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War Child

War Child

Katie Gayton


They took me at first light.

I was tired and unaware of what was happening until I heard the scream of my parents. I screamed back but the soldier placed a knife at my throat and I instantly fell silent. He drove down the road and told me I had to do as they said. I didn’t know why they were telling me this. I didn’t understand why I was being taken away.

I was in the back of a large car, sat on a scratchy mat and stuck in the dark. I was oblivious of where I was; all I could worry about was mama and papa.

It was a short journey. The car stopped and I listened. Listened to the shouting of soldiers and screaming of young children. The sound of guns blazing and bombs dropping. I was tense and had no idea what to do. Should I risk shouting? Or shall I listen to the suffering of others?

None of those choices were necessary. The door was pulled with force and I was dragged out onto the stony ground. Surrounded by four soldiers; threatened by four men.

My black face stared up at the sun, hoping for it to reach out and take me home. My dark hair felt warm and I could only hope that I’d somehow feel that again.

The soldier to my right stood me up by my neck. “YOU! TELL ME YOUR NAME!” He yelled in my small ears.

I hesitated and trembled, looking up at his dark eyes. “Eleanor” I mumbled, almost crying with the thought of my future lying here.

“WC 67 FROM NOW ON OKAY?!” He shouted. I looked at him.

“What’s…WC???” I asked, hoping for him not to tell me. The thought of that made me scream.

“War Child” He muttered. His face looked innocent and I began to see another side of him.

“W…War child?” I trembled. His eyes glistened and it looked as if he was going to cry. I grabbed hold of his hand, and saw something horrible. Bright red blood came out of his dark hand. I felt a drop of water fall onto my hand and more followed, like a waterfall of tears.

“Who did this to you?” I asked, staying strong for his sake. His hand was like an earthquake, and I squeezed it tighter.

I heard the other soldiers shouting; telling him to hurry up. I thought he was going to ignore me and hand me over to fight.

“No…NO!!!!” He shouted as he fell to the floor. Two men grabbed me by the shoulders and I tried to wriggle free.

“LET…HER…GO…” He shook. The other soldiers laughed and pulled me back more.

That was the last time I saw him.

The last I heard of him, was a scream from the yard that night.


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