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Intermediate. Years 7/8/9

The Small Figurine

By Huw Nippers, year 9, Elizabeth College

His small body fit perfectly into the small space between the walls. He had perfected his ability to disappear and hide during the many games of hide and seek he had played with his friends. But they had all gone now. Fled to another country, away from all the fear and corruption. He was the last one left in the village.

He could hear the boots hitting the hard, dry earth outside the shack. The clunk of the equipment hanging off the soldiers' packs. He curled up tighter around the one thing he had left. His last possession, the last reminder of home. The small figurine dug into his hands and he could feel the rough well-worn edges against his palm. He closed his eyes and remembered what it had been like before, before the men marched into his village armed with guns, before he was alone.

It had been a normal day in the village. He had gone to collect some water from the river when he heard the first shot. He rushed back, abandoning the bucket he had taken. His rags were being tugged by the wind and his bare feet scraped against the hardened clay. When he reached the village, it was nothing more than a pile of rubble, everything and everyone had gone. It had just happened so quickly. He rushed to where his house had been. “Hello, is anybody there?” His cries of sorrow reached out to the emptiness of the plains. Even the wind sat there in silence. He rummaged through the rubble trying to find something, anything. Then his foot caught on something. The figure of a man that had resided next to his parents' bed. He could hear the distant rumble of vehicles and the shouting of men. He turned around and ran.

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