Another explosion rocked the building, and I grabbed the windowsill until the ground stopped shaking. A lamp had toppled over, and shards of glass littered the magenta carpet. I carefully picked my way around the slanted pieces of glass until I reached the door and kicked the flimsy door out into the hallway.
Immediately, thick smoke engulfed me, and I pulled my ragged blouse over my nose and kicked my bright red high heels away from me. The floor was cold on my bare feet as I made my way down the hallway, bracing myself against the wall in case another explosion hit.
I reached the fifth-floor stairwell and shoved the door open, pushing my shoulder against it as I stumbled forward and down the flight of stairs. The smoke was beginning to suffocate me, and I coughed loudly as I tried to purge my body of the curling black smoke. I continued to follow the familiar curve of the stairwell down, down, down. Black dots danced in front of my eyes. I groped for the handle, dropping my blouse and holding my breath until the door swung open.
The fresh air immediately swarmed over me, and I felt my knees give out beneath me. The next thing I knew, a paramedic was laying me in a stretcher and loading me into an ambulance with flashing red lights.
I grabbed at his sleeve as the paramedic was about to pull away. "More," I croaked, breaking out into a cough as soon as I attempted to speak.
The paramedic just smiled at me and patted my hand. "We'll take good care of me," he assured me before disappearing behind the back of the ambulance.
I slowly pushed myself into a sitting position. The world was spinning; the blue-black of the asphalt, the blue of the sky, the red-and-white of the ambulance all blurring together into a whirlpool of colors. I coughed weakly, but forced myself to slide forward until my feet were dangling from the stretcher.
"I need help," I mumbled as I climbed to my feet and wandered around to the back of the ambulance. "More... people."
Immediately, the two paramedics caught hold of my wrists and half-dragged me back to the stretcher. I fought against them, but the smoke was a powerful drug; my arms and legs refused to cooperate with the wishes of my brain. "What are you doing?" one of them demanded.
"Ma'am, it's imperative that you remain still," the other said as they strapped me into the stretcher. "You need to give your respiratory system time to recover from the shock you've suffered—"
"More people," I slurred desperately, my vocal chords finally cooperating.
"What?" the first paramedic asked, gripping my wrist and staring me straight in the face. "What did you say?"
"More... people." I let my head go limp against the softness of the stretcher. "Inside. "
The two paramedics exchanged a glance, and then the harsher paramedic sprinted towards the building and threw upon the door. "There are more people inside!" he shouted, and after a few moments of stunned silence two firemen in full gear.
As the firemen flooded the building, I reached into my pocket and pulled out the detonator. A grin stretched across my face despite everything that I had been through. I glanced around once, twice, and saw that everyone had flooded back inside. With a malicious grin, I pressed the detonator.