There are many children in the world whose lives are far from optimal. Some experience various types of abuse on a daily basis, some are trafficked for sex, some are used as beggars…and the horror goes on. In warzones, children are often stolen from their families and trained as child soldiers, trained to kill. Others remain with their families, but whole families seethe with hatred against the enemy...who don't always understand they're the enemy.
My story is creative fiction - partly true...partly fictional...
The Muslim call to prayer rang across the Baluchi Valley, punctuating the silence with staccato bursts.
The dogs began to bark. The child gentled them with a light tap on each head.
He slid behind a rock on the mountain side. The desert spread below him, a dark blanket. He strained to watch the procession snake along the path.
Hate seethed through every pore of his grimy body. Filthy infidels! His fingers closed around a rock.
The patrol moved close by; he could see each soldier struggle through the cool sand. They were like cockroaches as they wriggled along. How stupid they were in their great big boots. He looked at his bare feet and smirked.
Then his smirk turned to alarm. There was a woman amongst the men. Infidel, he spat.
Elvira fought the exhaustion ripping her body apart. The lead soldiers were obviously fitter than she, a newly-arrived recruit. Her knees screamed, her thighs burned, her lungs were on fire.
This place was hell.
She was in another universe, a universe where nothing was as it appeared.
Who was friend?
Who was foe?