‘Hazel’s Memory’ by Phoebe Hartley

Sometimes, I still think of home. It seems alien now, as though it came from another life. There are times when I can barely remember anything at all but this story always comes back to me wherever I am and I know that the memory of that day, long ago, in a different life will never leave me.

It started as it did normally but I could tell something was wrong. Grandmother seemed more tense than usual from her usual spot peeling potatoes by the kitchen sink. I loved our house. It was an old windmill that had been converted and I thought it was beautiful. It was a small, square building. White on the outside and bright and cozy on the inside with large windows in the airy kitchen where we spend the majority of the time we were indoors, upstairs were two small bedrooms, one for my Grandmother and one for my sister and I. Ours was small, but light and neat. We had a bed each with quilted bedspreads and a small set of draws for our few possessions. It was simple but we had everything we needed. My sister and I had the run of the valley that the windmill was situated in and the woods that protected us on all sides. We spent everyday by the clear, blue stream that trickled down the hillside and ran next to the windmill. It was our heaven.

Then my entire world fell apart, the day the authorities came. The only warning we got was a knock on the door before they were here, dragging my sister away from me. I can still hear her screams in my dreams and to this day do not know why they came, however, I remember a similar thing happening before this but the memory is hazy. I think they came for my parents as well. I only know that there is one thing I can be sure of, my sister is dead.

That, and also this: my life fell completely apart that day.

Nothing was ever the same again.

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