I stood in the small shelter outside of the preschool. This isn’t right. I shouldn’t be here. There are children playing all around me, but I’m alone.
I arrived at my house. It’s large and made of stone. I could hear children crying as they are scolded. I walked up the stone steps and opened the large doors. I go up to my room. My brother is there, holding two crying babies. He’s trying to calm them. My sister is there too, sitting on the floor. I sensed death in her. Not her body, but her soul. As if a piece of her was gone, taken away. I ran from the room, and down the halls. It smelled of blood, death. Then I smelled something else. Fire. I saw it, a brilliant light, twisting up the walls, creeping across the floor towards me. I ran, just as I did when my house burned. As I did when my parents died. Cries of agony filled the air. I fell to the ground; let the moto burn my skin, my flesh, my bones. I can feel the moto burning through me. I’m not aware of anything. Not the screams. Not the orphanage. Not even the moto eating away at my flesh. I wasn’t aware of the hands that grasped me, pulled me from the flames.
Blood. Darkness. That’s all I remember.
‘Is he alive?’
‘His wounds are bad. If he’s alive now he doesn’t have a chance out here.’
Who are they?
Warmth. I’m safe.
A blurry figure hovers above me.
‘Don’t worry. We’ll help you.’
Bloody, deformed hands lay on the pillow, inayofuata to me. My own hands.
My vision is blurred. Blood spatters over my vision. Am I dead? Is this heaven?
‘Father! He’s awake!’
I feel something against my lips. Food. I take the broth.
They helped me. I will never forget them.
wewe know my story now. Find me. Help me. Save me. Find me before it’s too late.
The words rung in my ears even after I woke. Before it’s too late. What did he mean kwa that? It was just a dream, I knew that, but it seemed so real. He seemed so real.
‘Jasmine, what’s wrong?’ My friend, Riley asked.
‘Yeah, you’re uigizaji funny,’ alisema Paula.
‘Nothing,’ I told them. ‘Just a dream.’
‘Tell us about it,’ Laney demanded.
‘I dreamed,’ I began, ‘that I died. I was in an orphanage. It burned down. Then there was a voice. They asked me to find them. Before it’s too late. That’s what they said.