My mum and three of my brothers were the first from our family to be killed. I tried to warn them – “Wait until nighttime!” I told them, “Stay here until They leave!” I cried – but they were too cocky. At least they were together when they died, I told my dad. He was beside himself with grief. He’d already suffered so much, with what happened to Oma and Opa. “The new place will be safe,” he’d promised all of us before we moved. “They won’t find us there.” (We never needed a name for those cruel giants bent on our annihilation; everyone knew who we meant when we said They or Them, in that special tone which implied the capital ‘T’ and struck cold terror into our hearts.)
The carnage continued. We’d barely get through one mass funeral before hearing of more deaths; every day brought fresh and shocking news of bloodshed, gut-spillage, and devastation. After we heard that my aunty and cousins had been murdered too, and then dad’s best friend and all of his family, I think dad lost the will to live. He’d purposefully go out when he heard Them walking around, and he stopped eating. I found him one night as I crept around in the dark. He was lying on his back, dead. I was distraught. He hadn’t even said goodbye.
Over the days that followed I saw many more friends and family killed in gruesome ways as I watched in horror from under the fridge: some were flattened with a flyswat; others were squished with a shoe. One was drowned in baby slobber. I lost count of how many of mum’s siblings I saw slaughtered; at least 90. Their families, too. I could only hope all of my aunts, uncles and cousins on dad’s side who’d stayed behind at our old place remained unharmed and never heard about the grisly end so many of their relatives had come to.
And now they’ve started poisoning us. I don’t know how much longer I can make it, or if I even want to. My immediate family are all dead. My best friend, my classmates, the roach who ran the shop under the bookshelf, even Old Mama Roach, who survived for weeks without her head: gone. Although I’m surrounded by others, I feel alone. Confused, too: What did we do to incite such hatred? How can They be so cruel?
An excerpt from the diary of Cal (b. 29.05.2014 d. 21.08.2014)
I'll go work on my essay now.