It started when the sun fell. Its brightness silenced our city and
brought death with it. They did not intend to spare any life, and
with its wrath it left shadows of darkness to remind us of its visit.
There were walking ghosts, wailing children, skin falling off of
people’s bodies, pain seemed to ring eerily through the air and there
was an overwhelming smell of ashes that infected every sense in the
body. It seemed to be raining darkness, dust and dirt, the sun had
fallen and night was following suit. Mumquickly hurried us all down
to the water in an attempt to ease the burns that had formed on our
skin. We were both so young. I was four years old and you were
barely two, we would normally be so ignorant to our surroundings,
living in our own little world, but children have an adept ability to
understand fear and it was palpable in those moments. It was later
realised that this new dawn was not the sun, it was an atomic weapon
intended to destroy. A man in a suit halfway across the world
dictated its release and with only a few words he threw our lives off
balance and everything changed irrevocably.
The war ended, we were on the losing side. History’s bias swings
to those who succeed, they write the story. The world was buzzing
with freedom and hope, whilst we suffered from the actions it took
to reach it, our sacrifice disregarded.
No war has an innocent side. By the end, all hands surrender,
covered in blood, no one is spared from the destruction. However
after every fire, life can still be found.
One of mankind’s best qualities is resilience and it took every
ounce we had to regain order after treaties were signed and
apologies were made. The only option was to move forward, and
that’s exactly what we did. You and I grew up under microscopes,
studied in an attempt to understand the effects of radiation on
those involved in the attacks. Though their inspections seemed
distant, it felt constantly like we had strings attached to us, binds
that were made all those years ago. We were treated as fragile and
were constantly monitored. Slowly it felt like we became these
weird concoctions of glass and strings and experiments, like little
porcelain puppets. Control was never an epithet we got to call ours.
Although haunted by the past most people were able to continue
leading their lives, and we did, until you hit 11 and bruises of
different sizes and shapes started covering your lightly tanned skin,
and yet they appeared without pain or cause.
The Flight Of
Isobelle Carmody Award
For Creative Writing