Hello, I'm EH Weaver Nightshade and I've been given the task of finishing this work from Squonk's personal diary and his wrist transcripts.
Until I heard his last log, I had no idea that Squonk had seen me that night. I'd heard they were going to be at the rally and had sneaked down country to see them. Beforehand I saw Jacqueline and she told me they intended to blow the hall up hopefully killing the leader of the Govians.
I sneaked in and was directed to the balcony. I had hoped to be able to help them however I saw them near the front. I tried to get down but the GS goons stopped me in my tracks.
The speeches were awful, the way they denigrated the memory of Prez, Ahlaam and Sinead made me feel physically sick. I kept glancing down to the front where they were stood. The Govian leader came on and the crowd went mental, but my eyes weren't on him but on Squonk, Zee, Crissy and Lily. I was watching for when they'd leave so I'd know when the bomb would go off. I saw them embracing each other and felt my blood turn to water. I sensed that something was happening, they weren’t moving.
As I sit her I look across at their photos on my desk. Their young faces smiling back at me. They often talk to me when I’m down, their presence never far from my mind. I replay the events in my head slowly once more, the mental images flickering like film in an old camera, a sepia touch to the frames.
I saw Squonk, tall above the others. I saw him embrace lily and saw tears in their eyes as they parted. It was that moment I knew what they were up to, why they'd wanted to stay in England. I saw Lily and Crissy clinging to each other and Squonk and Zee were together in an embrace their lips together. I saw Zee stroke Squonks hair talking to him. They parted and then to my surprise Crissy and Squonk kissed holding each other with an apparent urgency.
Every time I replay this in my mind the time goes so much slower at this bit. I saw them all hug. All the time I was shouting No, but no one heard me above the applause which only stopped with the explosion. I turned away from the bright light and was knocked over by the blast. I struggled around on the floor, bodies around me. Luckily we were far enough away from the blast to be hurt although a few around me had shrapnel wounds.
I gazed into the hall where they had been to be greeted by a mass of destruction. Where they had stood was just a jumble of body parts. The Govian leaders podium had disappeared and people were wandering around in shock.
A few days later I attended the funeral service of the four of them. What was in each coffin I'll never know as there couldn't be much of their bodies left to identify. It was a stirring sight. The last of the services, Squonks, was held at a small chapel in the north. It was packed with all the grieving families as well as dignitaries from around the world. The Govian government had fallen and an interim council set up to rule before full elections. All the members of the council were represented as they had been at all the funerals. In years to come I hope that people will remember the sacrifice that these young people made for the cultural freedom of this nation. They stood and fought for free speech
Each coffin had born flowers and their favourite book. Squonks coffin was adorned simply with jasmine flowers and a copy of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. I stood at the front of his coffin at the altar to say my goodbyes as I had for each of the four martyrs. I felt sad and happy in the same emotion, sad for the loss of life but happy that a small group of young creative writers had changed the tide of a nation.
Having read the transcripts from Squonk’s wrist I knew of the simple love story that had developed. Part of me secretly hoped that in death Crissy and Squonk had found each other and the coffin in front of me held a little bit of each of them, forever joined together.