Run away

Following is the winning entry for the YPS Blog Competition 2020. The winner was Aini Masood Ahmed (14 years old) from Walsall (UK) and following is her winning contribution:

 

I took one look at myself in the mirror and smiled. 16. I haven’t changed but I felt different, like an adult. I skipped down the steps to the kitchen, where my mother was. She grabbed my arm hastily and looked at this small red dot which I had on my wrist. I hadn’t noticed it upstairs but now looking at it it was vibrantly coloured and looked as if someone had put it there with a marker. Unable to hold herself, she sat down on the chair, started sobbing into her hands, as if someone had died. I cried “what is it mama, what have I done?” She looked at me, picked the sharpest knives she could find, gave me a gun and handed me most of the weapons she could find.

“You have to run. Never come back to me. Never see anyone you know ever again. You will go and shall never turn back.” She ordered. 

My mind was whirling, I didn’t know what she was talking about, I told her to calm down but she couldn’t. She was frantic, my mother, who always had everything in control. 

“Am I going to be like Aralina?” I questioned, trying to get something out of her. 

“Yes, your sister did not run away, she died. You see that red dot on your wrist? That means that you will die too. That’s why you have to run. Run far away and never come back, or authorities will brutally kill you.” She said in a raspy voice, letting the ground take her in.

I flew upstairs and packed my bags in less than 5 minutes. I took the last thing that Aralina gave to me. I missed her but this could not get in the way of my mission. I slid back down stairs and my mother helped me get to the edge of the forest without being seen. 

“I love you so much.” She cried

“I will see you again,” I tried to reassure her “we will be reunited with each other and hopefully, the government will take down this method of controlling overpopulation. In 3060, we could be together again, that’s only 10, and by that time, I’ll be all grown up and I’ll take care of you. But in the meantime, you will have to be by yourself.” 

I turned around, not wanting to see her cry, and ran. I could not look back. I would not look back. I could never go back. 

It had been 1 year and 7 months since I departed her. I had not seen anyone, I had lived off berries, leaves and wild animals but was quite unlucky in my finding. 

I heard a branch suddenly crack. I whipped my head round and saw the back of this homeless woman running “Please, stop!” I cried, she didn’t come back. I followed her to this village where everyone had red dots on their wrists. I haven’t eaten in days and so I asked a kind old man where I could get some food. He took one glance at my wrist and hugged me.

“You are home now, no need to run anymore.”

He then shouted some foreign language that I had never heard of before and summoned everyone. 

” We have a new runner!” He informed the crowd.

I had no idea what was going on, but then I noticed a face.  The face of the woman who was following me.

“Aralina,” I cried “it’s me, Diana!”

My sister ran up to me, I was reunited with her.  She was gone, but never forgotten.

 

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