Heaps of thanks to everyone who filled out the form about what kind of posts you like! That was extremely helpful! (To anyone who missed it, you can fill out the form here!) So far, short stories have been the general favourite with you all. Soooo… story time! 😉
This one was inspired by a prompt I found on Pinterest (which I will show you at the bottom of the post so I don’t spoil anything).
An explosion rumbled the earth below us and my sister in my arms pressed her face to my chest. “Shh, it’s ok,” I murmured, my shaking hands caressing the dirty, frightened face. “Chinara…” My voice broke before I could finish. She curled up closer, the sobs racking her frail body. Too young for this. Much, much too young for any of this.
The hard wood planks beneath me grated against my bruised back and I moaned softly, hoping Chinara wouldn’t hear me. Shifting ever so slightly, I turned my body in an attempt to hide my sister. The tiny closet we hid in would never be enough.
The bombing grew louder—closer—and Chinara’s grasp tightened. “Makira,” she cried into my torn shirt.
“Shh…” I whispered, racking my brain for some way to comfort her. Why were the planes bombing our tiny village? Why had we even come to Africa in the first place?
She turned her body to look at me, her eyes wet. “Don’t forget, yes? Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.” Her words were sweetly spoken through the cries.
A hard lump formed in my throat. “Red, brown, yellow, black and white.” Memories poured in, memories of our bible reading, prayers before bed, snuggles with Mama. Those times were gone now. A new tune played in my head, one I’d heard the chief singing to his daughter. I didn’t know the tribal language, so the words were lost on me, but now I made my own. I opened my cracked lips and began. “Close your eyes, count to seven…” The bombs from the planes rained down. The village was already destroyed and now we waited for our turn. “And when you wake,” my voice was dry and barely audible over the chaos outside. “We’ll be in heaven.”
Hugging tighter to my little sister, I hoped that it would come quickly. That we’d go at the same time. One, two… I coughed, the debris clogging my throat, making it impossible to breathe. Three. There was nothing I could do anymore. Jesus, be with us, I prayed silently. Mama and Papa had tried to prepare us for this. For anything. Four.
The fingers gripping my shirt relaxed, and my heart stopped. Not yet! I rolled the limp girl over and shouted frantically, “Wake up!” Her eyelids flickered. Was she only sleeping? “Chinara!” I sobbed. Too young! She was too young!
“Six…” she whispered, startling me.
My eyes locked on her face. “What?”
She opened her eyes, wet with tears, and repeated, “We’re on six.”
I wrapped my arms around her, kissed her dusty cheek, and tried to block out the world around me. The explosions in the village, the wailing people outside.
“Seven,” we chorused together. She squeezed her eyes shut and cuddled closer. I felt the warmth of her body and tried to swallow.
They are precious in His sight… The words echoed around in my head. This would be it, then. The fighting, the crying, the pain. Jesus loves the little children of the world. Now we’d get to meet Him—it was time for us to come home, like Mama and Papa had. They didn’t know becoming missionaries in Africa would end like this.
Chinara opened her eyes and peered at my bloody face. I had only barely escaped that first explosion. “Makira, He’ll be there, you know. In heaven.”
I choked, comforted by her innocence and courage. Where was my courage? Lord, be with us, I prayed. To Chinara, I replied, “I know He will be.”
Here’s the prompt I used from Pinterest: