one can scare us. Our walls are solid!”

He said, showing the immense wall standing behind him with a large sweep of his hand. Those walls, built to keep the enemies outside, had been strongly criticized; now, there were perfect for his propaganda.

“Someone recently said that these walls were useless.”

The voice went back to normal, leaving some space for the crowd to rail against the hypocrites who opposed the construction of the walls.

“Now, after this explosion, this first attack on our beloved country, they seemed to redeem, changing their mind. Do you know what we can tell those hypocrites now, with all the love we can spare? You missed the boat, mates!”

It was like a TV show, with a presenter calling for applause.

“Brothers and sisters, our walls are solid, but they’re not enough. The future started invading us!”
The crowd’s murmuring seemed a vibration, a prayer for the masses and a helicopter or a giant cat purring in a box.

“The future?”


“From the top?”

Those were the most original phrases you could have heard.

The Head started again, stopping that buzz with a wave of the hand.

“Mates, we don’t have North or South, West or East to defend us against. This time, the danger is real, more concrete than ever. Let’s stay calm, relax. There were no injuries, and the only death counted was that of the alien, the Earth’s clandestine.”

Very well, I think it’s time to halt this story for a beat since maybe it’d sound absurd to you. How could you ever believe that an intelligent being as a human is supposed to be, decided to lock the door behind and throw the keys? Throughout history, hiding behind a wall speeded up the end of civilization. Since you think it’s absurd, maybe you don’t know the button.

Which button?

The red button, the shiny little button placed behind each of our skulls. If triggered, you’ll start feeling worried about someone stealing your car, while if pressed hard, you must think the end is near. It’s easier to worry about a small, accidental explosion if the red button produces in you the fear of way bigger explosions. Welcome fear, then embrace terror if you don’t care about that small shiny button!

This is the end of The Explosion, continue to read the rest of Go back to the future, written by Daniele Frau and illustrated by Gabriele Manca, Dmq Productions. All the rights for the story and the illustrations are kept by the respective owners.

Continue to read The Interview!

You just happened to land on this page, but you don’t have any idea about the story? Read more about Go back to the future project, here.

Why is reading so important?

The importance of reading, graphic by Daniele Frau.
The importance of reading, graphic by Daniele Frau.

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