by Molly Gordon-Boles
I wake up surrounded in smoke. All I see is black. I crawl out of my bed as quickly as I can but it is painfully hard to breath. I run into what I think is my hall and it is on fire. All my family’s belongings are burning to dust. Things like my mother’s quilt which she spent months on, all the things we spent years saving up for destroyed in a matter of seconds. I run to the closest window. I look outside and there are people dressed in black with balaclavas and big guns. Already I see the outline of people on the ground probably dead or injured. There is splattered blood on the walls of the street and bullets holes surrounded with smashed glass. I hear screaming and gunshots. How can they do that? I feel so sick, I want to cry but I cant.
I run, I run as fast as I can. Everywhere I look I see them, they have people at gunshot but luckily they do not seem to see me. I am nearly out of the village when someone spots me. I hear shouts in a language I can’t recognise.
“ خێرا! ئەو بوەستە “
I don’t look back. Showers of bullets come at me. My shoulder! I’ve been hit. It feels like someone has slammed a hammer on my shoulder and it has shattered into a thousand pieces. It is covered in blood but I keep running through the pain. I drip blood behind me as I run, I can’t stop now. Eventually they stop chasing me; I am at the outskirts of the village. I lie down on the ground it is wet. The sky is deep black and I can see the stars, it’s so peaceful. It is crazy to think about everything that happened to my village and yet the sky is so peaceful. I end up lying there for a few hours trying to stop the bleeding. I check to see if they are gone and with all my strength I sit up. I can just about see the village that I used to call home. I sit there and watch my village crumble to pieces. The place I have called my home for 11 years is now smoke and ash. I sit there for hours waiting for the surviving people to come up and join me but no one does, no one has survived. I am now alone. My mother and father are now dead, I’m not even sure how they were killed. I have nothing to remember them. How can these people live with themselves knowing that they have killed so many innocent people, destroyed families, homes, caused so much pain and just get away with it. It’s disgusting. They are monsters. I feel like my insides are swallowed up by a big black hole and replaced with nothing. I am nothing now. I just sit there and cry.
What happened? People said that the war might come to our area since it is so north but no one believed them. I guess they were right. The civil war happened 4 years ago. I don’t really know what happened and all of a sudden everyone is fighting. So many people have died already, innocent people stuck in the cross fire of the government and the rebels
I decide to start walking. I don’t know where I’m going so I’ll walk north and try and get across to Turkey.
It’s a going to be a really nice day tomorrow, the sky is red almost like it is on fire. I have been walking for a few hours now and I still haven’t found a single person. I keep walking. It’s so boring on your own with no one to talk too.
Finally I arrive in a small town and no one is there where are they all? The town is a wreck, windows are smashed and glass covers some of the ground and it is deathly quiet. I go into this shop to buy some bread. It’s a cute little shop called ‘ßam market‘it is small, it is painted red and covered in advertisements. It looks like the one my grandfather used to own.
Every Tuesday after school and on Saturdays I would go and work at the counter. It was really fun but when grandfather died we could not afford to keep it so we had to sell it to an oil plantation.
I go in. Inside there is still food. I pick a loaf of bread that is a bit stale and I’m about to leave when a hear a creaky voice
“Stop! You, you trying to steal my bread “
I try and look to see where the noise came from and in the corner is a small man with a long white beard who looks like a skeleton. He looks about one hundred.
“I’m sorry sir. I wasn’t steeling it, it’s just my village was just destroyed and I was the only survivor.” He replied with one word
I run out of the shop as quick as I can with the bread still in m hand. I don’t care if I was not meant to take it but I need to get to Turkey, that’s where everyone has gone.
In school we used to learn about Syria. My teacher Miss Quaraishi used to always tell us
“If you need to go anywhere go north and you can never go wrong.” No one ever really understood what she said but I do now. She used to tell us stories about when she lived in Turkey. I guess she is dead now.
It takes me two days to get to the Turkish border. I’m exhausted and starving. Finally I’m here. There are thousands of people just like me trying to get through. I’m hungry and cold but I push my way through the crowds. I get to an opening, all above me is barbed wire and fencing as tall as the tallest man. All behind the fencing is armed men, tall, broad and scary. I’m really scared. My hands are shaking like a leaf. I don’t know what to do. All I want is to be home in the warmth of my house with my family. I get shoved into a group of other kids like me. Lots of the girls look like me, darkish skin and long brown hair. Everyone is terrified, a jaded look in their eyes Most of them crying because they are separated from their parents. At least they have parents. I spend hours and hours in the queue waiting for my turn. Its really cold and I don’t have a blanket. I sit down on the cold ground. I am waiting. I am here, and I am waiting.