The night was still as I wandered the deserted streets. Shattered glass and debris camouflaged the roads and paths, a crazed and wild world I’d never seen. This place - in which I had spent my entire life – wasn’t much, but it was home. To see it crumble to pieces had struck something inside me, something I didn’t know I had until now. An untouched emotion, something I hadn’t experienced before. I hadn’t asked for this, they didn’t think of me when they burned the place down. They didn’t think of the children who watched from a shattered window, petrified of the monsters that roamed before them. They didn’t think of the shop-owners or the people who lived above them. Where would they go, what would they do? The crackle of the raging fire was all to be heard. Smoke swallowed the sky in thick black clouds and filled my nose with a sharp aroma.
I stopped in my tracks and picked up a metal frame from a pile of debris. The glass had been smashed completely and a thick layer of soot covered the photo that would tell a story I wouldn’t understand. I wiped the soot away with my sleeve and stared at the photo – a mother and child. They looked poorer than me but their smiles showed perseverance, showed utter love for each other. My heart lurched with sympathy, our community had been destroyed. Yes, we want better homes and jobs but what good does it do to destroy what little we had? Now, we have nothing. I took the photo from the frame and tucked it into my pocket, if I ever found these people; I would give it to them and tell them that life isn’t worth living without someone to love.
Chucking the frame away, I slowly walked towards a burning store. The glass had been blown out and was now scattered across the pavement. I stood and watched it glow as the flames gradually crept up the sides of the building. The scene, a rampant menace, burned wildly, bright colours blinded me and the smell of smoke reached my nose once more in a rapid wave. I watched it engulf the rest of the building, swallowing the remains of a home – nothing but memories now. A tear fell down my cheek as I watched. That mother and child could have lived here, this could have been their home, and now, only wreckage stood cloaked in flames.