Laura Leyland, Grade 10
In a time not yet heard of in 2083 the Third World War had just begun. The little people of Kobe, Japan were preparing themselves for any terror that should enter their country. It was spring so despite the war it was a lovely place to be seen. The cherry trees were in full blossom, and the rivers were running smoothly. Near Lake Nagassi sat a young boy named Charlie, he was only 12 and the only place he felt safe was here near this lake. You could see the fear in his deep blue eyes. He had been evacuated from London, away from his family in hope that he would be safe but Charlie didn’t think so. He thought that his parents had abandoned him and that they would never see each other again, he almost felt like he could hate them for doing such a thing.
All of a sudden sirens could be heard and Charlie knew it was time to go back to the bomb shelter with the other children. As he walked back slowly up the river that ran into the Lake he noticed something, a pile of sticks with cardboard quite damp but it looked as though someone had tried to make a sort of shelter, house type thing. Charlie was very curious to know what was inside and how it got there. He made his way down the embankment but heard more sirens so he decided it would have to wait till the next time that he could get down there.
When Charlie got inside the Shelter he found himself a little corner and thought of all the things his new discovery could be for, slowly he drifted off to sleep. But he was awoken only a few hours later by some bombs going off. He was very terrified and wondered when it would be over.
The bomb raid lasted three days and Charlie had begun to wonder if his discovery was ok, whether the river was still there. A lot ran through his mind in those long three days. Finally he was able to go outside. He ran as fast as he could down to the river to find his little discovery, but he found more than just the pile of sticks and cardboard. There was a man in a brown leather jacket and top hat sitting next to it lighting a fire. “Hello there little boy, what brings you to Lake Nagassi?” said the man. Charlie just stood there and stared, he was too scared to say anything back. “My name is Tom. I won’t hurt you, come down here,” said the man. Charlie slowly moved forward and said, “I’m Charlie, I’m from London, I have to stay in that bomb shelter but I found this lake and I liked it here so I come here when ever it’s safe.” “Pleased to meet you Charlie, would you like to join me for a cup of tea?” Charlie replied in a more comfortable voice, “Yes please,” so he went over to Tom and sat down next to him.
Charlie talked to Tom about everything, almost like they were best friends and had known each other all their lives. Tom told Charlie that he was sent here from England
as well with his little girl, April, but they got separated. Charlie then made a promise to Tom that he would help him to find his daughter.
Everyday Charlie and Tom would meet at Lake Nagassi and figure out how to find April. They made up signs describing her and posted them around the town, but got no responses.
When almost a week had past the two thought that maybe there was no hope left of finding Tom’s daughter Charlie came up with a great idea. “Why don’t I look in the shelter where I’m staying, maybe she’s in there!” said Charlie. “Why yes” said Tom, “How come we’ve never thought of this before?”
So that afternoon as it became late, Charlie made his way back to the shelter as always but the only thing he did that night out of the ordinary was to go to the girl’s dormitory. He asked everyone if they knew April but no one could help him.
He thought he had asked everyone so Charlie returned to his dorm. Fifteen minutes later a little blonde girl about 9 years old stuck her head around the corner and in the sweetest little voice said, “Were you the boy asking for April?” “Yes why, do you know her? Could you help me?” replied Charlie very hopeful. The little girl knelt down close to him and quietly said, “I’m April.” Charlie leapt to his feet and started almost yelling, “April! I know your father, I’ve been helping him look for you, and we must go see him now. Oh my, he will be so happy to see…” Charlie stopped suddenly; he saw that April had tears in her eyes. “What’s wrong?” he said. “Oh it’s just that I thought the bombs might have got him, so he’s really alive?” replied April. “Of course, we could go see him right now,” said Charlie. “Great”, said April, “Let’s go.”
They were almost at the doors when the sirens came on again. They were under attack. Again.
April was so scared that the last chance she had to see her father again had been destroyed just like the town by the bombs. Charlie tried to comfort her but she ran away. A while later Charlie found April but she told him she just wanted to be alone. Then someone tapped her on the shoulder and she slowly turned around to yell at them, “Go away, I want to be alone,” but instead her face lit up and she jumped into her fathers arms. “Oh dad I’ve missed you so much,” said April. “Same here, my little princess,” replied her dad, Tom, “And it’s all thanks to this boy, Charlie.”
Incredibly three days later the war ended. They had a huge celebration for both the end of the war and the reunion of a father and daughter.
Charlie had many stories to tell his family that summer when he got back to England and they all lived happily ever after!