Eilen and her sister hid under the bed in their room. She slid her hand into the darkness towards sister and Eilen could feel her doing likewise. When their hands touched, they interlocked, and only a crowbar could separate them. Eilen knew in her sister’s other hand, she would be clutching the filthy teddy bear that had been their mother’s who got it from her mother.
She strained to hear something; anything but she only heard the breathing of her sister and herself. They were above ground when their father came for them. The guard sounded an alarm and he did not know where they were. When they returned to the encampment, the women and children had locked themselves in the common chamber and they would not open it for any reason.
Their father did the best he could. He hid them in the family’s room and locked the door. Normally, lockdowns were drills but her father assured them it was not one and to not come out unless he or another of the clan came for them. Eilen heard her sister sobbing. If there was more room, she would have gone to Jessi and wrapped her arms around her sister; just like she did when their mother died from rat bite madness.
She began whispering a prayer that her mother taught her to use in times like this.
Lord, be the place where I can run for safety.
Save me by your command!
You are my mighty rock and my shelter.
Lord, I have relied on you from the day I was born.
You brought me safely through birth,
and I always praise you.
Lord, many people think of me as something evil.
Don’t throw me aside when I am old.
My enemies are plotting because they want me dead.
The silence broke, she heard the men shouting and gunfire. Explosions and strange high-pitched noises followed. The explosions and other sounds of battle continued for several minutes. Eilen put her free hand over her ear and tried blocking it out and concentrated on keeping quiet.
She must have been screaming and did not realize it. Her sister forced her hand over her mouth. By that time, the encampment was silent. Elien strained to hear anything. She silently prayed that it was over and her father would burst through the door. She so wanted him to be safe.
Instead, there was a loud explosion followed by screams of women and children from the common chamber. After a series of high-pitched noises, there was more silence. She laid there in the dark with a sick feeling in her stomach trying to keep silent. Her breathing and heartbeat sounded loud in her ears. She feared that whoever was out there would hear her.
If it was not for her sister’s hand tightening on her mouth, she would have shrieked. Orange glowing embers fell from the door danced on the floor. Something was trying to burn its way in the room. Whatever it was, it finished the task quickly and the door slowly swung open. Something came into the room with a low humming sound and Eilen strained to see what it was without giving away her location.
She never saw anything like what entered the room. It was a large metal colored disk floating in the air with four smaller discs attached to it. On the bottom of this contraption, there was a dark colored box with a red glowing eye. It entered the room and hovered in the center as if it was searching for something. She felt her sister grasp her shoulder and pulled her further into the darkness under the bed.
Gunfire from the tunnel leading to their room echoed around them. Bullets ricocheted off the wall. A pair of red screaming flashes lit up the room and it became silent except for the whirring noise coming from the floating machine. Instead of continuing its search, it floated out of the room.
They huddled under the bed sharing tears and trying to comfort each other. She kept reciting the prayer. She did not know if it was doing any good but it was something. There were no more sounds of battle and no sign that it was safe. They did not know how long they hid under that bed but it had to have been hours. Finally, they got the courage to come out of hiding…