Nalini Bol, Grade 9
Lush grass, beautiful gleaming light, the warmth of the sun on my slightly blemished skin and the fresh air. I feel like I'm just naming things that don't exist anymore. The screams that once filled the country are silenced yet the faces of those who had witnessed the death of their loved ones have not shedded their last tear. We were warned by mother nature but no-one listened. Small earthquakes had threatened to turn our city into nothing more than a wasteland and they kept their promises. Everyday we had witnessed the terrors of the quakes. Day after day, night after night, we all thought that they wouldn’t stop. -
Slowly the smoke had filled the sky, diseasing the once vibrant blue as the ashes poured like they were nothing more than raindrops. Birds from all around must’ve realized how bad the situation was. We as humans however did not. Not once had the thought of anything else happening had crossed our minds.
Everything came as a vague memory-
My Mum and her nurturing touch, my Siblings and their everlasting laughter and my Dad, his sense of protection. I was resting on bricks from what was once my home. A figure amongst the flames slowly trudging towards me. It took me a few moments to realise who it was: Emma. There was something off about her as she took her place next to me. For a few moments, there was nothing. For a few moments, We relaxed next to each other. For a few moments, We forgot about all that had happened.
Then it hit us, the ground beneath our feet cracking, the sound of the remaining population's screams filled the air. We were right on our heels. Emma couldn't keep up, she couldn't continue to run. Without a second thought, I nudged her towards an empty house. It was a stupid move, the whole ground shook and the building fell on us. That was the only clear memory of that day; everything else came in snatches. Emma was breathing hard or at least I thought she was. It must've been me because when I touched her face, it was ice cold. My friend, the one who got me through everything, was gone.
You could hear the shrieking, I scrambled to the streets. I couldn't move my right arm, it was broken. That's when I noticed the lava seeping through what was once my people’s land. I ran towards the harbour where I knew I’d escape. The plank of wood was waiting. I hurled towards it, a wave smacked the plank and I. Then I blacked out. I’ve been on the water for days, I'm starving, my vision blurry. I felt sick to my stomach and I had a killer headache. Part of me was losing hope, part of me didn't know where I was. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me.
The words were crisp as I said them but I was sure of what I'd seen, “land”.