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Princess Diana Award - Cassie Screti

Haunted By The Truth

He lay in the stiff bed, tossing and turning violently. Beads of sweat began to run down the young, smart man's forehead and he began to moan and grunt as if wishing something to go. His grey uniform lay on the old wooden chair to the side of the bed, neatly folded and ironed, ready for tomorrow's work. Chilling figures entered his troubled dreams and took over his mind, taking him to the place he knew so well.

He found himself in a gloomy camp where a fog hung heavily in the air and despair spread throughout the crowds. His trembling body was frozen as he stared in horror at the sights surrounding him. He saw young children, not fully understanding the truth and parents weeping for fear of their lives. He saw bodies, piled up high, their eyes empty and their souls lost. He was mortified. He saw the people he was taught to hate look at him as one of their own. For the first time, he noticed these people were not so different. Why should they be made to suffer like this when he had all the luxuries he could want? Who decided these people should be branded with a barcode just because they believe in the star? A soldier marched through the camp and everyone froze. He recognized the soldier and started to shout.

"Sergeant, it's me, your friend. This is a mistake, I'm not supposed to be here. Please, help me!"


He fell to the damp floor with a thud, and, when he awoke again, he was in a place where the sun shone over millions of gravestones, illuminating them. A mourning mother stood, dressed in black, looking down at a small gravestone. A lump began to form in his throat like someone had rammed a large ball down it. The stone gravestones were like the empty, cold eyes he had seen earlier. Was this the future? All of a sudden, he found himself in a swirling vortex of vivid light.

His eyes shot open, and he sat up, rigid and stiff. The hands on the old clock struck 7 o'clock am and he slumped out of bed for a very different day. Freedom.

By Zoe Screti (Aged 12 years)

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