I tossed and turned in a restless sleep. So difficult to find a ‘safe’ place what with walls crumbling from the bombs, soldiers lurking some to rape or kill. It has become impossible to trust anyone as sacrificing another for your life is a very viable way to survive. How did it come to this?
Life used to be so simple. Fetch the water, clean the house, do some homework and visit friends. Now the men have gone to fight or been killed before they could even take up arms. The women forced to serve those soldiers every needs. Us children wander completely lost looking for sleep and feeds. Sexual favours expected but totally against our belief, yet survive we must. Morales become like dust!
No chance to escape, survival takes complete concentration as I have to move about like a shadow. A couple of people throw me food scraps but I must remain alert that they are not just traps.
Family, friends and washing a dim past memory but I remember a trail that leads away. Revealed by my brother, is he still alive? He found it while exploring and showed me the way. Slide through the trees, along the streams edge. Be quiet and quick so nobody can follow. Will I make it to another village or will my attempt fall hollow?
Ah made it through, quick and quiet were indeed the clue! Now in a truck being taken to a ‘camp’, not sure what that is but the fighting sounds recede. Bread is tossed in the back and we all scramble as hunger gnaws at our stomach walls. Travel for days with very few stops to empty our waste and stagger about.
Arrive at the camp, much bigger than any village I’ve seen, surrounded by a big wire fence and more soldiers with guns. Huts are made of a heavy cloth not sure what it is but seems to offer more shelter than our old leaky hut. Way too many people about, its real scary but at least the soldiers seem to be outside.
We were herded into a big thing they called a tent and given some food. Not tasted anything like it but boy it was so good. Will be great if we get food regularly and with so many about maybe I will meet someone I know?
Short Flash Fiction accepted for publication!
with a corresponding poem