Gazing Back...

2 0 0

When I received the leaflet, my life changed abruptly.

It was a gelid October morning and I was busy doing my weekly shop at the Sunday market. The street was dotted with brightly coloured stalls which were bedecked with hundreds of interesting items: Fruit, clothes, jewelry, toys, sweets, art; you name it. My two baskets were both filled to the brim with these things. Although I had spent all of my money, I still enjoyed browsing. The sky was icy white and a few scrawny blackbirds pecked at discarded apple cores. I wrapped my fuzzy coat tightly around my shivering frame as a strong gust of wind knocked an apple out of my basket, and decided to head home. It took me a while to walk down the path for the wind had made a habit of sweeping dirt up into my eyes, which were already stinging from the sharp air. As I finally approached the end of the road, a dark haired woman, approximately in her mid thirties, stepped in front of me...

"Excuse me." I mumbled, trying to push past. But it was no use- the woman did not budge.

"Good morning!" She said, the smile on her rosy face not quite meeting her eyes. I glared up at her.

"I assume you have heard about the huge war stirring up in our country." The lady continued. I rolled my eyes. Of course I had heard about the war! Who hadn't? It was a massive war between two tribes: The Ingots and the Lymphs. I was a Lymph. But why should I care? The war wasn't bothering me, apart from the countless newspaper articles.

"Well," stated the woman "Millions of people are being murdered every day and it is our duty to hel-" It had been a long morning and the heavy baskets were causing my arms to ache painfully. I was exhausted and starving. Not to mention chilled to the bone. Correction- marrow of the bone. The last thing I needed was an aggravating lady blocking my path. Time was ticking and I couldn't stop daydreaming about my cozy armchair, my warm bungalow, my crackling fireplace, a fat novel, a steaming mug of cocoa... I cut across her.

"I'm not interested." I sighed. The affect was immediate. Her phony grin was dropped in an instant and was replaced by a straight, grim line. Her brow furrowed and her eyes seemed to have shards of glass etched into them. After handing me a colourful leaflet, the woman stalked off in the opposite direction- her snub nose in the air.

It was ironic. Sunday was supposed to be the day of rest! Friendly. I thought to myself...

Soon I was lazing in a squashy armchair holding my purring cat. The windows were closed but I could still hear raindrops splattering onto the pavement and I had just finished a very good book. Bliss. Without thinking I picked up the leaflet and started flicking through it. The cover was decorated with coloured swirls and the title read "HELP THE LYMPHS, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE"

The first page was filled with facts and figures which made no sense to me. Automatically, my eyes glazed over and I turned the page- I had never been one for maths. Revoltingly graphic images illustrated the next few pages accompanied by captions; so repulsive that I had to restrain myself from tearing the leaflet up into thousands of pieces then chucking it into the bin. But, however nauseating they were- none of them really caught my eye. Gingerly, I turned the page- hoping for something excessively less repellent. I received my wish, but nevertheless; this page made much more impact on me than any other. four words. "You're not a coward..."

And then it hit me, like a huge thump in the stomach. A war going on in my country. For a few moments I stared in shock at those last four words, my whole body quivered and shook. No I wasn't a coward. I wasn't! But deep down in my heart, I knew the only way to prove it was to help. To help fight for my tribe...

It's funny how life can change in the blink of an eye, a flick of a leaflet...

Civil WarsRead this story for FREE!