Countdown To the Border

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story about a Family who has to escape North Korea under life threading conditions....

Submitted: October 15, 2011

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Submitted: October 15, 2011

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Maxwell J. TaylorWords: 1,744

10-12-2001Pages: 5

5946 Julia Cir

Corpus Christi TX,

Maxaslagolis@yahoo.com

Countdown to the Border

By Maxwell J. Taylor

Our story begins in a small border village just south of the North-Korean-Chinese border in the house hold of a disorderly, chaotic North-Korean family. “Woo-Jin! Where is your father?” Asked my mother Sun-Ja “I don’t know I didn’t see him this morning” I said as I frantically got dressed. Our family was in a hurry because we were late; tardiness is very disrespectful to the Dear Leader, Kim-Jong il. Me and my sister had seen and heard too much for fragile young minds, she was only eight I was fifteen. Our father was very old and very wise. He was able to see beyond the propaganda of the Dear Leader and had taught us the same. He taught us how everyone our age has been brainwashed since birth to love and worship the Dear Leader. Our father was better than the Dear leader. He was a good man who had taught us about the outside. But more often than not our fathers connections to the outside were dangerous, numerous times he had nearly been caught which would mean being sent to a concentration camp for life. Our mother was just as wise she made sure to teach us how to not be caught and how to hide our distrust of the Dear Leader. The very thought of being stranded in a concentration camp petrified her. She made sure we kept it all secret and that we knew talking negative about the Dear Leader was dangerous.

*Knock*Knock*Knock* we though some one was breaking into our home. My mother opened the door completely astounded to see our father huffing and puffing at the door. “Sun-Ja go gather the children and our most precious things…. I messed up big time they found us out now they’re going to be here in a matter of hours!” as soon as my father finished our mother began to bawl hysterically. Her sobs began to terrify Min-suh my little sister “Min-Suh go gather your stuff only the most important things… were not going to be here much longer.” Deep inside I was so terrified I wanted to vomit, But I didn’t want so scare Min-Suh any further. Min-Suh was finishing putting her most important things into the bag, The last thing she went to pack was a framed picture of the Dear Leader we had been forced to have, I stopped her from putting it into her bags ”We don’t need that any more…just leave it on the bed table” I told her. She did as I told her. By now our mother had come under control and started to pack any food we could carry, my sister went to go help her. The second she left the room I looked down on the picture, it disgusts me… I knocked it to the ground stomped the pretty frame then spat upon his portrait. Now it was freedom or imprisonment forever. We would not take imprisonment without a fight.

I walked out onto the porch where my father sat with his head in his hands. “Father why aren’t you gathering your things we have to go as soon as possible? They’re going to be here any time.” My father lifted his head from his hands and looked me in the eye and the second he did my heart sank deep into my stomach. I knew of the 4 of us only 3 where going to start this journey. ”Son... Woo-Jin, I’m very old and frail…the half mile journey home last night put me to such a strain… I can’t join on this journey nor do I have the right to. I put all our lives in peril…I’m staying here to give you more time…”I began to open my mouth to protest but I could see from my father’s eye there was no point, I knew deep inside he was right ”I want you to keep very good care of your mother and even better care of your sister”. After that Sun-Ja and Min-Suh came out with our items ready…we set out on foot through the wilderness trying our hardest to escape detection.

For the next 2 day and nights we traveled on foot until we reached the missionary our father had told us about. We stopped and slept in his house for a night, after that he pointed us in the direction of the next missionary. We traveled for two more days and 2 more nights until we reached the next missionary. He gave us a small meal and then showed us a hidden room. The entrance to the hidden room was small; my sister and I had no problem what so ever making it through the entrance but our mother struggled for several minutes to get in. We slept well for the first time in days, that was until very early that morning we heard a knock on the door and we heard out missionary scream “Hello who’s out wait NOO!” *BANG*!*thump* we heard him hit the floor. Our mother began to panic we knew they would tear the house apart to find us. Me and Min-suh each escaped the small room we turned around to help our mother out she just yelled “Go! Don’t be captured on my behalf” my heart sank even deeper into a chasm of darkness. Yet again I knew she was right she couldn’t escape in time. I had to pull my sister away and out of the house, and from the rear of the house which lead right into the wilderness. We ran for a long time hearing from behind us “you cowardly fools leaving your mother behind!” One of the soldiers said “You don’t want her to die like your father on your behalf!” I almost tripped and fell down when I heard these words. I thought they would take my father to a concentration camp. Knowing that he was dead yet again almost made me vomit, but yet again for Min-Suh’s sake I held up. She however was going ballistic! She was kicking and screaming I had to grab her and throw her over my shoulder to keep her from running back she screamed so loud I had to stop and hold her mouth shut until the screams stopped. She cried so hard I thought her eyes would pop out of her head. When we both calmed down we heard a *BANG* in the distance I held Min-Suh in my arms and for the first time cried with her. Only 2 of the 4 were left.

The next mourning was dead quiet; we walked at what felt like a snail’s pace. Without our mother telling us the stories our father told her this trip was revealed for what it really was a sad trip escaping the only place he really knew. He didn’t know what he would do once he made it to China. Without his parents he didn’t know how he would support him or his sister. He knew full well that he might find that life would be just as bad in China but just the hope of escaping North Korea gave him the drive to continue out of the country.

After hours of traveling they finally made it to the border I looked around and ducked back. A sniper tower sat right behind what he assumed to be an Electric fence. They traveled along the fence until they found a break in it. It looked like they were repairing the fence. We sat and watched the soldiers who patrolled back and forth to what I thought was probably another break in the fence. We waited and counted the times between when they came back, I calculated when we though they were farthest away.” This is it that’s China Right beyond that fence… go.” I said and we sprinted past the hole in the fence. But to our despair right behind the fence hiding behind the bushes were several armed guards. We just continued to run .adrenaline rushed through my veins as I drag Min-Suh with the soldiers in pursuit. After they chased us for a hundred meters I looked back they had stopped. “WOO! We made it were in!” *Bang*Bang*Bang* I bolted at the shots. The leaves rustled past by our ears.*Bang*Bang*Bang* at the second burst I pushed Min-Suh down and fell on top of her hoping to stop any shots that came our way *Bang*Bang*Bang* they shot just kept coming as soon as they stopped I picked up Min-Suh and sprinted as fast as I could. The sweat clung to my legs as I ran, my legs ached and burned with intense pain and I started to get dizzy, we stopped in a cave and rested. This had been the closest I’ve ever been to death and I had just narrowly escaped.

I sat down to let the adrenaline die down. One of my legs didn’t stop stinging, Infact the less adrenaline I had the more intense the pain got I sat up to look. Only then did I realize that there was a hole in my leg big enough to stick a finger through. I saw the pools of blood resting around my knee and then I starting to scream. The pain became so intense I bit my hand to the point where I drew blood. Min-Suh is the bravest little girl to ever live. She wrapped a strip of my shirt to slow the bleeding.”Min-Suh…I’m so sorry this happened…this should not have happened… Nobody should have to live through this and see what you have seen at only 8 years old… This might be the hardest part for both of us…”She shook her head in denial she couldn’t handle what I was saying and I could see it in her eyes she anticipated what I was Going to say “If you have made it this far I’m not going to let you wait here with me Mom and Dad did not…we didn’t “I found the fact that I was now anticipating my own death to be horrible…it made me feel the worst I ever have “Die for anything “And with that she hugged me and like the quiet girl she was walked out tears rolling down her cheek

Special thanks to Mr.Lightsey for providing research tools and information on North Korea


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