The clock struck midnight and Zara’s eyes opened to pitch darkness.
The large bell at the center of the camp would ring soon, and everyone had to gather at the palm yard. She lay still in bed staring at the falling ceiling above her, she didn’t mind, at least she finally had her own space. There were no more smelly armpits shoving their monstrous hairs into her mouth in her sleep, or lack of.
A small shadow appeared in the path of her only source of light, the 5×5 inch window at the top left corner of the wall. It was a songbird that had come every night since she moved into this room, with a voice she had grown to recognize, it reminded her of home, and somehow to Zara, that was what kept her going.
The tunes got so familiar, she hummed along as she closed her eyes and reminisced, rocking on her mother’s lap on the balcony, inhaling the scent of freshly manicured grass that her father had mowed, and listening to her mother hum to the tunes of her favourite songs.
As the years passed, the memories had faded slowly, she couldn’t seem to remember her mother’s face clearly, all she could remember of her father where his words, those ones he spoke late into the night when she would run to him for fear of the monsters under her bed “Daughter life is not fair, you have to fight for what you want”. Those words haunted her, you see he never told her when the fight would end, it had been ten years already… (more…)