Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The United Kingdom (01/22/09)
TITLE: I Wish...
By Ruth Neilson
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Those nights, my sisters, and little brother would curl up with me in the shelter we had built in the backyard and try to sleep. But sleep would not come for me. Mum would spend those nights weeping over us.
That was before my siblings were sent away to the country side for their own safety. I was old enough to work in the hospital as a nurse’s aid. I had begged mum for permission to stay in London.
I was helping with the war effort! Burns, bandages, injuries, medicine soon became the drive in my life. My calico print dresses were resigned to a place within the back of my wardrobe and soon I found myself wearing the drab uniforms of the hospital. But it was worth it.
In those rare moments that I had to myself, I wept. I missed my siblings. I would see my siblings in the children who didn’t leave the city and were injured by the senseless bombings of the Blitzkrieg. I would wish that I hadn’t begged to stay.
There were days that I could swear that all of London was burning. Fire and smoke danced around the River Thames as foreign aircraft filled the sky. Children were screaming as I ran desperately through the streets, looking for survivors. Looking for Mum, but I couldn’t find her. It wasn’t until later when an officer found me working in the hospital that I knew. Mum was gone.
The sound of aeroplanes flying over head still terrifies me. I resist the urge to seek cover at the sound of sirens. I just wish...I just wish I had my childhood back.
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