The Last Plague

by Ani - age 15

(An exercise for writing in first person)

The sky is quickly darkening. A cold, harsh wind blows through the empty streets. I hurry home before the darkness envelops me. As I come to my house, I glance at the red X above the door. ‘Will it work?’ I think. ‘Will we really be safe from something so small as this X?’ Quickly I banish the thought. We are supposed to have faith, doubting nothing. I step into the house.  It is quiet and warm, with a distinct smell of bread in the air. I step into the kitchen and sure enough, Mama has just finished the last flatbread. I step over to her and say in a low voice, “Are the little ones okay?”  Yes she whispers back. “They are distracted for the moment.” We sit and eat our simple dinner, and then we retire to our beds. As I climb into bed, I say a quick prayer. “Lord, please don’t take Joshua from us.” As I lie in bed, I can hear the wind howling. Somewhere in the house, one of the children whimpers. “Hush now,” Mama says. “It’s alright.”  Trying to believe Mama’s words, I push aside my fear and fall into a restless sleep.

I open my eyes. Light filters in through the slats in the roof. Outside, everything is dead quiet. Then, a piercing wail cuts through the quiet. Many more wails join it. Chills run down my spine. But then I hear something else. Shouts of joy are also joining in the noise. I jump out of bed and run to the kitchen, waiting to see the worst. I look in and fear wraps around my heart. The table and chair are empty. “NO!” I say. “No please, where is Joshua?” Just as I am about to sink into grief and despair, I hear a noise behind me. I turn and am instantly flooded with relief. Standing behind me is Joshua. I throw my arms around him. Both of our cheeks are wet with tears. Mama comes into the room. She too, is crying freely. “The blood really worked!” I laughed. “The blood worked.”

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