Shards of Glass

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: November 04, 2017

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Submitted: November 04, 2017

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It was a bright, sunny morning when it happened. I was outside our house, playing with some of my friends when we spotted a convoy of aggressive vehicles converging on our little village like lions who spotted their prey. We didn't get many visitors where we stayed, and those that did come were often here to trade the diamonds and other precious gems that we dug out of a mine a short distance from our village.

 I had lived in this village my whole life with my Dad, who worked in the mine just like everyone else. I had no idea who my Mum was, and my Dad dodged the question each time I asked. We got by though, me and my Dad. 

Because we were so far away from the big cities, news that came in through our old radio seemed distant and irrelevant. Who cared about the new President of the United States?? When the traders came to our village, they often brought along fascinating tales of war filled with excitement and action. We thought the war would never reach our village. 

But we were wrong.

That was a few days ago. Now I'm huddled in an abandoned building. The windows have been shot out, and glass litters the floor as if someone sprinkled it onto their meal. Graffiti of all sorts of colors paint the wall, only a step away from becoming art. Luckily for me, it's not gang graffiti. Those buildings, you have to avoid. I curled up in a ball, my head resting on my backpack. Gunfire sounded somewhere in the distance as I tried to get comfortable. I had a long journey ahead of me If I wanted to sleep on a proper bed someday. 


When I woke up, the sun was filtering through the jagged edges of the glass window. Shards of glass lit up as if the light was dancing across them. I remembered the light shining off my Father’s hair, his lopsided smile, and the way he held me when I was scared. I’d give anything to have him here with me, but he’s dead. Just like everyone else I left behind. 

I hoisted my backpack onto my back and exited the building below half of a green exit sign. I had places to be, and the world wasn't gonna wait for me. 

It was nearly evening, and many, many miles when something broke the repetitive sound of my footsteps on dust. The shout echoed off to my left, and it was quickly followed by gunfire. Moments later, that gunfire rocketing past me and spraying the building to my left as if they were trying to paint the wall with bullets. I covered my head and sprinted to a mostly unscathed building a little off to my right. Another bullet whistles past my ear, slicing off a few lock of my hair. I willed my legs to move faster, to get me to the safety of four walls and a roof. 

My quick escape served me well, as soon after I got inside the building, I heard explosions rack the streets outside, reminding me of the time when my father brought me to watch a fireworks display in the city. The sky lit up brilliant shades of colors, and beautiful shapes covered the canvas of the sky. Lost in that memory, I almost didn't hear the sound of approaching footsteps. I slipped nimbly out of a broken window and continued on my journey. I spent the next few days on the road, crunching the miles between me and my destination. I endured long days and short nights. Blisters formed beneath my feet, and sunburn scarred my skin. But I kept going. 


Finally, 5 days later, my destination entered my sights. There were soldiers only a few hundred meters away, guarding the border, so I decided to make a break for it under the cover of the night. When darkness hit, I struck. Slipping out from my hiding space, I made a break for a patch of bushes next to the fence. Unfortunately for me, it seemed that my dash to the fence hadn’t gone unnoticed. A soldier saw me and opened fire, I covered my head and ran, digging my tattered shoes into the dusty ground. 

I was so close.

Then, something tore through my calf. Pain shot up my leg like a rocket, and I stumbled and crashed on the ground. Closing my eyes, I tried to take the pain, trying to get up. But strong hands grasped my shoulders and something hard was jabbed against my back. And then I passed out. 


When I came to, I was in the back of a truck. Black fumes poured from the back of the truck like a waterfall. Looking around, I saw that haggard and disheartened people covered every corner of the truck. My head throbbed, and my throat felt like someone had wiped it dry. I turned to the person next to me and asked where we were going. Instead, the guard jabbed me with his gun gestured to be quiet. It was then the answer fell on me like an anvil - Labour camp.

We reached the camp late at night. The guards pushed us out of the truck using their guns. We were assigned an overcrowded dorm, and that's where I spent the night. Dread crept up on me as I thought about what lay in store for me. 

After a dolloping of sludge for breakfast, we were lined up against a cold brick wall. Guards shouted at us for no reason. One prisoner though, was clearly not having any of it. He stepped up and-
“Dad?”
That was...my Dad. I was about to run towards him, to feel his arms hugging me, to feel safe. He was alive! Then a loud noise reverberated through my skull. One of the guards guns were pointed to where my father was. And below that was...

My Dad. 

 


© Copyright 2018 Yew Wah Leong. All rights reserved.

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