‘Far From Freedom’ by Ivanka Georgieva, Age 13, Year 9, Thomas Clarkson Academy

Gunshots. Screaming as it passes through Oradea, Romania. The 1944 countryside had vanished directly beneath my feet. I stood, motionless, taking in and examining the destruction around me.  How can anyone, anyone survive in such agony and perpetual conflict Laurentius, my darling brother, was the only warm body I had; the rest of the family was cold.  Normally, I had no idea what most of society meant by it, although numerous individuals did refer to me as “incredibly intelligent for someone from that country.”

Acid from who knows where splattered across the magnificent land before me, with the amazing lavenders beneath my feet. For the first time, freedom spread through me, and the 8-year-old soul finally metastasized to the point where the end was out of reach.

Gunshots. Screams, begs, and mercy requests pierced the softwood house alongside an emerald green truck. Our only hope; but there had to be blood on someone’s hands; if not Laurentius, I will do everything in my ability to protect the safety of my family, whether in heaven or on the land of the lord.

Laurentius and I parted ways, Laurentius as sleek as a serpent, and I gripped the rifle in my hands, the trigger ready to shoot anything, anybody in her path of freedom to anywhere but this land.

”Just do it, Ioana, it’s not that difficult, just pull the trigger.”

Big bang! Shots were fired into the distance, and two blood-curdling, blood-filled corpses stood beneath her; she keeps her word. Their blood was on my hands, yet she couldn’t help me. At least not any longer.

It was all about to end, and we’d finally be able to experience true freedom. Not even a second later, I felt a strong ache in my head, as if someone had forcefully hurt me, and I wondered what had happened to my brother. Is he doing well?

19 years later, my brother and I are still locked up, wondering when it will all be over, when everything will be normal again. All I can hope for is that the Lord is watching from above and assisting all his disciples. Please, please, please take me away from this monstrous place.