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Write about the most frightening experience you have ever had

Write about the most frightening (or happy or difficult) experience you have ever had.

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  • It was a beautiful Saturday morning in June 1996. I was 13 years old and at boarding school in Manchester. That morning I was up early to take a music theory exam with a few other kids around my age. 

    I went into the exam room and started the test. About half way through everybody started getting distracted by an increasing amount of noise from a helicopter which was hovering near the classroom where we were taking the exam. A few of us were giggling at the teacher, who was desperately trying to keep us focused and failing miserably as he frantically attempted to seal all the windows to block out the noise. 

    I finished the exam early and headed across the yard to the computer room to settle down for an intense gaming session (oh how the following years haven't changed me...) I picked a computer by a large window facing out over the city.

    After about 10 minutes the sun came out from behind a cloud, so I stood up and pulled down the blind.

    Seconds later...

    BOOM ....

    The loudest noise I've ever heard in my life. I looked up and realised the blind I'd just pulled down was ripped to shreds. Shards of glass covered the desk. About 150 meters away a giant plume of black smoke was rising.

    I can remember almost nothing about what happened next and of getting out of the building. In fact pretty much the only thing that stayed with me was the shocked, frozen face of a boy who was sat behind me at the time. I remember feeling deeply annoyed as I tugged on his arm to get him to move. 

    Everyone in the school assembled outside in the yard, and details started trickling through about the bomb that had exploded nearby (see 1996 Manchester bombing). 

    A teacher kindly offered me their mobile phone to call my parents. Surreally, I remember feeling delighted to be using a mobile for the first time - a big clumsy brick of a thing. How my mum must have felt to hear her son say "a bomb's gone off, I'm fine, I have to go because apparently this call is really expensive" I can only imagine. 

    That night was scary in its own way. I couldn't sleep in my dorm as the windows had blown in and my bed was covered in glass. The whole city centre had been evacuated except for the school, so it was literally silent - surprisingly unnerving when you're used to living in a city. 

    I often consider how fortunate I was that the sun came out and I drew that blind when I did, in a city notorious for its cloudy and wet weather. My story pales in comparison to those of some of my friends, including someone who was inches away from glass roof as it collapsed.

    I still live in Manchester and rarely think about the bomb, but I do tend to step away from the window whenever I hear a helicopter. 

      bởi Vũ Duy Đạt 01/03/2019
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