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Intermediate. Years 7/8/9

Lethal: Sufficient To Cause Death

By Isabelle Davis, year 9, Grammar School

My heart thumped in my throat, and my feet felt like balls of fire beating on the dead, dry dirt. I smelt the foul stench of burning bodies, heard the screams of parents as they held their dying children in their arms; knowing there was no hope. I looked at the destruction around me. The brick walls lying on the ground, a teddy bear drowning in a puddle of blood, the trees burning and their ashes floating away.

“Emma!”

I turned my head back to my family, and realised that I was lagging behind. I sprinted to catch up to them. I used all my energy.

The shot skimmed my earlobe. It sailed through the air as peacefully as a bird soaring in the sky. It looked like it could do no harm for a moment. Just a second. Then it drilled itself into Mama’s back.

I almost stopped dead in my tracks. As I rushed forward, the rest of my family turned back to Mama. I held her in my arms, her eyes already sealed shut. More gunshots sounded. Looking up, I saw my brother, sister, and father drop to the ground. I let go of my mother and pulled my younger sister onto my lap. My tears dropped onto her forehead, as Safia’s blood soaked through my skirt. I glanced at my brother and father. Papa was lying on the ground holding Darius in his arms, blood pouring from his head. There was no way to save them.

But this was all my fault. Because of me, my whole family died. I wanted no part in this world anymore. It was lethal. I closed my eyes, heard the gun, felt the last bit of pain crush into my back.

Then the world let go of my hand…

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