‘Over the Border’ by Anonymous, Age 14, Year 9, Bury St Edmunds County High School

I see fire and smoke filling the skyline of the once thriving city.

Buildings which used to be homes, workplaces; lives, now collapsed.

I need to cross this wasteland called ground zero that was once my own city. If I ever want to see my family again.

I climb the crumbling staircase of a ruined building to get a vantage point. To look at the city that has monsters in it. Wow so many cars in the streets that are abandoned. Fire everywhere. But not a sign of human life.I lay my head against the rough concrete wall and try to rest.

I wake to the sound of a car alarm going off, I shoot up and run down the stairs, gun in hand. I push open the fire escape door and peek out with my rifle. No one.

I tread quietly to the alarming car and peek into the driver’s side window. There is a dead body. A gaping bullet hole in his head. BANG gunfire shoots in my direction and I take cover behind the still alarming SUV. BANG more shots are fired into the car, this one shattering the window directly above my head, a close call. I ran into the store opposite from the building I awoke in. I ran out the back door into an alleyway and ran into a warehouse to hide.

I now just need to cross this ruined city, acting as a border between me and safety.

All that without running into whoever it was that was just trying to kill me.

I exit through an open garage door of the warehouse, into the road filled with firey, abandoned cars. I climb across the roofs of the cars trying to get closer to my destination.