Movement. Footsteps. Approaching, enclosing. Each second getting closer. Hundreds, maybe thousands, stepping in sync, pacing themselves. Everything is silent but the many feet treading nearer and nearer. Then...
Iron and metal churn and grind together, echoing vibrantly from beyond, almost as if it is speaking. The ground begins to move, slightly at first, only a rumble in the distance. The footsteps are tastefully close, but are slowly being devoured by the droning, encroaching mechanisms.
A shiver crawls up the spine as the feet begin to sense the very ground below vibrate and tremble. The sensation touches every inch of the body. The footsteps are right there. The creaking planks directly outside are the only notification of certainty, as the intruding thunderous roar increasingly drowns them out. All of it slowly becoming one consuming noise.
The pit of the stomach feels as if it continuously opens as now everything around begins to shake. The darkness, no longer safe. The only thing that can be heard are the mechanics tearing through the ground. Not even the deep, accelerated breathes are noticeable. The shattering of falling plates, cups, picture frames and even entire furniture pieces are merely a harmonic frequency floating by.
Then, it all ceases. Silence. For just a moment, the machines slow, then stop, lowly rumbling, in the distance. Several of them, one directly outside. A loud mechanic crack echoes, then metal of some kind slams together, ringing violently. Voices in the distance, foreign, another language. Intruders!
The fear immediately returns as quick footsteps can be heard scattering in all different directions. Then there is yelling and banging on neighboring doors. The mechanics begin to patronizingly roar again, the ground returning to a vibrating state. The body once again completely trembling in unison.
Footsteps approach, more than one set. They are coming fast, muttering to one another. They step toward the main door, creaking planks.
They knock again, louder, harder.
Screaming from outside, a few gun shots. Both equally tear through the thunderous roar, deeply touching all sense of the body.
Moisture, below the eye, growing in size, finally gravity takes hold and a tear evades the attempt to maintain composure, slowly sliding down the face. For a moment, this is all that is felt or heard. Then.
The door is violently kicked open, the voices raise, yelling in their foreign language, scattering through the building. Both their intruding steps and unknown words grow louder, coming closer. They are right outside. The door creaks open, their steps are right there, stopping. The voices stop. It silent.
The eyes open revealing two large men stare down two large automatic rifles. Neither man shows any emotion nor concern for the fact that they are aiming their weapons at a seven year old boy. The boy stares back at them, unsure of how to react, the trembling the only reaction. Then, another scream from outside, the boys eyes shut. He holds himself tightly, praying that this will all be over.
The rest of the house is empty, it has been so for many days. It was a large house, but now only half of it exists. It had been blown away by recent air bombings. This child, the only survivor in the home, his entire family being awake watching television while he was asleep.
Both of the soldiers slowly lower their weapons, realizing he is alone. One of them approaches him, reaching to lift him. The boys eyes open in shock, he swats the mans hand, screams and jumps to run. The soldier steps forward, lifting the boy as he tries to fight to get away.
The soldier carries him away, the other following. The boy fighting with all his strength and effort to get away, but he just can't do it. It's no use. He can only watch on as both of the soldiers laugh to one another, mocking him.
The soldiers take him out of the house, he can't help but stare at it. Already missing it, whats left of it. He isn't aware, the soldiers walk toward several armored vehicles and hundreds of other soldiers that enter or exit homes. Other civilians, families or individuals, are being led out of their homes. Most of them at gun point.
The boys eyes remain on his house, watching himself be taken further and further from it. A tear forms in his eyes. They close once again, attempting to photograph this moment in his memory. This may be his last.