We lived in a circus when we were in Africa. We travelled all over the continent putting on shows to earn money. My twin brothers, Fahim and Ohin were the clowns; my older sister, Adanne performed tricks on her horse, Eshe; Mama told fortunes, Papa was the ringleader and I walked the tightrope.
I loved my life in the circus. But suddenly, it came to a stop.
I was on the tightrope when it happened. We had a big show tonight and Adanne was helping me perform three back flips in a row. The tightrope had been lowered so I could practice without the risk of falling from a height. We couldn't afford any nets so it was hard, lumpy mats swathed in dog-eared blankets with frayed bits coming off the edge. I walked slowly across the tightrope, then paused briefly and flipped backwards the three times, landing neatly on the wire.
"Bravo, Marni, bravo!" Adanne cried clapping her hands. I bowed then ran lightly across the tightrope, cartwheeled and performed two back flips. As, I stood up, the tightrope swayed violently, causing me to tumble onto the mats below. Adanne helped me up but the ground was shaking. All of a sudden, a loud band struck our ears. Adanne rushed out of the circus tent, closely followed by me. Outside, I saw smoke, billowing out from the city.
I saw something drop from the sky onto the city below. Another loud bang and this time, we saw flames appear beside the smoke.
"Adanne, Marni, come quick!" Mama shouted, beckoning us into our tiny caravan.
"What's happening, Mama?" I asked, bewildered. Mama looked at me gravely.
"We have to leave, Marni," she said, with tears in her eyes, pushing me into our caravan.
"Why, Mama, why? I asked, still confused.
"Africa is being bombed. Now Libya is no longer safe. We must seek shelter in another country. Now, get in the caravan quickly. We need to go before we get caught up in danger." Mama explained, shutting the door. I spun around. Fahim and Ohin were sitting on the bottom bunk of their bunkbed, nervouslu clutching their toy cars and Papa was in his car, getting ready to tow us. Adanne was packing away loose toys which littered the floor. I walked into the kitchen where Mama as sitting on a chair with her head in he hands. I looked out of the window. The city was now engulfed in orange flames and silver smoke. People were franticallyrunning out of the bombed Libyan city and into the desert.
Suddenly a louder bang went off and jolted the caravan, sending me flying. I shut my eyes as the the hard floor greeted me.
Eveything went black.