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Intermediate. Years 7/8/9

They’re Gone

By Cara Lenfestey, year 9, Grammar School

Every night before we went to bed, Mum used to beckon my sisters and I to the garden.
She always told us “Close your eyes and pray. Pray for Daddy’s safety and for our wellbeing.”

I remember when he left. It was a foggy afternoon. Dad walked out of the door after kissing us all on the cheek. Mum kept waving at him from inside the cottage until he disappeared into the unknown abyss of war and conflict.

We never saw his joyful face again.

Sometimes I used to lie beside Mum’s door at night, listening to her quiet sobs and her desperate pleas to God. I never believed her when she explained to us through gritted teeth that Daddy was on holiday, he’d be coming back to us, because I knew he was gone.

It’s strange how fast a person can lose everything. One moment a mother, a father and two troublesome little sisters whom I loathed so much, then the next, a broken family and my own pitiful tears.

One day mother came home excited by some new food ration tickets. She never told us where she got her money. She always said she was too ashamed. After lugging us all to the temporary shop down our street, spending hours concentrating on which bargains were best, we finally stepped out of the shop. Mum suddenly screamed and pulled us all back inside. In between her confusing panic she yelled at us to get our gas masks on, but we had all forgotten to bring them. In a rush, she grabbed the closest child to her. Me. She frantically attached her own mask onto my face. I only remember screaming as I watched the roof cave in and destroy the rest of my family.

And then I was alone.

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