Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Short Story » Narrative

E - Everyone


by 4revgreen

We'd been travelling for many days when they finally stopped us.

I hadn't wanted to leave; my home was very dear to me, and I now ached for the little things that made it so. Our small house, with the cracks in the paint and the flickering lights and the spots of mould in the corners. How I wished to trace my fingers along the cracked line one last time, how I wished to glance out the dusty window and watch as my son returned home from school, his bright red blazer in contrast to the very dead and dreary bushes in the front garden. To some extent, I even missed the sound of sirens blaring in the night. There hadn't been much noise since we left, from the outside I mean, seeing as we mostly travelled in the dead of night.

I'd spent the journey huddled up in a corner of the lorry, my son right by my side. He'd barely said a word, resting his head against me, his dark brown hair soft against my skin. It was comforting, having him there beside me, knowing he was safe.

But we weren't safe. And I think he knew that.

I think everyone knew that.

We were hungry, dirty and slowly descending into madness. There was only so long you could be pushed up against the wall of a lorry container, having to hunch up every time someone wanted to move. There were two very young babies onboard, crying at every pothole and bump, every twist and turn in the journey to safety.

I shouldn't have been so ungrateful about it. We were safe, or felt safe at least.

The truck came to a sudden halt sometime in the night. At first I didn't know the time of day, we'd all lost track of time since we'd been cooped up in here. I suppose chickens don't care for the time much once the gate to the pen is closed. There was an excited murmur throughout the people kept in the coop like us, perhaps it was a toilet break. Perhaps they were going to give us food or water again. Maybe they were going to ditch us at the side of the road: you never know.

No-one comes to open the doors of the truck, ans we await in silence and listen out for any noise. There are distance murmurs in another language. I couldn't understand what was going on.

Until the shots rung out.

It was quick succession of fire, nothing I hadn't heard before but something I hadn't been expecting. My son doesn't flinch. He's grown so used to gun shots, they send him to sleep. I wondered who'd been put to sleep outside.

There was more shouting from foreign voices and then the doors were pulled open. The bright light of multiple torches cut through the dusty air and shine upon us; refugees, now staring down the barrels of half a dozen guns.

No-one moves.

They shout, motion for us to exit our coop. We obey, knowing full well what guns can do. There are soldiers in front of us, behind us, to the left and right of us, on the roof of the lorry. The driver of the lorry and his partner are swimming in a pool of crimson on the road. Their eyes are open, widened and terrified. They didn't try to run.

It's dark, and dark shadows of tall houses loom down over us. It's foggy, and despite the flash lights I can barely see a couple of feet in front of me.

They shout again, and I hug my son tight. He's scared, shaking, afraid to make a sound. None of us try to defend ourselves; we haven't done anything that may brand us deserving of this. We tried to escape one conflict and were welcomed with another. I wanted my son to grow up away from reminders of a place where men were gunned down for having a simple opinion that differed from the state.

Soldiers keep shouting to each other, searching the van, scouring every inch of our temporary home, as if maybe one of us was still hidden. Why would we hide; we know the outcome will be worse. A woman cries out- a soldier had shoved her. He shoves her again and she falls to her knees weeping. She'd had to leave without her husband. He was a soldier too.

We're made to stand in a long line, and I keep hold of my son's small hand as they inspect us. The man to the left of me is trembling, his labourer's hands once strong and steady now twitching. I recognise him from home, from a small farm. He hadn't had any animals for months now but he kept us stocked with as many vegetables as he could manage, old and alone. He's on his toes, glancing around; even in the dark I can tell he's sweating. He doesn't care if the soldiers are watching. It's dark, and I doubt he thinks he can run without consequence. He's crazy.

Or maybe he just knows it's not going to get any better.

And he runs.

Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.

Is this a review?



User avatar
9 Reviews

Points: 41
Reviews: 9

Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:28 pm
SuraikheySuraj wrote a review...

Firstly, I would really really like to congratulate you for such an amazing & awesome narration. You really showed your writing strength and capabilities.
Why I am praising you? What exactly positive things are in your writing? Let me explain!
1) You were successful in painting the portraits and landscapes by words- This can be a difficult task for some writers. When a reader is reading a narration or story, pictures should come in his or her mind automatically. That part greatly depends on writer. When writer fails, story becomes boring. If he or she succeeds, readers get excited about the story. In your case, I will give you A++ at this point!

2) Only making a story alive is not enough. There should be a coordination and consciousness in the story. There should be an easy and continues flow in the writing, whether fiction or nonfiction. This allows reader to get involved in story. Some twists and suspense can be added but reader should feel that there story is discontinuing.

Final words- for any skill, continuing and evolving is important. I am really expecting more from you. I just pointed out your skills, however, you have to make sure that they are preserved and constantly improving for betterment. Some minor grammar mistakes are there but they can be reduced if write more and more, and re-read your stories time to time.

Good luck, Keep writing.
Your Sincerely,
Suraikhey Suraj

P.S.- Your writing was so alive that I am really worried whether you have experienced this kind of thing or heard them from a person who have experienced these situations.

4revgreen says...

Thank you so much! This honestly made my day! Yeah I suck at re-reading my own work so that's what I need to work on :-) And I didn't experience anything like this, luckily. It was based of something I was watching in English class once

User avatar
43 Reviews

Points: 241
Reviews: 43

Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:47 am
Tawsif wrote a review...

Amazing! I didn't see the end coming, and it came with a huge surprise.

Let me go para by para.

You described the MC's love for her house brilliantly. I could picture the things in the house clearly, thanks to your vivid description. I liked the way you presented even the seemingly trivial and unpleasant facets of the house, like the cracked paint and the blaring sirens, in a positive way. Well done!

I liked that you mentioned those two babies. It would grab your reader's sympathy for sure. And in the same para, you pictured the hustle inside the lorry nicely as well.

'No-one comes to open the doors of the truck, as we await in silence and listen out for any noise. There are distance murmurs in another language. I couldn't understand what was going on.

Until the shots rung out.'

You suddenly switched the tense. Maybe you should look at the tenses again and use them correctly. You'll figure that out better than me since you're the one writing the story.

Also, in this para, maybe you should change 'await' with 'wait'. But I'm not sure about the grammar here.

'It was quick succession of fire, nothing I hadn't heard before but something I hadn't been expecting. My son doesn't flinch. He's grown so used to gun shots, they send him to sleep. I wondered who'd been put to sleep outside.'

I didn't get this para. Maybe you should take another look at it. And please let me know what you intended to mean.

And, I already mentioned, the end was spectacular. Many will expect the story to end with the fate of the MC. But it ended with another character. This is a new trick I could learn from you. Thanks.

That's all from my side. Keep writing.

4revgreen says...

Thank you so much! With regards to the bit you didnt understand I'll try explain: there was a sudden burst of gunfire which MC was use to but she wasn't expecting at that moment. Her so is so used to gunshots he didn't flinch at it and they help him sleep. She wondered who'd been "put to sleep" e.g. killed outside. Hope that helped! I'll probably reword the story a bit

Tawsif says...

I understand now. But I don't think the readers will get it from the story. Better work on that para, 4revgreen.

4revgreen says...

i'm not really 100% sure what there is to not understand? I'm not trying to be rude aha but it makes perfect sense to me?

Tawsif says...

Well, maybe I'm being dumb. After all, English isn't my first language.

A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.
— Roald Dahl