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Me and my mom walk down a dirt road. Billboards display the date: September 2, 2003. Bugs flying around trash bins and roadkill. Buildings and cars are ruptured. Windows are smashed, walls are cracking, and there are gaping holes in the roofs of houses.
My mom is has a firm grip my hand as we pace down the road. "Mom where are we going?" I ask her. "Somewhere." She says. "How long?" I question her in a cranky voice. "Just wait a little longer." "Is-" my mom cuts me off "Venus, just-" She takes a deep breath in. "Stop asking questions, please." I nod and stay silent the rest of the way. After walking for a few more hours, me and my mom decide to settle down in an empty alley way.
We grab our sleeping bags and lay them out on the ground. Once it gets dark I lie down and try to fall asleep. The ground is cold and hard and all I have is a sleeping bag so yes...it is very uncomfortable. But I've gotten used to it though. We've been doing this for almost three weeks now. I finally doze off and soon everything is silent. Until gunshots. Screaming. Cursing. Crashing. And then back to silence. My eyes jolt open and I turn over only to see that my mom has vanished.
Blood stains her sleeping bag. I stand up and take a quick glance around as my eyes begins to water. I wipe my eyes with the sleeve of my jacket. I hear a noise and I walk down to the end of the alley way. I turn the corner and see my mom with three other men. I quickly go back in the alley and put my back against the wall. I turn back around and peek out from the side. She has a stream of blood running from her right shoulder down her arm.
One of the men grabs her left arm and the other two lead them down the road. I want to stop them but only being nine years old, I'm scared. I don't have the guts to go and save her. So the best I can do is stand here and watch them take her away.
Luckily, they stop for a moment and the man releases her arm to talk to someone on his walky-talky.
My mom looks around and after all we've been through her face still shows signs of beauty and bravery. She is absolutely fearless. The moonlight shines on her red hair and turns it in to a glistening rose gold. Her bright blue eyes shine even brighter and look almost a metallic white. And even though there is no smile of on her face, there is still happiness. And even though this puzzle is missing a piece, she is still always trying to complete it.
She leans against the wall of a building and looks up at the stars as if the world isn't falling apart. She looks to her right, and then she looks to her left. Her and I make eye contact when she sees me. Now her face turns to a worried mixed with a disappointed look and I know I shouldn't have been spying. She look back at the men and sees them facing the other way, she looks back at me, back at them, back at me and she starts running.
"V, you need to run!" She screams to me. The men hear her and run after us. I turn and start to run but my mom catches up to me and scoops me up. She runs with me in her arms. I think we might escape! I think- the sounds of a gunshot pierces my ears and my mom tumbles to the ground pulling me with her. I land on my left arm and scream in agony. I use my right arm and push myself off the ground. I run over to my mom who is still lying on the ground. "Mom?" "V, you need to go." She's laying on her side and she has blood running down the back of her right thigh. I see the men gaining on us. "I'm not leaving you here alone." I say as tears start running down my face. "It's ok, I'll be fine ,but you won't if you don't go"Her voice starts to raise "I'm not going." "V, go now!" Now she's raised her voice almost to a scream. "I'm not goi-" "Go!" Her voice has raised to a scream. I look up to see the three men only a few feet away. I stand up. "I love you." I wisper to my mom as I back away. I turn around and start sprinting toward the next place I can turn. I look back and now one of the men is pointing his gun at me. I hear a gunshot. I feel the bullet scrape the side of my worn out, one size too small, sneakers. Grabbing my arm as I run I finally reach a left turn. I run in all directions,through streets, alleys, neighborhoods, north, east, west, and south. They've lost track of me but I still run. I run faster than I've ever run before. Miles and miles of darting past houses, strangers, trees, and cars. By the time I make it to a place to rest the sun has already started rising and a new day has begun.
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