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Intermediate. Years 7/8/9


By Eleri Drysdale , year 9, Grammar School

Happy birthday Johnny...wherever you are.

Mother's face dropped when she opened the letter the army sent. Her cold frail hand drew up to her face as she wailed. Her knees hit the poorly placed timber that covered a large wound in the floorboards. For a moment the isolated cries of children stopped. Nothing could be heard, no gunshots...nothing. Everything seemed different, almost as if the world came to a halt in its rotation.

‘He's with your father now,’ she cried.

Even though I knew deep down, hearing mother saying it made me break. There was nothing to do in the moment . Time was taken by the hand of my brother. The sapphire moon peered through the blood stained window to look down at my mother in empathy, as she sat low with her head in her blue hands. I couldn't think of any way to comfort her. It was not okay and my mother will not be fine.

As I walked down the destroyed, deserted town that I once called home, I realised that the world must despise me as much as I despise myself. Why would I be put to the test, having to dodge feelings like bullets whilst being shot at by the real thing? As if living like this wasn't enough pain already. The smells of burning and gunpowder fill the air making breathing a task. The sirens still ring in my head, hours after hearing their piercing screams. Young children staggering past, squeal for their mothers and fathers who were taken in the arms of death, whilst I stood helplessly and watched. I can't imagine the deep sorrow that these people feel, watching their loved ones disappear day after day after day. Each one of those days feeling more surreal.

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