The ways of war, you kill, you hurt others, you steal members of families. I hate the military. I hate them all. So, the only way I can get my revenge on the military is if I destroy them from the ...
"Elizabeth Marshall!" a shrill cry screamed through my head as soon as I entered the classroom. Miss. Cain, our registration teacher, was a stickler about being punctual. Not only was I not at school on time, but I was also drenched from the rain. Strands of damp, black hair were plastered on my face. My school uniform was dark from the moisture, and not only that, but sticky, wet mud was covering my black shoes. I looked behind me to see my own footsteps painted on the ground with mud.
"Elizabeth! Explain yourself! You are fifteen minutes late for school, you are looking scruffy (as usual), your clothes are dripping wet and you made a mess on the floor!" Her high pitched cry echoed through the classroom, which was buzzing with laughter and excitement before, now all ears and eyes were watching me an our teacher telling me off. They all know what is coming next.
"Well!" She continued. "Are you going to explain!?"
I searched my mind for a good excuse for being in this state. There was none that I could find.
"ELIZABETH MARSHALL! EXPLAIN!" I jumped at her outburst.
"I-I don't have one..." I stuttered, I hung my head in shame.
"What do you mean you don't have one!"
The class started to snicker, I felt like a stupid rag doll. Miss Cain got impatient and snatched a wooden ruler from her desk. My eyes widened in fear.
"Take off your gloves and hold out your hands." She declared, I did so right away and placed the wet gloves in my blazer pocket. I held out my left hand reluctantly.
"And your right hand too, Elizabeth" her wrinkled face stretched into a wicked smile, resembling an ugly toad staring at a juicy fly to eat. I felt like the fly, about to be devoured by the ugly beast.
I nurtured my sore hands, they were red and raw from the ruler punishment. I had this beating everyday ever scince I started secondary school. It was hard, and painful, to write out my assignment. Miss Cain was writing the lesson objectives on the blackboard, the chalk was being scratched ruthfully and furiously at the board as she wrote out our lesson objectives. History was our first lesson. Today, we were studying about war.
"Now class, con somebody tell me what is going on right now?"
A few hands shot up in the air, mine were raised soon after. Miss Cain overlooked my hand and picked a girl next to me instead.
"World War One" she answered proudly, Miss Cain clapped at her favorite student. Alicia Bennett, a teachers pet since we all started secondary school.
"Well done Alicia! You deserve a merit for that! Now, World war one has just started a year ago. Franz Ferdinand was assassinated while he was..." Miss Cain droned off, while I simply switched off and rested my head on my arms, fast asleep.
"Wha-!?" I jumped, my hair stood on its ends at the back of my neck.
"Elizabeth! Are you asleep just a minute ago?" Miss Cain glared at me through her large glasses.
"N-no Miss Cain"
"Then why weren't you replying to my question?"
"I-I didn't hear you Miss"
"Well, I repeat again, tell me the exact date of the Second Balkan War"
I sighed in relief, I knew the answer. In fact, I knew the answer all too well.
"July 29th to July 31st 1913..."
Miss Cain tapped her foot a couple of times, tapping in tune with the clock on her desk. She had an unsatisfied look in her face.
"Elizabeth, I asked you for the answer, and when I ask you I want the answer to come from your own knowledge. Do not ask Alicia for the answers!" She said in a stern voice.
"Miss Cain, I never asked Alicia for the answer." I told her firmly, Miss Cain always did this. She always hated me, she always accuses me for wrongs that I did not do.
"Elizabeth, do not answer back to me!"
"Miss Cain, do not accuse me!"
Miss Cain slammed her ruler on her desk, knocking her fountain pen to roll over the edge of her desk and fall on the floor. The class was silent once more.
"I will not accept this foolishness anymore Elizabeth, answer back again and you will get the hiding of your life!" Her glasses began to steam up from her anger. I cowered lower into my desk and hid my face behind a history book. Miss Cain became satisfied of my shame and carried on with her lesson.
"Now, as I was saying, many people died in war, and some, I daresay, are still dying today. They all died in their line of duty, and-" Miss Cain broke of her sentence as soon as she saw Alicia's hand up in the air. "Yes Alicia?"
"Miss Cain, what happens next if a soldier dies in line of duty?"
"Then that soldier is made a hero." Miss Cain smiled before resuming her lesson. "Every single soldier out there is in jeopardy, and they are all at risk of death. If a soldier dies, he will never be forgotten, he has died an honorable death. He has been brave enough to face death just to serve his country, just to protect people from harm, they will never be forgotten. They are all Heroes, if they have gone through war dead or alive, every single one of them is still a hero."
A few students stared at Miss Cain in awe during her 'hero' speech. I, however, was not amused.
"Elizabeth, can you please explain!" She shouted furiously at me, unhappy that I didn't clap at her speech with the rest of the class.
"Explain what, Miss Cain?"
"Why you are smirking! Are you dishonoring those men out there, losing life and limb just to protect you, your family, your community, your country?!"
I stood up straighter in my desk. I gave her a death glare and sighed a long, long, long sigh.
"Heroes, you speak of heroes. No-one is a hero, no-body will ever be a hero." Miss Cain flinched at my remark, I carried on. "If someone dies in line of duty, they become a hero. Just like that? And their life will always be remembered? Are you sure about that? Do you think these men had a choice to go out to war? No one would be willing to go to war! Would you go to war without second thoughts, Cain!?"
"Now, that is Miss Cain to you Elizabeth! Now stop this Nonse-"
"You can't become a hero if you go to war! What do you think they do in war? They have special training! They have deadly weapons! They are killing machines! And you still call them Heroes!?"
"I don't want to hear any more! Soldiers are nothing but mindless murderers, they have no fear of being killed because they have been brainwashed by 'Hero' Crap!"
"Now Young Lady-!"
"My dad didn't go to war for a reason! He knows better! And just because he refused to go to war he was called a coward! He isn't a coward! I don't care if he received white feathers everyday! He isn't a coward to me! He is the only hero there is! HE stayed home to protect and look after his family! The military couldn't have it!"
"The military tracked him down! The military are soldiers! They are pawns of war! The military broke into our own house! The military beat up my Father! Why? Because he chose to stay and look after our family!"
"Well there must be a mista-!"
"THE MILITARY KILLED MY FATHER IN FRONT OF MY VERY EYES! DAMMIT! THEY KILLED HIM! THEY PRETENDED HE NEVER EXISTED! THE WHOLE TOWN PRETENDED HE NEVER EXISTED! THEY FORGOT HIM! HE DIED IN HIS LINE OF DUTY, HE IS THE ONLY HERO THERE IS! THE MILITARY COULDN'T TAKE A REAL HERO SO THEY KILLED HIM INSTEAD!"
Tears were falling rapidly down my cheeks, my hands trembled on the desk, my knees were shaking furiously. The class was silent, even Miss Cain had no reply to my outburst.
Breathing rapidly, I grabbed my bag from under my desk and ran out of the classroom. I ran as fast as I could, sobbing uncontrollably in the rain. Tired of running, I slowed down to a walk and a trudged through muddy puddles on the way to a cemetery where my Hero now sleeps.
Walking on the grass, I stopped at a gravestone. Withered flowers were being brutally attacked by the heavy downpour of rain. Kneeling down at my fathers gravestone, I traced his name with my fingers.
Died aged 44
"Daddy, I've been bad today, I ran out of class..."
The rain became heavier and carried on pouring over my cold body.
"... I was also late for school today, I didn't mean to be late. I had to look after Mum, she is ill. She is really, really sick..." I sobbed. "Please, help me. I know you can't just appear, but at least send me someone to guide me..."
Fifteen minutes went past, the rain became heavier the longer I stayed there. As the rain became heavier, so did my tears.
"You know Daddy, it's my Birthday today, I'm becoming a big girl like you said. It's a shame that the sky brought rain though, but it's okay..." I sobbed harder. "It's okay Daddy, because no-body will notice that I have been crying..."
"/Daddy, just send me someone to help me.../"