Music stops amid ribbons of fire

In slow motion I see the club around me explode, ribbons of fire tearing through poles and people flying through the air.

As time slows, I am picked up and suspended in mid-air, twisting to face down as I slam to the ground.

As everything hits the floor I find myself in eerie blackness. After the impact comes the silence, as the music of the Sari Club stops forever.

Mel and I are on our hands and knees with several others crawling under the collapsed roof, away from the amber glow growing at the front of the club. A putrid stench burns at my mouth and nostrils and thick smoke is gathering all around. I notice the ground is soft, and in horror realise there are people under my feet, alive or dead I do not know, but I can't stop.

"Marc!" I scream, but no answer comes. I can hear Mel's reassuring tone: "Don't panic, keep calm." But the girl behind her screams: "Run! RUN!" I think that is a more appropriate approach right now.

The gravity of what is occurring hits me as I see the body of a young man being dragged away, only skin where a skull used to be. I take in the orange shorts he is wearing; the blood rushes to my head and my heart thumps in my chest. But these are plain shorts and the body is that of a teenager. I see the pale skin and freckles, maybe European. They are orange boardshorts: not Marc's, not Marc, yet that image burns in my brain.

As I run forwards I see someone moving in the orange glow of the flames. I crouch down to see a young male, alive, and grab his hand. "Can you move?" I shout.

"No, I can't," he replies in an Aussie accent. He can't be more than 18. I try to haul him up, but he is much bigger than me. Thank God, he is trying to get to his feet. It's all I need, so I use his momentum to pull him up, holding on to his left hand and locking it over my left shoulder. It's wet, and as I look down I notice it is completely red, sodden with blood. I feel sick – I'm not good with blood at the best of times. I put my right arm round his waist, taking on as much of his weight as I can. When we are clear of the flames two men approach us to help, freeing me from the young man's weight.

I keep on running and searching. Finally I find Mel standing wide-eyed on the corner of the alleyway. We embrace and Mel speaks first: "I'm so glad you're OK. Where's Marc?"

"I don't know Mel, I didn't see him come out. I can't find him." I can hear the fear in my voice.

"It was a car bomb," Mel says. "They f---ing bombed us."

Read the full extract from Hanabeth Luke's book: Finding peace after the Bali bomb in tomorrow's Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Also tomorrow, Hanabeth's inspiring story about how she rebuilt her life.

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