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Stories that you confided to us

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Katerina Posheluzna

‘Fear seemed to mix with blood and was circulating throughout the body’

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Kateryna Poshelyuzna, Avdiivka General Education Secondary School No.2, Avdiivka town, Donetsk region

In the "One Day" essay competition, her work took 3rd place

Teacher - Larisa Savenko

‘Fear seemed to mix with blood and was circulating throughout the body’
Kateryna in 2014
‘Fear seemed to mix with blood and was circulating throughout the body’
Kateryna in 2021

A woman is standing in the middle of the field. The wind is playing with her beautiful blond hair and the sun is lightly touching her beautiful face with its rays. She is smiling unconcernedly at me, and I also cannot keep from smiling. Even loud rumbles of thunder cannot destroy a strange invisible bond between her and me.

And suddenly a huge pillar of earth and grass like black wings, closes a strange imaging, and then… Whistling noise in my ears, darkness in my eyes, frantic heartbeat – and I fall into something cold and scary. I try to open my eyes to make sure if everything is fine with the woman.

Oh, Lord! Her hair, dusted with earth, no longer plays with the wind, and a warm smile freezes on her bloodied face forever. The woman falls down onto the loose warm ground, letting out her last breath…

I often see this dream…

War is the scariest word on earth. Believe me, to hear about it from history books and live in it are not the same things. People will hardly realize that this is for real only from the stories they are told. It is difficult to put into words pain, fear, tears, despair, and dismay. But I will try to find such words, because I had to personally learn what war is.

To learn and understand that one day, just one damn day can completely change the life of a small girl, forcing her to accept what not every adult is able to endure. I remember very well THAT DAY and the fear not comparable to anything, even though I was only nine years old.

The day was coming to an end, and I was taking my friend home. On the way we imagined ourselves fabulous fairies able to turn anyone into an amazing butterfly, to defeat any evil, spellbinding evil-doers. The girl with a bright smile waved her arm at me and disappeared behind the gate of her yard.

I suddenly froze. I heard the sound of loud explosions, and a whistling noise above my head. ‘What is that? What is that? What shall I do? Loud… Scary…’ thoughts swarmed in my mind, my eyes welled up with tears and my legs went rubbery. I could not move.

The sounds of car alarms brought me back to my senses (later I realized that they were triggered by an explosive wave of shells falling near my street, but then it was only a very loud sound). Not understanding what was going on, I rushed home.

My frightened mother was running to meet me. In her eyes I could read the fear and the same childish misunderstanding of what was happening. She sharply grabbed my hand and we ran into the house to the sound of explosions.

‘Kateryna, take everything you need with you. We may not come back here again,’ my mother said quickly, running to find my younger brother. In the room I took my pink elephant that my father once gave me.

‘Mum, what is going on?’ five-year-old Myshko asked.

‘This is sort of a game. We need to quickly hide from a big monster,’ said my mother.

Without thinking twice, my brother took all three of our cats and we ran to the cellar to the sound of whistling shells. The explosions continued raging for a long time. Fear seemed to mix with blood and was circulating throughout the body.

Telephone connection was cut off. We did not know if everything was fine with our relatives. This made me feel very worried. Mum was crying, tears slowly running down her once happy smiling face.

I so much wanted to become a real fairy at that moment, to bring my happy life back, to punish all the villains who made my mother suffer. A few hours later, the explosions began to subside, and then came the silence, which makes your head dizzy and which is still feared in my town. At midnight we went into the house. It is probably difficult to fall asleep after such circumstances we experienced, but I fell asleep. And for the first time I saw a woman in the middle of the field.

When quoting a story, a reference to the source – the Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation – is mandatory, as follows:

The Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation

Rinat Akhmetov Foundation Civilian Voices Museum
Avdiivka 2014 2021 Text Civilian's stories children 2014 shelling safety and life support children Shelling of Donetsk 2021 Essay Competition 2021
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