Printed from WriteWords -

Losing Agir

by  BettyH

Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2009
Word Count: 921
Summary: I've re-written my book and added one of the main action scenes as a prologue. Do you think it works as Chapt 1 then begins the story of a young girl in care meeting Agir who is smuggled into the UK (and is written from her perspective). Thank you.

Ormanici, Turkey. 5am. 20 February.
The sudden thunderous crackle of machine gun fire, slicing through the still, early morning air, wrenched him from his sleep. As he pushed at the mound of blankets covering himself and Haran, his brother, he swung his head towards where his parents usually lay either side of his sister. His father was ahead of him, already scrambling to get up. For a second their eyes met. The panic, terror and confusion he found in his father's face shot a jolt, like an electric current, through his whole body.
'Up......get......' His father's words were lost, hijacked by a second round of gunfire, louder, sharper than before. His father carried on trying to speak, his mouth opening and shutting pointlessly, spewing out only the terrifying sound of ammunition.
The hut rocked. A row of bullets hit the outside wall above their heads. He understood his father's efforts. They needed to move. Fast. Stumbling to his knees, he pulled at his younger brother who lay still, unmoved, his hands stuck to his ears, his eyes shut tight.
'Move,' his father screamed. His mother grabbed at Sema, his little sister, wrapping her in her arms as she stumbled to her feet and headed towards the kitchen area of the hut. A fleeting flicker of relief swept over Sema's small bewildered face as mother's embrace, for a moment, made everything in her small life good again.
'Haran,' he shouted at his brother, pulling at his shoulders, shaking him. But a noise so deafening stopped him. An explosion, so loud, so close. He fell hard onto his brother's small body which still remained stuck, under the covers. Dust and dirt clogged his nostrils. Screaming, he wasn't sure from where, piercing through the air, announcing the arrival of some poor person's deep, painful, unexpected agony. Debris, stones, he wasn't sure what, covered his back. He moved, turned, managed to get to his knees. He could see sky as part of the wall of the hut had caved in on them.
His father's arms pulled at him, removing him from his brother who's face and head he had somehow protected by his own much larger body. They took an arm each, yanking Haran into the kitchen to join his mother and sister huddled together in the corner of the room.
'What's happening....?' he asked helplessly, crammed in the corner beside his mother, brother and sister as his father tried pathetically to shield them all from whatever was happening outside.
The door burst open, kicked in by a man wearing white camouflage gear. Waving a machine gun over his shoulder, he shouted something and three others, all dressed the same, carrying guns, stormed into the hut.
'Out. Now,' the man at the front shouted, pointing the gun at them. Another grabbed his father’s hair, pulling him across the floor towards the broken down door. He clutched Haran's hand, making him move as his mother carried Sema who hung desperately to her.
They left the hut, by gun point, into the freezing air of early morning. Their thin bedclothes and socks within seconds failing to defend them against the snowfall which had tumbled relentlessly overnight on to their mountain village. They passed the remains of their neighbours hut. The bomb had done its job. The walls destroyed, the roof gone, rubble and smoke everywhere. And there she was. Sema's best friend. Lying on the floor with half her stomach blown away. Her broken body shattered in the precise spot where the two girls had played the evening before.
Stumbling ahead of them, trying to keep upright, the soldier kicked his father as he yanked him along by his hair. He took in the devastation. Soldiers, guns, everywhere as doors were kicked in and bewildered villagers hauled out of their homes at gun point. The clean air stunk of burning, as flames swallowed parts of the village. Horses, dogs, precious village livestock lay dead, shot point blank by soldiers and left to burn with the buildings.
They approached the village square.
'Over there.' The soldier dragging his father pointed his mother towards a group of women and children huddling together in a corner, indicating for her to join them.
'Quickly....move,' the men behind them shouted, waving their guns amongst the noise of the screaming and crying, the gunshots and flames. They stumbled through the slush, feet frozen. The cold wind smacked them hard in the face, like some bad tempered old man, perversely enjoying his contribution to their pain. As he was dragged away, his father tried to turn to look at his wife and children, just one last time but his head was cracked back as they marched him, like all the village men, off to the square.
With his mother and siblings, he reached the group of terrified women and children, people who saw each other every day, now united in their despair.
This one’s too old.’ A soldier marched over. ‘Put him with the men’.
A firm hand grabbed his arm, pulled him away, dragging him towards the village square and to whatever lay in store there. He twisted his head amongst the chaos and noise, gathering about him like a whirlwind. He looked to the group of women, he searched for his family. With Haran and Sema hanging on to each other, their small faces in quiet shock, his mother held her arms out, as if trying to gather him back, to return him to her. Their eyes met, she screamed.