One morning in late spring Loban was sat in the kitchen finishing his breakfast. I sat sipping tea and he looked at me. ‘Kip, it has been quiet too long!’
‘What do you mean, Dad?’
‘The System, Kip, it has not attacked in over a year.’
I looked at him quizzically. His stern expression softened. ‘I guess they never told you how they would send fighters over here causing harm and chaos.’
‘All we ever got told of was people being kidnapped and executed by enemies of the System. Not that any of us believed that. When you see how a state treats its own people the way the System did why would anyone have to kidnap people away from it.’
‘Kidnap!’ I thought Loban would explode with rage instead he broke into laughter. ‘I have heard the horror stories from you, Gai and other refugees Kip, to even suggest you are so blind as to believe that is beyond belief.’
Loban left for work and I finished my own breakfast before leaving for school. I had not walked halfway when the cool spring air was invaded by the screams of sirens from the city. I carried on walking.
A van screeched to a halt in front of me. It was Gai. ‘Get in’ he shouted.
We drove home at high speed. Loban and Arina were waiting and got in the van. Again at high speed Gai drove deep into the country. As we left the main highway the first explosions echoed through the air.
Loban looked at me. ‘I spoke to soon, son. They are bombing the city.’
From the edge of the forest, we watched the formation flight of aircraft dropping their lethal weapons and then the smoke trails of anti-aircraft missiles seeking their target. No aircraft returned across the border.
©JG Farmer 2013