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Intermediate. Years 7/8/9

Isolation

By Zoe Hubbard, year 7, The Ladies’ College

My breaths come shortly and sharply, bringing a deep pain to my chest. I shut my eyes and rock back and forth, moving as much as the small cupboard will allow. When my eyes close, I relive the moments I saw through the cupboard’s cracks, as my parents, screeching, were dragged away with bloody faces. The image is imprinted on my eyelids and has haunted my dreams for however many nights I’ve been sitting in this damp room. My back aches with a deep, searing pain, but of all the hurt I’ve faced over the past few days, this is the easiest to cope with. This pain doesn’t leave me feeling vulnerable and exposed, this pain doesn’t frequent my nightmares or ring in my ears. This pain doesn’t leave me empty inside.

I hear a sudden, small creak; an attempt to conceal a footstep, but enough to catch my attention in this silent hell. I see a laser point from a gun, and scramble to the largest crack in the cupboard to see what it is. At first I can not make out the large shape, but then I see him. A soldier. I feel like my stomach is twisting and turning like a wheel, and bile leaps to my throat; urgent to escape. The soldier’s footsteps rumble as they crash against the wooden floor, sending ripples of movement through the carpet and towards me. He approaches one of the cupboard doors. He approaches my door. He wraps his brittle and cut fingers around the brass of the doorknob; and smiles a wicked, twisted grin, like I were his dinner.

He drags the door open, and it groans, as if tired by the effort. The last thing I see is his hand curl into a fist; and then nothing. Nothing.

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