A day in the life of a Hibakusha

A day in the life of a Hibakusha

A Story by Dreamgirl23732

A fictional account of a life-changing event


I couldn’t stop smiling as I watched from my window, the lake glistening, as it mirrored

the  glittering stars in the evening sky. For the first time in ages, I felt contentment. 

Yesterday, After six years of studying abroad, I had finally been reunited with my family in my beautiful homeland, Hiroshima. Pure happiness enveloped my heart, warming it, making it complete. I observed the peace and serenity around me as the faint wind brushed against the water’s surface, ripples ruffling the stillness of the lake when suddenly, a startling  flash of white light brought me out of my reverie. Magnesium flares? While I debated it, the roof, walls and as it seemed, the world, collapsed around me in timber and debris.


A plume of fire exploded into the blackness, the flame rolling outwards like the smoke of a mushroom cloud. The flames held their head up regally, proudly, glowering at the surrounding, daring anyone to challenge their power. They ripped their way through the buildings surrounding me, tendrils of smoke reaching desperately into the sky, as if trying to escape the blazing inferno below.  The sight was one of beauty of so unearthly. Yet this was beauty so dangerous. This was not just fire. It was death. It was a giant wave, a fire storm, rolling in on itself,  destroying everything that dared to stand in its path. It was like some grotesque creature craving our destruction. I watched aghast as people, vehicles, even entire buildings vaporized into thin air.  Screams and cries pierced the sky as the fire came hurtling towards us at staggering speed.  There was utter chaos and fear seized me as I sudd

enly found myself being flung across my room like a rag doll, by some unknown force.


I desperately scrambled to find my family. Though all my practical instincts told me that they, who were in the floor below me, surely had no hope for survival, Some animalistic instinct of mine,,  caused me to continue my search. Splinters jutted from my mangled thigh and my arm was probably broken. However, a tiny flicker of hope propelled me forward, not allowing me to give up just yet. My eyes watered as I struggled to make my way through the smoky haze. When I eventually reached downstairs, I froze as I took in the sight that sprawled before me. My  flicker of hope died out as I took in the sight of my family’s bodies amidst the debris" covered in ash, crushed, mangled, dead. 

It wasn’t my broken, bleeding body that caused me the excruciating pain. It was this gruesome sight. Shock, fear, anger, confusion, hurt, and gri

ef swirled like a raging tornado in my heart. I was broken, marred with suffering, but I stayed mute, my face dry. The suffering I was undergoing was too great to be put into words or to be washed away by mere tears. 

All at once the spectacular lands of  Hiroshima had been reduced to no more than ash and charcoal. The air was heavy with the smell of burnt flesh and smoke hung in a haze that curtained the city. Remains stood like skeletons, the city now barren and empty and oppressive heat rained down like the breath of hell.

As I walked towards what was once the hospital, in hope for some desperately needed aid, I was joined by other survivors, who seemed like silhouettes, ghosts, scarecrows- all scarred, traumatized and helpless , walking in a deathly silent parade.


Even as years passed , after this terrible incident, a single question continued to plague my mind " How? How had a beautiful, serene evening, taken such a violent turn? How had a splendid city been reduced to shrapnel, half it’s population wiped away, in a matter of seconds?  I realized that it was not the fire or the radiation that had caused the destruction. It was man. Even today, I fail to understand how could man be so cruel, so heartless, so as to put fellow human beings through these unimaginable atrocities for personal gain.


The people of Hiroshima have been wronged- stripped of their peace. However, the cold, soulless men who have inflicted this unimaginable pain and suffering on us, were stripped of something much greater " they were stripped of humanity.

The survivors of this great holocaust have watched as, piece by piece their city crumbled to the ground, the  fire leaving only ashes in its wake, grey and empty. Hiroshima however, has risen from the ashes like the proverbial phoenix, stronger, more majestic than ever before. We have rebuilt our  city and our country, Japan is now a world power. A  part of our city however is still left untouched as a constant reminder to the world of the misery that can be caused by human greed. 

As I stood out on my balcony the following evening, I came to the realization that changed my life. I realized that life always finds new ways of knocking you down and when it does, its up to you together cave in, meek and defeated or to be like the fire- proud and powerful. However,  what’s really important is to create, not destroy. 

If we all use the great power surging within each and every one of us for good, our world will no doubt, progress in leaps and bounds- more peaceful, and beautiful than ever before. As I came to this realization, I looked up and watched in awe as sequin-silver stars like the scattered embers of a dying fire winked down at me, illuminating the endless curtain that stretched above. My heart was warm and content once again.



© 2015 Dreamgirl23732

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Added on February 1, 2015
Last Updated on February 1, 2015
Tags: War, Description, Explosion, Ash, Destruction, Fire, Power, Courage



Dubai, United Arab Emirates