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Maryam Alatmane

The smoke hung heavy over the town. The blades of the helicopter could barely be heard over the sirens, the screams of the rioters, the windows being smashed, the sound of guns going off. We flew in the helicopter, me with the camera in my hands and the news reporter, her hair flying in the wind, as she screamed to be heard over the chaos.
“Maybe we could touch down over there!” she shouted, pointing to a building that was still standing.
We dipped and swerved in the wind, trying to avoid the raging blazes as more establishments went up in flames. I stumble as it landed, nearly dropping the camera. Ash enters my lungs as I cough feverishly and the dust makes my eyes water.
Suddenly, appearing from the darkness, there came a large group, huddled together as one big, black-clothed mass. As they came closer, I saw that they were young, their features barely distinguishable under the layers of grime and one with a bleeding wound gaping across her forehead. They stopped. I stepped back slowly and the news reporter screamed, the sound loud and brash in the almost silence. Startled, I looked back, taking in her wide frightened eyes, that was fixed on the mob.
That was the last I saw of her.
Taking a deep breath, I threw the camera aside, wincing as it shattered, and advanced towards them. They stood warily as I approached, glaring ferociously.
“STOP! What do you want?” one of them called out harshly. “Do you support the people or,” he stopped, a look of disgust overtaking his features as he snarled “the president?” The word was laced in venom.
“Power to the people!” I shouted, raising my hand.
“Power to the people!” they echoed back, as I ran into the group, the energy and devotion sending teardrops cascading my cheeks like a rainfall and making my heart soar.
We were on top of car park, as I later found out, when talking to the girl with midnight black hair and piercing aquamarine eyes. Raven. So many people I knew and met and loved. So many people who took their last, gasping breath, right before my eyes. That’s the price you pay for equality, for peace, for democracy, for change. For revolution.

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