#219 Then and Now

by Neira Cohadzic

It’s an archaic, distant memory of when I used to play outside with my family. The warm spring breeze infused our budding laughter. We were at home: in a safe and serene country.

Now, it’s a place of unblinking savagery.

My mom beckoned me to go pick up our weekly donation of bread. The snow whirled around me as I hurriedly ran out with the other neighboring men to fetch bread from a humanitarian truck. We’re all in a life or death trance running amok in the midst of piercing sniper shots in the distance. The ghastly, sunken faces around me sent an electrified shock throughout my spine. They were a mirror image of me: a reflection of withering body and soul. The only zest for life left is when we receive our weekly loaves of bread.

The shelling drew nearer and nearer. The sound of fury seeped into me. I grabbed my bread and soared back home like an eagle in pursuit. As I reached the entrance of my apartment building, I heaved a sigh of relief; I was safe now, shielded from the ensuing calamity. I hurriedly ascended the steps, cracked open the apartment door to surprise my family with an ephemeral gift of bread like I do every week. I gasped in horror; my body froze like the arctic iceberg, as I witnessed my parents sprawled on the floor in their own pool of blood. The only ghastly sound lingering is the wailing of my baby sister.


Heidi said...

A terrifying, heart-breaking snapshot of war from a point of view we don't consider nearly often enough. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Positively shattering!