You could hear the patrols coming a mile away. They were loud, like the monsters they were, charging through the land, crushing everything in their path. Some people stood on the streets, cheering them on; little children holding flags and banners, having the time of their lives. They had no idea what was really happening. Other people stood at doors and windows, watching them in disgust. They wish they could do something, but wanted their lives more than they wanted the peace. At least they could stand on the streets. And others, like myself, ran and hid. For my people, we were hunted, like animals; heads to hang over the mantle. I didn't know what they did with us when caught, but I had heard some pretty gruesome stories, and I didn't really want to know what was true.
I didn't have much time to get away, they were looking for someone. Maybe there were others like me in the small town. But if they were here, I'd never meet them, because the patrols wouldn't leave unless they found someone. It was me or them, if there was anyone else.
I ran from the window as a black, sleek car and two guard motorbike pulled up in front of the building, five stories below. There was only one place in the small apartment where I could hide. Up in the attic there was some loose boards under a bookcase, which led to a small crawl space between the attic floor and the apartment ceiling. Rebecca helped me and pushed the bookcase back to seal me in. In wriggled into the small space until I thought I was deep enough in. It was a very tight space. I had electrical wires jamming into my back everywhere I moved, and I couldn't breathe without inhaling a handful of dust. I held my hand an inch from my face, but I couldn't see it. I tried to search for any light through the floor boards, but it was as if the light had been swallowed up by the darkness. And now I too felt like the light, sitting in the belly of the darkness. The hideout suddenly felt so tiny, so small, closing in on me. Claustrophobia took over my senses and the added fear of the patrol below made me feel sick.
Suddenly there was a loud crash below and the walls shook. I assumed they had knocked down the door, not bothering to wait for Rebecca to answer it. But it didn't matter, they could do what ever they wanted and no one would stand in the way. I could hear them talking, but they were too far to hear. But Rebecca's squeal came through to me crystal clear. The horrible noise soaked through all the way to my bones and suddenly everything became so real. I had been putting my friend, who had given me so much, in danger all this time. Just by being here, in her house; Rebecca could be killed for that! I heard the attic door - a trap door in the ceiling open. I couldn't move, I was so scared, I could barely breathe. There was some light that trickled through. It was almost blinding since my eyes had adjusted to the darkness. But I didn't dare look away, in case that slight movement of my head created enough noise to alert the patrol. Five men entered the attic. I could hear their heavy footsteps thud across the old wooden floor. I didn't know if that was all of them, or if there were more waiting down stairs. At first the only ends I saw were to get caught or hide and get away, but my cruel imagination added a third scenario; what if they took Rebecca? Would they hurt her? Could they kill one of their own, even if by protecting me she was a traitor to them? But I forced those images out of my mind for now, I couldn't let them take control. My body attempted a series of spastic convolutions; a claustrophobic symptom I had experienced only once before when my brother locked my in the pig pen, but the the men, who almost stepped right above me scared me more than the space closing in on me. I could see one of them through the cracks in the floor boards. He was so close! I put my hand over my mouth, risking the chance of sound, afraid that he could hear me breathe.
The man spoke to another soldier in their language but I recognised the word for 'kill'. He pointed off to his left, but where he was looking was out of my view. My heart smashed around in my chest wildly, like it wanted to be found and was knocking on the door. Surely they could hear it. The man above took a step forward, stepping on a board that curved downwards, like a lot of the boards in the attic that were old and couldn't hold the pressure like they used to. Only difference was that it pressed down on my stomach, severely restricting my breathing. I knew he felt the difference in the floor because he paused, standing completely still, like stone. I knew he was just about to rip the floor boards apart, the others aiming their guns down at me. I wondered that if I gave myself up now they wouldn't hurt Rebecca. But I couldn't move. The shock of it held me down like three inch nails through my limbs. And thank God I didn't move, because a second later the soldier moved, heading back to the door. He called to the others, and they all left with them. I realised I hadn't been breathing that whole time they were there, and suddenly all the life and relief flood back to me. I didn't know what had happened, but I hoped that they had given up the search. It had felt like they had been there for a whole day searching, standing inches away from me, but it probably want more than two hours or so. I didn't come out until Rebecca came and got me ten minutes later. I hadn't been so relieved to see anyone in my life. Though I could see the nasty bruise the men left on the side of her face beginning to appear. We came down stairs, and I could see how much damage they had really done. The large bookcase had been tipped over, and a large crack began to grow from the side. Books and other possessions of Rebecca's were thrown around the room. And in the light I could see how bad they had really hurt Rebecca.
"No really, I'm alright. This can all be fixed in a couple of days." If I had never come here for help, she'd be living a safe life, but I had been too greedy, only thinking of myself. I wandered over to the living area, picking up the scattered objects, when I came across an object I hoped I'd never come close to, ever in my life. It was one of the soldier's gun. I knew what was going to happen now, but it was too late to do anything about it, because it was already happening. Suddenly an unarmed solider entered the room, obviously come back to retrieve his gun. He was half way through his explanation when he saw me. I didn't need to understand his language to know that I left him speechless. That's what so many girls want, don't they? to leave a boy speechless. But I didn't think this is what anyone would have wanted. I could hear the words forming in his mind. He was going to yell down to the patrol below. But I was too quick for him. I swung back towards him, gun in hand, aimed and shot without thinking twice. It was the first thing I thought of doing, and I didn't think again until it was over, and the deed was done. Once again I had though only of me, thinking through greed. For my only life and safety, I had just killed someone. I had just killed someones son, someones friend, possibly someones father. Although, the morals and ethics of murder would have to wait, because what was next in line was the patrol that were running up the stairs to the apartment.