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The scarf

It was the 18th of October and a quiet family was celebrating the birthday of their elder daughter, Anna. While they were singing in front of the chocolate cake made by the mother who knew it was her daughter’s favourite, Anna made a wish and blew the candles. Her wish was: «To be happy for yet another year». Afterwards, full of excitement she went to her room to open the gifts her family had given her. From her father, a literary book, from her mother, a pink warm scarf. She knew well that her parents were working hard to satisfy their needs, so she was grateful for everything.

A month later, Anna heard on the radio something about a terrorist attack close to the region where she lived. She was really impressed because she never expected something like this to happen, however she did not panic because she thought she was safe. As the days passed by, she started to have a strange feeling, as if something in the air had changed. She could even sense it in their parents’ behaviour. The only person acting normal was her sister, Maria, who was playing with her toys and mostly with a doll they had bought her and never left without her. Anna decided to take a walk with her sister around the neighbourhood, so she put on her jacket and her new scarf and started walking. She really enjoyed spending quality time with her sister, because she usually forgot all her worries and every time she heard her laugh she was filled with a warm, soothing feeling. They went to a park and talked about different things until it got dark. On their way back they met a neighbour, who told them to be careful and Anna wondered why that was. When they entered the house, they found their father worried and their mother pale as a ghost. She tried to understand what was going on but her father yelled at them to go to their room and to never go out that late ever again. She thought her father’s stress was her fault and thus tried to go silently to her room and fall asleep. Around 3 a.m., however, there was a loud noise that woke her up. She looked out of the window and saw fires in the surrounding houses and cars. Her father entered her room holding her sister, who was crying, and told her to put her coat on and go downstairs. She pulled it out quickly and thought of also taking her mother’s scarf due to the cold. They went to the car and on their way saw images that haunted her. There was destruction everywhere and she was impressed she hadn’t realised anything before that moment. They arrived at a place that she had never seen before, the moment they entered, though, and saw all the people gathered inside, she figured out it was a bunker. There were voices coming from everywhere. They decided to sit down in a corner and think about their plan. Their father explained them that they had to wait for some hours and that they shouldn’t worry. The following day she saw that her parents were not there. She could only see her sister who had fallen asleep on her shoulder. After a while her father came by. He told her they had to skip town but first, her mother and he had to go buy basic supplies. While her parents were out, she started to observe the situation of the rest of the people. She was lost in her thoughts when her father entered the shelter alone, with tears in his eyes. Her mother did not follow. He tried to explain to his daughters that their mother did not make it. She had been shot while they were walking. She broke into tears. The father took his now hurt daughters and left the bunker, with only reminder of their mother the pink warm scarf…

After all this, they left the town and went to live with their grandparents where they stayed for a long while.

A year had passed, it was the 18th of October, her birthday. With a blank face she blew the candles without making a wish…

Artemis Saka
2nd High School of Kaisariani

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