‘The Survivor’ by Lucy Barker, Soham Village College


Our World began the day the old one was destroyed.

One of peace and civilisation instead replaced with war and isolation.

This was nearly 13 years ago. I was born during the first year of war and still now when I am standing here alone the fighting continues.

As I began the tenuous and prolonged trek to scavenge for food my foot met something. I lifted my foot up to be met with a face, dull with no expression, covered in a blanket of snow. Her eyelashes, white and brittle, frozen solid, her fingers frigid, peeking through the snow and a chunk of flesh missing from her leg where it had been gnawed at. These levels of desperation were nothing new, but her face turning a new shade of grey made me feel a throb of sympathy.

Afterwards, I walked forward trying to forget, I’d seen worse in my time and I knew that I’d see far worse in the future. If the war did not end soon every last one of us would end up like that, like her. So, as I walked I endeavoured to think of lighter things, like the hope of a ceasefire, the promise of rehabilitation and the glimmer of desire for life to return to how it was before the war began.

But as of right now, all of my thoughts were foolish fantasies. But that may soon change.