I remember how I first saw her. Silently cowering in the corner, amongst the rubble. Her straggly hair, her dirty face, her dusty clothes – perfect concrete grey camouflage. Knees to chest, hugging that grubby, tattered remnant of a Disney comfort blanket. Its saliva sodden corner clasped fast in her mouth by those tiny, tiny trembling hands. Her brown eyes peered out over them, chancing a fox-like gaze through lush lashes my nieces pay a fortune for every weekend. But her eyes were not the bright eyes of joyous youth, full of hope for the future: they were dull and sullen, sunk deep into blackened, soul less sockets, cavernous fissures onto a fractured troubled mind. Unable to comprehend what the world had become; unable to recall what it had been.
© Sheila Ash
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