‘Over The Border’ by Fern Isbell, Age 13, Year 9, Soham Village College

There was no escape. You knew this. And yet you still clung to the last strands of hope that tied your sanity together.
Piling into the tent; choking down your screams, eating away your words. Terrified, you run for the exit. Fire. You knew this was coming, you heard their plans and yet it still came as a massive shock striking fear into your heart; then you saw it. The way out is a chance to escape. Your only chance to escape. You run. Your pounding, your chest wheezing, you don’t dare to stop in case they come for you.
Just get as far away as possible.

You have no idea where you are. After the chaotic night before was all a blur. Your head hurts; drunk with freedom.
Yet never truly safe.
You realise you’re in a barn. Abandoned like everything else by the looks of it. Suddenly, it all came flooding back. The shouting, the screaming, the explosions, the soldiers, the guns… No. It’s all in the past now you just need to find a way out of here to safety and leave this wretched world behind.
Then you get an idea. A boat.

You decided to wait at the coast hoping that someone would be here. Nothing yet. You hide in a bush and wait. Overcome with exhaustion, you fall back to sleep.
You’re woken by the smell of food. You realise you’re hungry and slowly open your eyes to find 50 odd people sitting around you. No one’s paying any attention to you, you sit up and try to blend in.
A guy with dark glasses and a scruffy jacket comes from round the corner and says things you don’t understand. Everybody else starts getting up and following the man closer to the crashing waves so you decide to follow them and then you see it.

A boat. It was not as impressive as you thought and it did not look safe at all but you knew this was our only chance so you just went for it. The man and a few of his mates loaded everyone onto the boat and shoved it out to sea.
There was no going back now.
A few days pass and you are still on the boat floating aimlessly around in the middle of the ocean. You have no clue where you’re but those few strands of hope are still standing strong.

It starts to get dark. Suddenly the sky lights up and rain starts hammering down. Everyone in the boat starts freaking out and so do you.
What if we sink, what if we drown, what if we never make it to safety, what if the storm never stops, what if… No. Nothing is going to happen, just stay calm.
The boat starts filling with water.
You can feel it slowly going down.
You try to breathe, but the waves are tumbling the boat too much.
It capsizes.
You don’t know how to swim.