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Colin Linder

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Member Since: Apr, 2011

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Mama Cried
By Colin Linder
Thursday, April 28, 2011

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War as seen through the innocent eyes of a child.

I don't hear the bombs anymore. 

I ask mama if it is over, if we can go home now.  But mama just shakes her head and keeps crying.  Mama's been crying for a long time now, sometimes I don't think she'll ever stop.  I wanna go home now.  I want daddy.  I don't know where he is; he must have gone home after we got here.

I ask mama where daddy is, but still she just cries.  I ask mama if the bad men who were throwing those bombs at us went home too, but still she just cries. 

I'm gonna go and find daddy myself I decide and I tell mama so.  She doesn't seem to hear me, still she just cries.  The room we are in is really dark. Mama calls it a "bunker".  I fumble my way toward the only light.  It's a bare bulb that hangs from the ceiling at the end of the long room, and from its  faint glow I can kinda make out a group of people huddling together. 

I know most of these people, they are mommy and daddy's friends, they are our neighbors.  There's Jerry the baker from down the road, mama takes me there on Sundays to get the sweetbreads we always have for dinner.  Jerry the baker is always smiling, and he always gives me a treat when we go.  But Jerry isn't smiling now, and there are no treats in his hands today.

I see Aunt Lily sitting beside him, and she too is crying.  This puzzles me, and I wonder why Aunt Lily is upset.  Aunt Lily is always fun and Aunt Lily always sings to me whenever she babysits me.  But Aunt Lily is not singing today.

I ask Aunt Lily what is wrong, but like mama, she just cries.  I ask Jerry the baker if he has seen my daddy, but he doesn't even look at me.  He just buries his face in hands empty of treats.  I leave them and head towards the door. 

As I walk slowly in the dark, I hear the bombs start up again, and the crying behind me gets louder.  Mama is not just crying anymore, she is screaming daddy's name over and over.  Jonathon! she screams and I know daddy can't hear her. Daddy isn't here, but I'm going to go find him for mama.  Maybe then she will stop crying.

The door is locked, barred with a heavy wooden log.  I try to move it, but the log is too heavy for me.  I push and I pull but still it won't move and still mama screams behind me.  Jonathon! she screams.  Don't worry mama, I want to say, I'm going to find daddy.  But I know she won't hear me over her screams and the sound of the bombs.

The room is still very dark but I can see another log leaning against the wall.  I use it pry the bar off of the door and it crashes to the ground.  The door creaks open slowly and the sound of the bombs in the distance gets louder.  It's daylight outside and a bar of sunlight streams through, chasing the dark away from the room.  I walk out the door and that's when I see daddy.  He hasn't left after all, he's right outside the door, curled up against it.  Daddy must have been waiting for me to open the door and let him in, but now he's sleeping.

I can count five other men sleeping outside near daddy too.  I don't recognize these men, they have funny uniforms on, different than the one daddy wears, but they must be daddy's friends.  It looks like daddy and his friends were playing guns because the other men all have guns like daddy's.

Daddy, I say as I shake his shoulder.  Wake up daddy, mama's still crying.  But daddy doesn't wake up.  Daddy must have hurt himself playing guns because there's blood on his face.  It must not hurt too much though, because he is able to sleep.  He must be tired.  I'm tired too.  I lay down beside daddy and curl up against him. 

I feel better now that I have found him.  Mama, I call back through the door,  shouting to be heard over the sounds of the bombs and the sobs.  I found daddy, he's just sleeping mama.

But mama doesn't answer me.  Still, she just cries.



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