No looking back

This is my bit for the Picture it and Write! photo prompt, again I’m late (a few weeks) but I’m here 😉

Marco Longari
via Ermilia Blog

My heart was thumping madly in my throat as I was jostled along the angst ridden crowd of humanity and smoke. Shouts and cries permeated the streets like gas, leaving hardly any air to draw into my lungs. My left hand held onto Dani’s, my eldest brother, dirty vest, in the other was an unlit Diet Coke can filled with sulfur and kerosene and a piece of cloth hanging limply from the opening. I dreaded the moment when he would tell me to light it, when he would demand me to.

An explosion went off a hundred feet ahead of us. I shrank back fought against the impulse to drop to the ground in a shivering mess. No matter how many times it happened, I would never get used to this kind of life. I hardly remembered what it was like before the uprising, when I would play with my pretty straw dolls and dressing up to go to the city. That was before daddy was gunned down by the police, before mama became a stranger and before Dani was mad and restless all the time. Before my world came crashing down. I’m too scared to think about what the final after will be like.

We’ve reached almost to the fringes of the masses, ahead there were military jeeps parked in a line, and men inside and out of them. For the most part they did not shoot only until you got really close. I hoped to the Gods that he wouldn’t drag me there with him. I wanted to run, so badly it was a fever in my blood. Refusing my basic instincts is going to break me sooner or later. If I ran away, my brother would surely catch me, I flinched at imagining the beating that would ensue. Then came the shame that washed over me, how can I abandon what we are fighting for?

But that’s just it, what are we fighting for? They call it democracy, a certain freedom I understand. If we win, will we really be free? Or will it come crumbling down, down to the bottom of it all in the foundation of violence. Surely there will be carrion that would no doubt swoop down to take advantage of the weakened nation. I want to get away, no child should live through this, but if I did I would betray my country, my people. Why me? Why us? The increasingly recurring blasts punctuate and break my line of thought. It’s not my fault, none of this is. Why should I be forced to be here, in the face of a certain death. My life could be better spent, helping someone, anyone, but here I can do nothing that will ever matter.

I shudder at the plan that rapidly began to build itself in my mind. Taking a deep breath, I convince myself I must. I turned my back and walked away, slowly at first and then my stride gathered speed. Soon enough I was shooting past and darting between people and smoke, sliding and nearly slipped over a small pool of dirt tainted blood. The wetness clung to the bare soles of my blistered feet, if anything else, it made me galloped even faster. I didn’t need more death on me. I didn’t turn around, not even once, and I had absolutely no clue what the future could possibly hold for me, the past has deprived me of so much. I had to try, there must be peace in this world somewhere.

I intend to find it.

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