Alison Chapman, Grade 8
"The stars are falling out of the sky, sis!"
I didn't reply. I couldn't. I just hugged Ava tighter and hoped none of them would fall on us. The stars weren't falling out of the sky, but it was better than her knowing that German bombs were.
"Why are the stars falling?"
Ava looked up at me with her big, brown, innocent eyes. They were full of hope and curiosity. Her eyes seemed to pull me in and they wouldn't let go.
"Elise?"she said, a hint of worry creeping in.
"Oh, sorry, um, I'm not sure why they are falling" I said, distracted by the echoing blasts coming from all around London.
I turned to look up at the small, dirty window and immediately wished I hadn't. The sky was a haze of dark oranges, reds, yellows and browns. Every now and again, a plume of fire would erupt from where the last bomb had hit. The screams of injured people, mothers without a child and families without homes were just audible above the blasts.
I looked away, squeezed my eyes shut and gulped, trying to getting the image out of my mind. The image that would stay with me forever.
"I think I know why the stars are falling," Ava said, sounding very matter of fact.
"Really?" I say, trying to busy myself with fixing Ava's lopsided white ribbon.
"Yes, I think the stars are falling, because they're sad and they need to be cheered up."
I blinked away the tears that were forming in my eyes, threatening to roll down my cheeks and fall onto the cold concrete floor of our bomb shelter.
"Do you know why the stars are sad, sis?" Ava asked.
"No, I don't," I reply, distracted by the blast that sounded a little too close for comfort.
"It's because everyone's fighting and no one will be friends. If no one's happy, then the stars are not happy either."
I couldn't take it, I held my little sis and sobbed. She was right. No one was happy, no one would get along, everyone was fighting for a goal that seemed so far away.
"Why are you crying sis? Is it the stars? We can make them happy you know."
I take a deep breath and try and stop my tears. "How?" I say.
"Easy," she says. "Everyone just has to stop fighting".
I smiled weakly. The answer to all the world's problems is so simple yet so complicated. I know that everyone wishes this simple answer. They hope that one day the fighting will stop and their loved ones will come home. They wish for a better life, a happy life, a life without fighting. I know I do.
I jumped as the last of the bombs went off.
"Elise, I hope the stars will stop falling soon,"
"I do too, Ava. I do too".