Scars by J.M. Hatto

Everyone was assembled out the front. All the students of Mooroopna Secondary Collage; from the Year Sevens to the Year Twelves. It was an eerie sight, seeing everyone sitting quietly out the front. No screaming. No calling out to friends. No mucking around. Just a silence so thick I could’ve cut it with a knife.

I picked my way through the gathered crowd to my friends, who were also standing in a stunned silence.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, my voice breaking the silence. It sounded weird, echoing around the courtyard. Sue answered me like clockwork.

“All the teachers – all the adults – it’s like they’ve …”

“Disappeared,” One of the listening Year Twelves gasped, as if by saying it would make it not true. I sucked in a deep breath; that would explain a lot of things.

But it couldn’t be true. Things like that didn’t happen. Not here. Not in real life. Did they? “No,” I answered myself, not caring I had uttered it aloud.

“No – there’s got to be some mistake – they all have a – a … meeting, or something … there has to be. Real people don’t just – disappear.”

“But they did, Jen,” Catie whispered, “There is no other explanation for it.”

More kids arrived, and one by one they also found out the truth. Finally, when the whole school -excluding the teachers – were gathered around the tables, seated at the chairs, the school captains stood on the highest tables, yelling for our attention. We all fell silent, wanting something to do. But they didn’t even start before they were interrupted.

Men in black suits, guns hanging casually over their shoulders, marched into the car park, so suddenly no one, soldier nor student, made a sound. They were in formation, a dangerous square of soldiers. Why were there soldiers in our school car park? Why, when all other adults have gone? The men stopped abruptly, as if on command. The eerie silence was once more.

“Who are you?” I heard someone call out, their voice quivering with unease, “And why the hell are you here?”

They didn’t answer, but suddenly broke out of formation to run at us, guns at the ready, yelling to surrender.  Screams filled the air; from both student and soldier alike – we were fighting back. I myself was throwing punch after kick at a soldier whom had come at me; soon he was on the ground, and I moved to help one of my fellow Year Sevens fend off a rather burly one.

“Retreat! Now!” A soldier yelled, running from the car park sporting a bleeding lip and bruising brow. The others followed immediately, not wanting to be left alone with the enemy.

As they disappeared, our parents, grandparents, uncles and aunties all rushed around the opposite corner. There was a great cheer; they had been released, the sudden danger had gone. As I fought my way over to my family, the crowd engulfed me, in a sea of bodies.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

I opened my eyes. The familiar roof of my bedroom met my eyes, and I rubbed my eyes harder. What? Just mere seconds ago I had been at school. Then I realised; it had all been a dream. I sighed with relief, straightening up.

Ow!” I cried out, holding my arm. There, where in the dream that was only so vivid, was a scar I had thought I had gotten from that soldier. I gulped.

“Mum? Dad?”

No answer.


By J.M. Hatto

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