Afia and her mother have been torn apart from their family, and our stuck in Sierra Leone. When they are smuggled across as slaves to England, what will happen?


1. Scratches and sweat


       My mother says we are lucky to be here, with a make-shift roof over our head. My mother is all I have left. My father has been missing ever since our home was exploded into a million pieces. My mother said he had promised to he would fix our own little mess, save us from this war going on around us. But surely there must be a certain length of time before promises run out. I have been waiting and waiting as his promise duration tikked away, and now there is no trust. 

      The camp is packed with people, a steady stream of bodies, awaiting saviour like me. Except not everyone can be saved. People die of exhaustion all around us, and surrender to the quenching and starvation. And I am left wondering how long I have left. When the white men come to our camp with food and water, I know my time is tikking, because our survival is all in the hands of charity and strangers.

     My mother scolds me when I tell her this. 

     "Afia, there are people living under gunshots. There are children with no parents. People are dying, but we are not. Be happy. Our break will come.

            Its hot in the camp and I can never breathe. I am always under the glare of the sun. I am covered in scratches from the rough surfaces I turn on at night. So please tell me what is there to be happy about?



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