Age 12 - 2199
As soon as my eyes flickered open, I instantly knew that they were dead. Blood lay in puddles around there still bodies as their eyes lay empty and open. Glassy and pale, their skin was ghostly white as flames circled their still forms. Forcing myself to my feet, I ignored the roaring heat of flames and forced myself to stumble over to their final resting place. House still collapsing around me, the bomb which detonated into a cloud of flames had left its trail of destruction through my life.
“Mother,” I whispered, gently shaking her shoulder in a feeble attempt to wake her up. It was useless and I knew it but yet I refused to believe the truth even as the evidence was stacked up before my eyes. She was pinned down beneath a slab of rock and was covered in a sea of blood.
“Father,” I pleaded, my voice breaking and my fear falling through the cracks. He did not respond and I knew that he never would again. They were gone. My parents were gone. They were now just hollow shells; they were now just names on an ever expanding list of casualties. We had never asked for this; we had never wanted this. My life was caught up in a meaningless war between two sides and now they had taken everything from me.
Letting the tears slowly run down my cheeks, I didn’t make an effort to move; I just wanted to lie down next to them and let the world crumble around me. With flames licking and burning the edges of my delicate skin, I laced my fingers through my parent’s and waited for the inevitable to come. Everything that mattered to me was gone. What place did I have in a world without my family? None. None at all.
There was someone at the door. My life was falling to flames and there was someone trying to save me. I had to survive this. I had to survive this for my parents. Using all of my strength to force myself to stand, I let my weight fall against the wall. My head felt light as ringing filled my ears. Smoke seemed to flood through my home as it became both harder to breathe and too see.
Blood rushed through my veins as instincts began to take over my actions. Although my body was weak, my mind seemed to be on a new plain of thought. Ideas and plans suddenly sprung into my mind, fifteen different ways of escaping without harm. Only one thing mattered in my mind; survival.
“Is there anyone in here?” A voice yelled through the wreckage. Taking one last look as the fire engulfed my family, I mustered up all of my remaining strength and cried out as loud as I could manage. Even under the crackling of flames, I knew that I had been heard.
“I’m here!” I yelled, ignoring the raw feeling in my throat. I was leaving them, I was leaving my family and my home burning behind me as I tried to escape from the wreckage of my life.
I watched as the silhouette of a teenage boy travelled over the rubble and emerged from beneath the smoke. I had hit the mark and was struggling to stay conscious but even the slightest hope of escape kept me going, fuelling my body and forcing me to keep going; for them if nothing else. My way out was somehow closer than before and the determination just to see the light again powered my every move. I was doing this in my parents name; I was doing this for them.
After an endless few moments he was right by my side. I had no energy left to resist as he placed his hand on my waist and let me drop my weight on him. His body was rigid and strong as he began to lead me out of the destruction. Almost carrying my limp form through the door frame, eyes closed, I whispered her final farewells into the night.
Turning back to face the ruin of my burning home, I forced back tears as rage ignited inside of my soul. Silently, I, Helena Coleman, made a promise as I fell to my knees before everything that made me who she was. That was my home in flames, that was my life and my everything. And for what? Nothing. Nothing at all. They were gone, but I wasn’t and my flame would never go out so long as the men and women who had done this were alive.
‘I will Avenge them,’ I thought as I dipped my head. Words laced with venom, I knew that nothing could stop me from carrying out my promise. For twelve years, I had had a family but in an instant, they were taken from me leaving nothing behind.
“I will avenge them.” I said out loud, barely registering the fact that I was in fact yelling at the building as it crumbled before my eyes. Breaths short and shallow, I could feel my heart shattering in my chest. They were dead, they were really dead. It finally sunk in as a tear broke through my mask. My mother and father were both dead.
Feeling a hand rest supportively on my shoulder, I finally gazed up at her saviour. Looking at the boy, he had short black hair which perfectly complemented his deep blue eyes. He wore a black uniform like a soldiers but he looked too young to even consider fighting in a war. His eyes looked worn and old but yet I knew that he was roughly her own age. Chocking back a sob, I accepted the hand held out for me and let him help me to my feet.
“Come with me.” He said, and with no other options and nowhere else to go, I let him lead me further into the darkness.