Friday, January 2, 2009

Prompt 262: Lines / Theatrical Muse Challenge

It's funny how the things you remember are so very often connected to those you most want to forget. I've been thinking a lot about Vukovar lately, not just about the day I lost my family, though those memories are still there. I find myself thinking about our life during the siege, and how desperate the times became.

I remember quite clearly the lines. It didn't matter what they were for, if you saw one forming they became a magnet for people, drawing them from behind the walls where they hid. One could never be sure what you might find at it's end, one day bread, another milk, and oh, if you were very lucky you might even find the unbelievable prize of toilet paper at one's end. Whatever the prize, they came with their own risk, for a line meant something different to the snipers that lay in wait. A line meant a target, another notch on their gun, fresh blood on the street. A line, the difference between life and death, but what choice did we have? We always needed the prize.

The water runs were always the worst, the snipers knew to lay in wait for that line, their targets came in all shapes and sizes, young and old, water was life. Everyone knew the risk, but, what choice did we have? So, we went, we filled whatever we could carry, as many as we could hold so we could stay away as long as possible, we ignored the water that over-flowed, sloshing from one jug to the next, praying for the sniper not to pick us out of all who were there. When we were done the danger really came, our movement made us more of a target, if they'd missed seeing us before they wouldn't as we ran. The race seemed to last forever as we would run across debris strewn streets, trying not to see the bodies of those who hadn't been fast enough, if we could only get to the shelter of the buildings we'd be safe. Safe until we next had to stand in the lines.

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