Recently, BBC Radio 2, organised a 500 word – story – writing competition for children aged between 5-13. I made lots of different stories before making the difficult decision of which one to submit. I have decided to share a few of the drafts I created on this blog. Here is the first one:
She couldn’t bring herself to look at it. But she knew she had to get over this fear, this phobia of her terrible past. She knew, no matter how much she tried to forget, she would always remember. Carefully and deliberately, she turned her eyes down to look at the jagged scar that ran down her right leg. A wave of terrible memories came flooding into her mind. So fast, she couldn’t control them, so fast that no matter how hard she tried to forget, she had to remember. She had to remember. She let the memories fill her mind and stopped resisting.
Their flat in Syria, the delicious, homely smell of Ma cooking Kubeh in the kitchen. She remembered her friends, where were they now? Did they escape? Were they-
She remembered the football pitch back in Aleppo. Playing rough with the boys, never caring for the weird girl games the others played. She remembered her first proper match. The adrenaline, the excitement, the fun. They’d been doing just fine in Syria. Until then. Ma and Pa started talking in hushed voices and always stopped abruptly when she entered the room. She’d asked them if everything was okay. They’d told it was all fine, not to worry. Just that there was some fighting going on further away. They’d told her a white lie. The fighting had nearly reached them. Why did they not tell her? It wouldn’t have made her any safer.
Suddenly the worst, most terrible memory closed in on her whirling mind. She was playing football again. She was going to win! She could feel it in her bones! She could win! Her eyes were locked on the goal in front of her and she was instinctively dribbling the ball. Just a bit closer and she would score, a tiny bit closer…
Just as the ball left her feet there was a bang. A big one. She remembered being swept into the air and being thrown against the stone wall. She remembered an agonising pain seeping into all four corners of her brain. She remembered excruciating pain in her leg as well, seeing red liquid oozing onto the floor. She remembered not being able to comprehend what was happening. She remembered thinking
She remembered trying to get up but falling back down again. She remembered seeing the worst thing yet. The body. It lay there. Twisted in indescribable ways. Then she saw the inside of her eyelids.
Waking up from her trance, she looked down at her scar again. She crumpled to the floor in a pitiful, sobbing heap. In this new country, nothing would ever be the same. No one would understand her problems. They would just look at her sympathetically and shake their heads sadly, offering her some water or bread. That wouldn’t bring Syria back. She looked at the floor beside her. Lying next to her was a deflated white football. The only thing of Syria she had left.