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written by: Nerisha Kemraj


They all lie scattered around me. My one-year-old in his crib that’s pinned to the floor. Removing rubble, I lift his lifeless, bloodied body. Screams escape me, while rage bubbles beneath my skin. Outside, the intense fire blazes on, not as hot as the fire burning within me. My husband stares up at me, unmoving, trapped beneath what used to be the roof of our family room. Carrying my baby, I go to him, crying into his chest. He too, will not wake – he is staring but not seeing.
I catch movement in between all the debris. My blurry eyes see my sister calling out to me, but I cannot hear her. She moves her hand, struggling, as she motions me to go to her. She lay pinned to the floor under her husband’s dead body since he used himself as a shield to protect her. In disbelief, she is shaking with shock.
I need to call for help. Someone will come. I see the phone-receiver, there is hope. I dial the emergency number, whilst looking at the frayed end of the line. There is no tone. I continue dialing. I need to get help. My baby. My baby will not wake.
Cradling him, I shout into the handset. “Why is no one there?”
I suddenly find hands clutching me, trying to take my boy away. My legs kick instinctively, oblivious to the pain coursing through me.
“Noooo!!! “I retaliate, pulling away, holding my son for dear life.
“Nobody will come!” It’s my sister screaming. Managing to free herself, I hadn’t noticed her walk towards me. She drops to her knees in agony crying into her hands.
The bombs continue to rain down around us and the fires roar fiercely. Ear-piercing screams are drowned out intermittently by horrific explosions while our village cries out in anguish as it is decimated by those fighting us.
Where is humanity? When will the war end?
Nestling beside my husband, my baby lies safely in my arms. I succumb to eternal sleep.

Nerisha Kemraj

Nerisha Kemraj

Nerisha Kemraj - resides in Durban, South Africa with her husband and two mischievous daughters. She has work published/accepted in various publications - print and online. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication Science, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from University of South Africa.
Nerisha Kemraj

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