Miya Mcdougal, Grade 6, Home Schooled - VIC -
It was back in the scorching hot Summer holidays of 1972 in my hometown of Collambine, America. My best friend Molly and I would spend most weekends playing together in my parents empty mansion as my parents were often nowhere to be seen. One late afternoon we were climbing to the top of my huge gumtree that sat in my front yard, in our white pinafores that were covered in the dirty soot from my parent’s burnt out fireplace we just finished exploring, as 10 year olds did back then. Molly and I loved that tree out the front of my house and could play in it all afternoon, but all of a sudden we heard something startling. A gunshot echoing from not far away. We thought this could be a thrilling chance to explore, as lots of people would shoot the birds around our area. Molly and I decided that we would go seek out the possible dead or injured bird. We had walked as far as 3 blocks away from my house. To our surprise, we heard more gunshots being fired, this time making Molly and I unsure we were going to find a dead bird or ourselves in some serious danger. Molly and I began to realise as the sun completely disappeared and a cool wind came over our afternoon of playing, something wasn’t right. More gunshots occured in an irregular pattern and the intensity of the gunshots were creeping up on us.
We ran down two streets trying to reach home as quickly as we could out of fear, not knowing exactly what was around the corner. We were stopped in our tracks by a pool of crimson coloured blood trickling down the street. Molly let out a scream. As I covered her mouth with my hand, I peered down the long lit up street for any signs of danger when I saw a vehicle approaching quickly and what looked to be a gunman firing more shots. I knew we had to get off the streets and find refuge or a way back to my home safely as the gunman had spotted us and was coming closer. I froze and felt beyond weak. I couldn’t think straight. In a split second Molly sprinted off the nature strip and dragged me by the arm with her. We jumped fence after fence . As we were getting closer to my home, closer to safety, I was desperate for help and felt like the gunman was gaining on us, recklessly firing more and more bullets. As I felt like I couldn’t go on any further the firing had stopped… the car the gunmen were in had crash, orange flames burst into the air, and grey smoke filled the sky. We may have been safe from the shooting, but then the town had to deal with the fire, and that is a whole different story.