A flash fiction story again…

I’m having a hard time finding my muse for writing fiction, romance, or whatever with the current state of the world. The news are flooded with refugees, and idiotic politicians that are just making people more divided.

Picture from http://www.sat7usa.org/war-robs-children-of-schooling
Picture from http://www.sat7usa.org/war-robs-children-of-schooling

To keep my head together I decided to write a submission to the FWAR Flashers prompt that was in its simplicity “Escape” and here’s what I came up with.

I titled it “Running for safety” but I’m not quite feeling it.

One night the building across the street was crushed by dropped bomb. The window in the living room tumbled down shattering into a million pieces as the dust cloud swept in over the furniture. The girl cried in her mother’s arms as they lied awake in the tiny room furthest from the windows, and listened to the nightmare going on around them. They both prayed that they would survive the night.

As the dawn came, they were even more silent than usual. They sat in the kitchen and ate breakfast, both still shaken to the core by the night’s events.

“Today we leave,” the mother said.

The girl just nodded and continued nibbling away on her piece of bread. She didn’t quite understand where they would go. Her father and uncle had died or been imprisoned, no one really knew for sure. Her grandparents and their farm had been casualties of war a long ago.

Although she couldn’t imagine where they would go, she knew not to question her mother’s decision. There was no future for them here. The only thing left was fear and destruction. The fear was so overwhelming that she had started to become numb to it.

“You can take one toy only, and a set of clothes,” her mother said as she gave the girl a pink backpack. It was the backpack she was supposed to use when she got back to school. But now, there was no school left to go to. That building had been destroyed a month back.

The girl packed her favorite teddy bear in the bag. She took out the photo of her family from its frame, and hid the picture in the back pocket of the bag. She packed her second favorite shirt too, the one her father had given her for her birthday, even though it was more than she was allowed to take.

Hand in hand they walked the narrow alleys until they came to the edge of the deserted market square.

She squeezed her mother’s hand as fear gripped her. It was here her cousin had been shot by snipers hiding in the abandoned buildings.

“Quickly,” her mother tugged her arm as they ran across the square.

“Mama… Ow… You’re hurting my arm,” she whined but not loud enough for her mother to hear.

They breathed of relief as they reached the buildings on the other side. The fighting wasn’t as bad here anymore. The ruined buildings stood as reminders that the war was still going on just around the corner.

The sound of an approaching helicopter made them vary. People around them stood and looked at the sky.

“It dropped a bomb!” Someone yelled and a mere second later they heard the explosion. A pillar of smoke rose from the direction of their home.

“Hurry.” The men around them urged them on. The girl and her mother climbed into the back of a car and held each other close as they drove through the city.

“Where are we going?” She asked her mother.

“We’re leaving Syria.” The mother said, stroking the girl’s hair. “We are going somewhere where you can sleep without fear, in a beautiful bed fit for a princess.”

A few days on the road had already worn them out. But they kept going because they knew tonight would be different. As darkness descended upon them they stood on a beach, waiting for their turn to board the already overcrowded rubber dinghy.

Safety was waiting across the stretch of water, they were told. They only had to survive the rest of the journey.

  • This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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