The End Of My World

1st in the 'Written in the Stars 2013' competition

On the day my world ended, I sat and watched as everything I had ever cared about was obliterated in a single instant. An instant I will never forget. My name is Anna, and although my body survived the greatest, most destructive war my people had ever seen, my soul died with my world.
I was sitting on my bed, watching the trail of smoke drift lazily across the night sky, when everything around me exploded. Great pillars of fire erupted outside my window as each house across the street was systematically decimated, row after row. I sprang from my bed, snatching up whatever was handy, my dressing gown, a torch, and sprinted down the stairs pausing only to check that my parents and siblings were already moving. I reached the bottom of the stairs to see my father, holding five gas masks and wearing one himself. He thrust one into my hands and ushered me into the kitchen where the cellar door stood open. My mother and brothers soon joined us, and father lead us down into what I had previously thought of as the cellar, but which I now realised to be a bunker. Rows of canned goods lay in neat stacks along one wall of the room, as well as a set of bunk beds, a pile of cheap linen and a small wireless radio on a small table.
My brothers filed in one by one, the youngest, Bobbie, looking around in dazed confusion, obviously frightened by the great, echoing booms emanating from just outside our front door. My older brother, Fred, sat himself on the bottom bunk and patted the space beside him, indicating for us to join him. As the oldest of the four of us, Fred naturally took charge and was very mature for his sixteen years. As a result of this, he was often privy to information that the rest of us were not. "Don't bother Mother and Father just now," he warned us. "It's very important that we sit quietly and do everything they tell us to." "What's going on?" asked James, the second youngest. "We are being attacked. We don’t know why, but as soon as Mother and Father find out from the radio, we'll know."
We sat waiting quietly, Bobbie and James dozing, when a crackle of static burst from the wireless. "Bombing has now ceased. Please remain in your houses. Further information will be disclosed shortly." Mother and Father breathed a sigh of relief, then exchanged slightly worried looks as they took in our innocent, wide eyed expressions. "What does this mean, Father?" But I already knew what Father's answer to this question would be. We would never return to our home, with its familiar fields, trees and friendly faces. We would never again lay eyes on the place where my parents married and we were born. We would never return to the place where we made a lifetime of memories. We would not return to our world.

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