Thomas Murphy, Grade 8, Marcellin College -
Grey specs of tainted snow tumbled the burnt canvas of the smouldering sky. Blocks of chalks protruded from the watchful rubble of ashes. All their vibrancy had dissipated. An aroma of burnt civilisation seeped throughout the bruises of a dead capital. Honour had crumbled off the walls of Aleppo.
A single flame was ignited under the guardianship of a weathered tin slab, against a wooden construction beam. Protecting the fire from the rage of desert elements gradually thickened throughout the restless night. A lonely hand, clawed and swollen, clutched a book in heart-piercing pain. Red liquid trickled down from a figure, into a stain on the leather cover. Meaningless was given its meaning. The despair that was seared into the eyes of a child was comforted by paper. Paper also fueled fire though. The book was no more.
Meaningless drifted in the air as terror hunted for its prey. An ear-piercing shout of mechanical wrath blared across the ruins. Innocence was captured and laid on its deathbed. A child raised in war held the knowledge of these acts. He scrambled to gather what he could at the second heartbeat to fuel his diminishing sanity. Did it wish himself to live?
He stood up, whilst his crippled legs resisted the task and his mind ached in fear. Fear caressed his and amplified the threat of increasingly imminent bullets. His mind rushed and his life resisted, though, he sprinted. He was an injured animal. The target evaded the sound of bloodthirsty bullets that screamed in the thick air and indented themselves in his eardrum.
The child’s feet punctured the stones. Burnt specs of corruption filled the scene with a hazy fog. They laughed at him as the poison occupied his lungs like cancer on a spear. An aroma of death, destruction and murder contained itself in the air. Chocked and fatigued by the belligerence of life, the exhausted boy slowed. Failure enticed him and wiped his dismantled face with solemnness.
The half-blind eyes darted across the surroundings looking for an exit. Although, the ruins gave its wicked smile back. There was no-where to hide. The child opted to just run, for what was life worth? His legs cycled in a motion that strained stubbornness in his muscles. Nothing wanted to function. Meaningful or not, death controlled his life. Everything resisted his escape except the counter-attack by resistance itself. Resisting the demons that wished to capture him.
No one was cheering him from the sidelines. Only death approached the boy from behind. Death chased the boy without meaning. Metal shards flew through the space around him. The clouds of dust were a model galaxy, but a scene of hopelessness. The child lifted his hands to cover his skull. Bullets punctured his dying limbs as the crawled to a safer place while trying to protect the vulnerable body. The masked people pinned him down on the dirt. Eyes of terrorism glared into his own. On a face covered in tainted snow.