Death With Happiness
Lila Krynski, Grade 7, St Peter's Lutheran College -
1945. The war ended. I should be celebrating. I should be warm. But I’m slowly dying.
My family were escaping from our country, and we were a mountain away from freedom. As we were descending the slope, the Nazis shot at us. They shot my Mama, my Papa, and me. I was the only one who survived because I got shot in the leg. I blacked out.
When I woke up, I was numb. I saw that my whole body was blue because my neck was twisted. Soft, powdery snow was gently falling on my frayed clothes. I couldn’t feel anything, yet I felt so cold I could’ve been made of ice. My teeth were chattering loudly, though I couldn’t hear much. My ears were pounding with the very last blood I had left. My brain felt dizzy, and my sight was blurred. I saw glimpses of my family’s distorted bodies with their shining blood cascading down the mountain, like a beautiful nightmare. I started to cry, but I was so frozen my tears stopped abruptly feeling like knives at my cheeks.
I’m going to die alone and scared. I’m paralysed and covered in frostbite. But I suddenly see a small sprout of lavender next to my head, and a memory materialises my brain. When I felt stressed, my mum put a small bowl of lavenders she hand picked next to my hay mattress. We were a poor family living in an abandoned barn. The first time she put the lavenders down, my father was stroking my forehead trying to get the hair from my eyes.
“Mama, why are there lavenders?” I asked.
She smiles with her glowing eyes and crouched down next to Papa. She kissed me and whispers to me softly, “they help you sleep, my darling. And they make the scary nightmares go away, so you sleep happily. But if these lavenders don’t help you, my dear, Papa and I will be right here next to you.”
I did have a nightmare that night. I woke up screaming, cold sweat clinging to me. My parents rushed awake and squeezed me, cooing tenderly into my ear; “It’s okay, dear. Mama and Papa are here. Nothing bad has happened. We love you so much.”
The years passed. The lavender stayed by my side and I never had another nightmare again. I began to notice my parents ate less than me, but they didn’t tell me so. Their efforts touched me so much, and I hoped one day I could repay them.
I smile weakly at the happy memories, my tight, icy skin cracking and beginning to bleed. I take a whiff of the flower by my side and begin to cry more of the painful tears. Smells like memories. My eyelids grow tired, but I remember those who love me. I smile and sleep forever.