‘A Moment in Time’ by Summer Straughan

The time is 12:56 a.m. on August 25, 1939.

When the record holder chose a house classic, ‘Fruit Bowl’ by Billie Holiday, the party was alive and dancing. Everything was fine until my aunty and uncle invited each other to dance. We were a huge family living in Harrow when I walked into the kitchen amid the masses of dancing adults. When everyone heard a big BANG! The sound was louder than the record player and knocked us all down. My mum rushed over to check on me and make sure I was okay. Everyone gathered on the highways as they continued to flow towards the chaos. Except for the few buildings that the bomb had demolished, it appeared that no one had been injured or even hurt.

The Prime Minister, Neville Chamberliane, declared war on Germany on September 3rd. Women wailed, and children had no idea what war meant; their blissful dumb brains could only comprehend that it was horrible. When we got home, I grieved with my mother, wondering where we would go. That was the last time I heard my mother say my name to me before I was packed up and placed into a train. Where I would be transported to Australia to live with foster parents while the war raged on. I flew to Australia in search of my foster parents. Their names were Carry and Milton. No children for a married couple.

As soon as I arrived in Australia, I was hustled forward as groups of individuals with strong accents shouted at us kids while brandishing posters and slogans. Some even attempted to lunge at the waggon I was placed in. Milton yelled at them, and people protested and yelled for miles down the road. Some attempted to grab me, but Milton snarled at them. When we arrived in a tiny village, placards saying ‘no migrants wanted’ were put on garden fences and road signs.

Things were going well after a few days, until we awoke one afternoon to a destroyed garden and an egged house. They were aware that I would be staying. It made my heart race since I had come so far to seek sanctuary in this beautiful country only to be treated like a pig in a pen. I apologised and promised to clean up the mess, but they drew me back inside with troubled expressions. I was in danger.