An extraordinary look inside a drone-bombed home.

"I awoke slowly, consumed with inexplicable apprehension. My head seemed detached, distant and I swam through the mind’s darkness seeking the glow of consciousness. I became aware that it was dark, I couldn’t see. Anything. As the sleep cloud faded I realized something of even greater concern – I couldn’t hear. I was deaf.

This scared me more than anything. Darkness was a state I was accustomed to, it’s dark all the time, I close my eyes, it’s dark. But silence, total, absolute, unyielding, terrified me – I felt isolated, cut off from the world just beyond the darkness, more alone than I’d ever felt. Someone could be standing but a few feet from me, talking to me, telling me what had happened, warning me, but in the silent darkness, I would not know. I was alone.

Remember. Try to remember: what was I doing before the darkness, before the silence? Where was I? Where am I? I moved my right arm, slow, heavy handed. Then it hit – wake up! Pain! Horrible, searing, throbbing – first my arm, then my shoulder, back, chest; my head. My head felt like I had been kicked in the face, by a horse wearing cleats. I instinctively reached up then realized I was pinned – I couldn’t raise my arm to my head.

The pain, pulsing now, like a grinding toothache but the tooth is my head. Then the drill. That’s what it sounded like: a dental drill, right through the top of my head. I shout out, but nothing. I can make no sound, I am racked with escalating and all but unbearable agony, I cannot see, I cannot hear, I do not know where I am.

I don’t know who I am. A new level of terror. Pain, horrible, pounding, searing, grinding pain and I don’t even know who is feeling it. I am so afraid. Then I smell it: smoke. Whoever I am, where ever I am, I smell smoke. Think. Think. What kind of smoke? There are different kinds. What do I smell?

Wood. Wood is burning. Then, with the already excruciating pain, everywhere, I feel it. Heat. Wood is burning near me. Whoever I am. I thought I was afraid before. Is the next awakening coming with the smell of me cooking? I try to move, now my whole body. I sense stuff on top of me, heavy, difficult to move. The heat increases, the smell now includes artificial scents, plastic, polyester, rubber. Flesh. I smell burning flesh.

I focus all my concentration and try to move – I’m on my back. I force myself up, feel wood and debris fall off of me, smell gypsum dust through the smoke, I sneeze. This shakes me awake and I begin coughing. At first I hear nothing but as I cough, nearly choking on the dust and smoke, I can hear my body hacking, each cough agonizing, my chest feeling as though it will cave in, arms like they were beaten with baseball bats, head pounding, swimming.

My eyes open. The room is dark, but I can make it out through my clouded eyes. I see the sky through a hole in the ceiling, the walls around the hole cratered and burning. Lots of smoke. I focus hard, my head splitting, body straining as I lean forward, rubble from the ruined structure around me falling off. I can barely make it out, but once I realize what it is I find myself: a framed photograph of my family on holiday. On the night table.

I am in my bedroom – I am on my bed. The wrecked ruin around me, upon me is my house. I look to the right. Beside me on the bed lies my wife, very still. As I sit upright, more rubble falling from my brutalized body, my ears split with a horrible buzzing, grinding sound. My head swims and I begin to topple back to the bed, catching myself. I know who I am, I know where I am, I observe with silent horror the ruin of my home around me. (continue reading at}

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