Quibblo Hunger Games 2013: The 13th Regiment
The reality of war is too much for some men. Sometimes even a whole regiment. The men of regiment 13 abandon their post in Australia, after they wittness a massacre of their men. However, they know too much, and the government can't let their secrets escape this area.
We were all so happy back then. Just the stereotypical poor class family. Yes, we were poor. But it didn't matter. I never noticed, and just went along like we were fine. As I said: we were happy. But.... That's something I later learned.... Seldom lasts.
My father left to fight in the War, often. I remember the longest he stayed before he had to leave again, was a week. We said goodbye and he left. I thought I'd just, in a few months be watching through the window again, waiting to greet him, and waiting for him to scoop me up and hug again. But that's not what happened.
I stayed at that window... For hours I waited. But there was nothing. Brother occasionally tried to get me to come to whatever dinner we were able to find. But I stayed where I was.
I just wanted to see Daddy again.
Another hour passed, and it was time for bed. "No, Mommy!" I had screamed. "I have to wait for Daddy! Like always." I looked at her trying my best to make a good puppy-dog face.
But she just sighed. "Where's Skyler?"
"Right here!" My brother said from kitchen.
"Come in here and sit down." My mother spoke. "You both need to hear something." Skyler came and sat down next to me. He let me lay my head down on his lap. I bet if we were any closer in age he wouldn't have let me done that. I was six and he was sixteen.
My mother then grabbed a small wooden chair and set it front of us. She sat down."What month is it again?"
"August." Skyler answered.
"August." She then repeated him. She looked up towards the ceiling, closed her eyes, and heavily sighed. She took one more quick breath and looked back at us. "And... When your father left. When was that?" She laughed slightly. "I can't even remember."
"March!" I had said. I looked up at my brother and he smiled at me. We had competitions to see who can answer back first all the time. I remember him always letting me win. I put my head back on his lap.
"Yes!" Mother said back. But then she looked towards the ground, and sighed once again. "Your father... Missed your birthdays..."
"I don't care!" I said. "I'm going to see him today! He'll be back today! He promised, remember!?" I expect my mother to smile. But she doesn't. She just looks at me, with the coldest, most expressionless face I've ever seen. "Don't worry, Mommy! Daddy ALWAYS keeps his promises!"
My mother closed her eyes, and shook her head. "No... Not this time, sweetie." She said shakily.
"What?" I replied. "I don't.... I don't get it.... Why isn't Daddy back yet!?"
My brother put his hand on my head. "Be quiet, Tera. And maybe she'll tell you!" I looked up and glared at him, but he just continued to stare at mother. "Keep going." He said.
She nodded. "Daddy.... Won't be coming back.... He's...." She paused for a long while.
"Mommy?" I asked.
She sighed. "Daddy is dead."
"WHAT!!!???" I immediately exclaimed. "No! No he can't be! He....." I remember pausing. "You're lying!" I looked up at my brother. "Skyler!"
He seemed as shocked as I was. His eyes were huge and his mouth was gaping. "Mother.... Mother I....... This can't be true....." He shoved me off of him and stood up. "TELL ME THIS ISN'T TRUE!!!" He yelled.
My mom just shook her head. "Skyler.... I refuse to lie to you...."
"Mommy!" I started crying and I thrust myself onto her lap.
She put her left hand on my back and let me cry. She then looked up at my brother, only to see him and his worried expression. She took a deep breath. "Skyler.... Tera....." Then she paused. "Your father is dead. He was shot in battle and died of blood loss, in April..."
"What!?" My brother screamed. "April!? He died in APRIL!!!???"
My mother was taken aback by his outburst. "Well.... Well yes he.... He did. I found out in May..."
"MAY!!!???" Skyler screamed. "You've known since May!?"
My mother was out of words. "Well.... Well Skyler.... I...."
My brother interrupted her. "You've known since May!? And you never had enough common sense to tell us!?" He was now screaming as loud as he could, at the top of his lungs. "Don't you think that he would want his own children to know what happened to him, or where he was!?"
"No! Gosh! How could you just not tell us!? Oh my---" He paused and ran his fingers through his hair. Then he started again. "You're the worst mother that has ever existed!"
"Skyler!?" My mother yelled. But my brother said nothing else, and stormed out of the room.
That day was ten years ago. Yet I still remember every word. Ever since then, Skyler has never liked mother. He didn't ever care what happened to her. But despite that, he still loved me. He still cared, and would do anything to protect me.
We tried our best to be happy after we found out about our father. We were actually doing a pretty good job keeping a smile on our faces, and laughing, and having fun. But then two years later. A dreadful day occurred. Someone came to the door, holding a letter in their hands. They said it was for Skyler. I took the letter from them and said goodbye, then closed the door. Skyler immediately came into the room and snatched the paper from me.
He opened the envelope and began reading the letter. He always read slightly under his breath, so if I strained I could hear what he was saying: "We are pleased to inform you that you have been chosen to be..." He paused, and took a short breath in surprise. "Drafted into the war."
My whole world went silent. 'He couldn't be drafted...' I thought. 'Not him. Not Skyler.' No matter how much I didn't want to believe him: it was true. He was drafted to help fight in the horrendous war. But everyone knows: Once you leave, you may come and visit your family once every few months, but once you leave you're as good as dead.
I remember hugging him and telling how sorry I was. And how I didn't want the same thing that happened to father to happen to him. But no matter how I much I begged him not to go, he had to. He left and it was just mom and I now.
Honesty I think he was happy to leave. Happy to rid himself of the person he hated the most: his mother.
He came back and visited a few more times, but not as often as father would. The war has gotten worse, they've said. And they can't have anyone leaving as much they did before.
I haven't seen him for about a year. And I miss him so much. He was my best friend and I loved him. From as far as I know I won't be able to see him for about four or maybe even six more months.
All these thoughts are running around in my mind. It's so overwhelming...
From the kitchen I hear my mother turn on the news in the living room. 'She can't go one second without that thing.' I thought.
I return to what I was doing, (reading a book), but before I can fully concentrate I hear something on the tv:
"Breaking news: soldiers that have been fighting in the war, and fighting for their country have been found guilty of treason. This is a list of about five people who were a part of that crime, that have already been put to trial."
'Treason.' I think. 'That's all that's ever on. That's all what the news ever is. Treason.' I keep listening.
"Andy Houseman, Jonathan Lee, Forrest Black, Toby Hollander."
'One more.' I thought. I continued to listen.
"And Skyler Livak."
I immediately drop my book, and I don't care as it falls to the floor. "What!?" I yell as I run into the living room. 'No! Not him! Not my brother!' I thought.
"Oh gosh! Oh this can't be true! It can't be him!!! Oh please tell me it isn't true!" I say.
"Tera!" My mother stops me. I look at her and she looks just as scared as I am. "Tera! Stop and listen to the rest of the broadcast." I do as she says. I look at the tv screen and they have pictures of all the men they named. And sure enough: My brother was one of them. I could tell the picture was taken recently. He looks older but he still has the same messy, dirty blonde hair and blue eyes.
The reporter begins talking and I listen.
"These five men, as I've said before, have already been put to trial, and it has been decided that they will all be executed in the upcoming month."
I heard my mother gasp. I look at the tv screen and see that the show was then ended, abruptly.
'No. This can't happen.' I thought. 'Skyler.... What did you do?'