(Author's Note: This took me way longer than I expected. XD I was about to submit this a few days ago but for some reason when I clicked 'Submit' the page reloaded and I had to start ALL. OVER. AGAIN. Also, please note I am not a World War 2 expert so I may get some things wrong.)
More explosions. The noises burst into life. They creep inside me penetrating every cell in my body. I wanted so badly to tear off my ears and let them bleed.
Screaming. Terrified screaming coming from every corner of our smoldering town. Wreckage everywhere. I don't have to look, but I know behind me our house is crumbling and I'm to afraid to look back.
And where's Papa?? And Mom and Simon? I can't find them.
I run. Hoping that by running I'll go somewhere that isn't here. Maybe I'll get lost and I can loose myself.
"Simon! Mom! Papa!" Tears well up in my eyes. I can't find them. Smoke and dust cloud my eyes I start to cough and can't stop.
Strong arms grab me right as an explosion goes off, the noise is deafening. It was way to close for comfort.
I scream, and try to wriggle free from my captor, but I don't manage to make any progress.
"Liam! Liam, it's me calm down." Simon. His pants are scorched and ripped so jaggedly in some places. His usually dirty blond hair is coated in ash. I watch as his vivid green eyes glance up in the sky at the black planes with a hatred I've never seen in my brother's eyes.
"Mom..." I choke. "Dad? Where-"
Simon looks back down at me, his eyes soften and then shine with tears.
I hate this. I hate everything about this. I hate the fighting. I hate the death, the destruction, the murders. Why?! We all grew up, being taught about sharing and not hitting but what the point?
If this is the world? What's the point?
It won't do any good, and it certainly wouldn't do you any good.
"Liam?" Simon stands up still holding me. I start to choke and then sob. Simon grips me tighter in his arms, shaking. Then he gently takes something out of his pocket and slips it into my hand.
I open my eyes slightly to see it's the gold pocket-watch. Simon's gold pocket-watch. Of course, it's not real gold. If our family were to buy real gold we would have to sell everything we had including ourselves.
But it's gold coloured, anyway. Simon bought it from 'Todd's' with his own money he earned from working at the drug store. He'd take the golden thing out every night and rock back and forward with it listening to the 'tick, tick, tick,' that always emitted from it's cogs. Papa's touched this about a thousand times. I can feel his hands on it now.
I squeeze my eyes tighter than ever and clutch the pocket-watch to my chest.
Simon holds me and we stand there for a minute before yet another explosion, another one of such sound it could only be rivaled by an erupting volcano, bursts into life way to close for comfort.
Simon dashes away and I can tell where he's heading. Many months before, we built several bunkers in case of emergency. This qualifies as an emergency.
The bunker comes into sight. It's halfway in a hill. The doors are thrust open and people are pouring inside.
Someone is by the door. It's Mr. Hedge. He, his wife and all their kids have fiery red hair. I'm friends with one of their son's, Alex.
"Simon, Liam.!" Mr. Hedge looks us up and down for injuries. "Either of you boys hurt?"
"No . . We're okay." Simon bites his lip
"Quickly, get inside."
We obey and both sign a slip of paper to confirm we are here. When I ask Simon why we do that, he says they might go back out later and they want to know who to look for.
I expected it to be dark and cold in the bunker, and it is. But there are minor lights that flicker on and off regularly and a rack of bedding mainly consisting of sleeping bags. There isn't much else than that.
Simon grabs us two bags and lay them out.
That night we all sit around with a can of cold beans. There is a selection of beans of which to choose from but they're all the same to me. Honestly, it's not all that much different from what we regularly eat.
I'm just not hungry.
Simon looks at me and says, "Liam, you should eat." But I can see he hasn't touched his can either.
"Why are they doing this?" I whisper softly staring at the ground.
"Doing . . what?"
"Hurting people. Why?"
Simon looks at me. Then sighs. Then lays down. I lay down next to him in my own sleeping bag and give him an intense stare.
"Because they're trying to prove a point."
"They are more powerful. They are more in control-"
"So we disagreed with them and now they're angry?"
"We did some other things to make them angry. There are faults on both sides."
"But I never hurt anyone?"
"No you didn't." Simon agrees. "That's the really horrible thing about it. It's the leader of the country that gets arguing with other leaders and then whole continents are in a war."
"Why don't they stop. Why don't we stop?"
"Because we don't want to back down. I loose faith in humanity a lot, Liam. Most of the time I don't know what to think. We're trying to get better. Okay? And everything is gonna turn out the way god thinks it should."
I nod. Simon hugs me then rotates on his back.
I'll never forget what he said that night. Those words were burned in my brain, and I never have and never will forget them.
The next morning Simon left to go look for our parents with other's of his age and up. The bodies they did find they brought back and we had a funeral for each one. We didn't find mom or papa but I was sort of glad for that. I don't think I could have handled it.
I too, loose faith in humanity a lot. I don't understand our actions. So when I meet someone particularly gentle and kind I congratulate them on going through life and not turning bitter or hard.
My mother had a saying. She said hard things would come up in life, and they always did. When they did she always told us this: "Sometimes, people take crisis as an opportunity to turn hard or soft. Some of us are potatoes, some of us are eggs. When you boil an egg what happens? You get harder. What happens when you boil a potato? You get softer. Both are equally tasty. People are not bad if they are hard, but it's up to you. Do you want people to view you as a soft or hard food?"
Always after, she would laugh and throw us a boiled potato. We both liked potatoes better and she knew that.
It's silly, I think, to dwell on the past to much. Past can affect you but its not a part of you. But of course, don't dwell to far on the future. That ends badly too.
Focus on today. You'll never get it again.