Beneath the blue sky she watches the palm trees sway in the warm breeze. Sunlight and shadows dance across the white facade of the mosque opposite her home. Scent of jasmine hangs in the warm air. In a lilting voice the Imam calls the faithful to prayers. Her mother sings in the kitchen, her younger brothers bicker in the yard. She waves to her father walking across the road towards her.......Then.....she hears someone screaming..........
Rahel realised it was she who was screaming. Then, the crash of breaking glass brought her back to the moment as burning debris fell past the window. Sat on the floor under the layer of grey smoke she was sitting on the apartment floor, terrified, struggling to breathe and holding her son close, covering his face with her scarf. Through the choking smoke she could discern the ghostly shapes of others crouched or curled up in resignation around the edge of the room.
As Rahel slipped back into semiconsciousness, she felt an unexpected cool hand on her forehead. She looked up dreamily to see a man looking into her eyes. When asked later, she could not describe him, such were the ordinary features of his face and the style of his clothing.
The man bent down and gently lifted her to her feet. She felt a surge of energy pulse through her body.
"Walk." Said the man. "Leave this place. You must live."
Before she passed through the doorway, she looked back over her shoulder. Despite the flames rolling across the ceiling the unremarkable man was moving around a group of men stooping over each huddled figure. One looked up with pleading eyes but the unremarkable man shook his head and moved on to the next. On the other side of the room he helped another, a young teenager to his feet, told him he would live and gestured towards the doorway before continuing his circuit of the room deciding who would live and who would die.
Two months later investigators sifting through the ash and debris of flat 801 found an undamaged USB stick. It contained the plans for a terrorist attack on a large shopping mall in London. Then, later in November the analysis of DNA samples from the flat would identify the remains of a known people trafficker and child abuser.
“He must have been an angel" Rahel had said to the inquiry when asked about the unremarkable man who saved their lives. "What other explanation is there? We were chosen by an angel."