M.I.A

This was an English coursework I had to do for my GCSE's. Our inspiration was 'Apocalypse'. I figured it was as good a place as any to start writing more on Movellas. Please leave feedback, but NO HATE! Encouragement needed if I'm ever going to write more on this website!!!!!!!!

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1. M.I.A.

(inspired by 99 Red Balloons- Nena)

 

‘This country is now at war.’

 

The radio crackled on, talking about reasons, and countries, the glory of the Army, Navy and Airforce, all the spectacular nuclear weapons we had, how our country was the best, and we couldn’t be exterminated.

 

You’d think they’d have learned.

 

I wasn’t surprised by the news, I’d known it was coming. With all the bombs and assassinations going on the world over, I was only surprised that it hadn’t happened sooner. My brother reached across the table and turned off the radio.

‘It’s started.’

‘We knew it would.’

As he spoke, his eyes clouded over with something I wasn’t used to seeing from him.

 

Fear.

 

‘They might start conscription. I might have to go and fight. I might not come back.’

His jaw clenched and as he reached for his coffee cup his hand was shaking so uncontrollably that the black liquid slopped over the edge and stained the white napkin at his side.

‘Don’t say that! Don’t you dare say that! Of course you’ll come back!’

I closed my eyes and fought back the panic that was threatening to overcome me. I couldn’t lose him. We’d already lost our parents to a stupid war. There was no way in Heaven, Earth or Hell that I’d let him go too.

 

‘You’ll come back. You have to. You have to.’ I said in an attempt to reassure us both. But even I could hear the doubt in my voice.

‘We’ll see. We’ll see.’ With an effort, he shrugged and smiled again, and started the dishwasher, as he would any other day. But we both knew that things were never going to be the same again.

 

2 years later...

 

He had gone. He’d been taken off to fight barely three days after the war began. I waited at the post office everyday, waiting for his constant letters. All the computers had been bugged by enemy forces, so emailing was out of the question, and who knew who could be listening in on a phone call, so the only way to communicate was by old fashioned paper and pen.

 

Those letters were my only connection with him, the only sign in the world that he was still alive. So I waited everyday, waiting for that sign that made breathing easier and slowed my heartbeat to a more regular pace. The post office worker was ready for me, handing over the latest letter. I almost ripped it open immediately, but then I noticed the handwriting on the front of the envelope.

 

It wasn’t his.

 

Usually, I took the letters back to the house, or what was left of it, but something about the unfamiliar cursive made me sit down on the post office’s dirty, ash-covered floor and open the letter. It was direct and to the point.

 

‘I regret to inform you  that your brother has been reported M.I.A. since 13:00 yesterday. We hope to recover him soon, but wished to inform you, so you could prepare for the worst. In such a war as this, the worst is all you can assume.

 

With many condolences,

Fifth Legion, Captain Marr. ’

 

My lungs stopped working. My eyes stopped seeing. My ears stopped hearing. In the horror of that moment, I think my heart stopped beating.

 

I felt completely paralysed.

 

There was a strange screeching sound echoing around the room. It took me a moment to realise that it was me. My senses came alive again suddenly and I could feel the hot tears falling down my face like bombs from the sky. Shaking, I tried to get up, but the sobs wracking my body

kept me down.

 

He was gone.

 

I hadn’t even said goodbye properly, I’d been so certain I’d see him again.

 

Gone.

 

When our parents had died, I hadn’t let myself cry. He hadn’t cried, so neither had I. He wasn’t here now. I could cry as much as I liked.

 

15 days later...

 

They’d announced the imminent end of the war a few days ago. A dull sense of relief had settled over the city. No more bombs. No more fear.

 

I went out that day. I thought it was safe. The afternoon sun was blazing down for the first time in forever. It didn’t, couldn’t last. Almost immediately it was eclipsed by some colossal object. An alarm suddenly rang out through the empty street.

 

Explosions echoed around me.

 

I dove to the ground, knocking my head on the curb. Something hit the ground near my head, and suddenly I couldn’t breathe. I was completely engulfed by the smoke from the bomb. There was no way I’d survive this.

 

No way in Heaven, Earth or Hell.

 

I struggled to get up, get away from the smoke, away, just away.  There were sirens now, on top of the alarm. There were voices shouting and I realised that they were shouting at me, asking questions I couldn’t answer. The world shook and I suddenly realised, there may have been bombs, but the war was over. The world was too.

 

Dust rained from the sky. Houses, churches, skyscrapers, all were falling.

 

Falling.

 

I knew the end was close, I knew it, but I held on for that little bit longer, letting a million memories wash over me like a tidal wave. Playing on the beach, my mother laughing at our antics, my father chuckling as we soaked him with sea-water, my brother smiling at me in that way that I knew was meant for only me. I focused on that smile, that smile that had been a constant feature in my life until very recently.

That smile that I would never see again. A voice broke through my reverie, frantically trying to keep me awake, alive, anything. It was too late. I collapsed. There was more shouting, and then my eyes fluttered shut.

 

His face flickered once more through my consciousness and then...


 

“It’s all over and I’m standing pretty

In this dust that was a city.

If I could find a souvenir,

Just to prove the world was here.

And here is a red balloon,

I think of you and

Let It Go...”  

~99 Red Balloons, Nena.

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