Lost innocence.



The silence prevailed for a long time. It should not have lasted that long. Or at least it felt unfamiliar to have lasted that long. The silence had been forced upon him in an instant. It was surprising though since a minute ago it seemed that the place could never rest in peace. The regular activity had been occuring since a long time. Since the time he was under the open sky. He had not remembered the place to be this silent in a long time.

His mother lay still beside him. The wind blew her fair across her face. She lay there looking tired. Her eyes had dark circles around them. A couple of bangles were broken from her beautiful set. He remembered his father having brought them for her a few months ago. She had shown them to him with such fondness. Her dress was a bit torn. But it did not stand out since it was so dirty. A baby he did not know, just a few months old, lay beside his mother all bundled up. He was staring at him, his little arms trying to uncover himself.

His father was nowhere to be seen. He had not been home since the past few days. Mother had told him that he would be away for a long time. Where exactly was he gone he had not understood but she had cried so often that he had stopped asking. He missed him too. He would wish he was with them. He always cuddled him whenever the cold breeze blew along.

He stared at his mother. He wished she would wake up. She had promised she was taking them to a new place. She had been scared to live here. He wished she would wake up. The colour had faded from her face and she looked weak.

A sudden shriek cut through the silence. The firing could be heard again. The war had not ended. His mother lay beside him in a pool of blood. A bullet had hit her hard in her chest. She lay motionless as he tried to call out to her. He now understood where his father must have been. The baby was crying. Maybe he understood the truth too. He looked down the road, all it had to show him was different pools of dried or wet, blackened or red blood  and bodies. The disfigured, misshapen figures were once people. Another explosion shook the remaining piece of land. Amid all the noise, he never understood war , but he understood he had to run for his life. He had nowhere to go, he had no one to go to. As he heard the clunk of metal boots, a new round of bullets being fired and new screams, he picked up the bundled life. He slipped on the road, it was difficult to run through the red puddle, the smell and smoke. His little legs carried him as fast as he could, leaving behind his tenderness as fast as they could. The war had served him no purpose except perhaps rendering him all to himself. He looked around one last time. Another bullet had hit its target.


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