Shigeko Sasamori wakes up in the middle of complete blackness; there is no noise. She feels no pain. She sits up and after a while, stands up. As she looks around, the blackness slowly disappears like retreating fog and she begins to see previously unseen things; People walk out of the darkness Their hands outstretched in front of them.
It was the sixth of August 1945 when the US military dropped the atomic bomb 'Little Boy' on the Japanese city Hiroshima. During the second world war, Hiroshima was one of the only cities which had not been bombed in Japan. This left the civilians wondering whether there was something special and horrible meant for them.
Little did they know.
The atomic bomb was unlike any other military weapon. After the USA conducted their first nuclear weapon detonation in New Mexico, they realized that they had a truly powerful weapon. Powerful enough to end the war. The USA decided to use their newly found firepower on their newest enemy, Japan.
The citizens of Hiroshima did not panic when they saw the B-29 bomber flying overhead. They just dismissed it as another routine jet flight above the city. It was the World War II, after all. Shigeko Sasamori wondered what the black shiny object was that dropped from the bomber. As it rocketed toward the city, the truth dawned on her. It was a bomb. She had no time to react. Within seconds, the bomb had already reached 1,968 feet and suddenly the power of the sun was momentarily unleashed upon the helpless city. I fractions of a second, the power of 16 thousand tons of TNT utterly destroyed everything in within 1.6 kilometers of the blast. All carbon based lifeforms instantaneously evaporated. Thousands of innocents dead within microseconds. They were the lucky ones. The entire city caught fire.
Shigeko was just inside the main 1.6 kilometers and passed out instantly. Within an hour all the separate fires merged into large towering inferno tornadoes, burning everything. the destroyed city was rampant with the sounds of billowing fire and the screamers of both pain and grief coming from the suffering residents. The flesh and skin began to peel from the bones of the unlucky survivors. They had to walk with their arms outstretched so as to slightly ease the tremendous suffering that they were going through.
As Shigeko saw the army of survivors shamble their way forward, she began to reflect on what happened. Was it a bomb? How big was the bomb? How many people are dead?
Where is my family?
Poor Shigeko realized that the survivors were all heading toward the Ota river in order to find relief from the horrible fire. She herself also joined the march of the seemingly living dead. She later met her parents. They were shocked to see her. Her face was covered in third degree burns. Her hair was a black crisp and her head looked like a leathery black basketball. Her eyes could not be seen, yet she could still see.
As the procession of the dead reached the river, near the epicenter of devastation, Shigeko saw the most frightening thing she had ever seen, and will ever see. The river was red. She couldn't make out weather, that was because the river was reflecting the red and orange of the surrounding city or whether the river was simply colored with the blood of the innocent. Hundreds of suffering people were floating in little wooden rafts along the river. All bloody, all burnt, all mangled beyond recognition. So many suffering people. Shigeko saw a woman who was trying to suckle an infant. The woman was red and burnt just like everyone else but the baby.... Shigeko couldn't stand to look at it. The image of the poor infant still haunts her to this day. Why? Why were they made to suffer like this? What had hey done to deserve this fate? Why was she feeling such pain? Why were almost all of her friends dead?