By Esther L. (13 years old)
Fiona marched away from the house as quickly as she could. Casting one last glance at the house, she started having second thoughts. Where could she go? She had nowhere to stay but she refused to continue living with that abusive monster of a father. He had hit her painfully many times, without any cause. She understood her mother had run away with another man, but it wasn’t fair for her father to take it out on her.
“I’m going to start a new life for myself,” she vowed. She would just go wherever her feet brought her as she wasn’t capable of planning ahead considering that she was only nine. In her bag were 90 crumpled dollar bills, a bottle of water, some cookies and clothing.
Vehicles zoomed past her and she watched them, wishing that she could drive. She would then have complete freedom to travel to anywhere she wanted. She smiled wistfully at the thought and continued wandering down the street.
Puzzled looks settled on Fiona. Why would a little girl be roaming the streets with a backpack on her back? She ignored the inquisitive stares and listened as the wind soughed through the trees. The leaves rustled while birds circled in the air chirping merrily. She wondered how it would like to have wings, to be able to fly.
The sun was making its descent, painting the sky in an array of brilliant colours of red, orange and yellow against a blue backdrop. She paused for a moment and marvelled at the amazing sight. Why couldn’t her life be as splendid?
She plodded on and caught a whiff of food. Food! She sniffed greedily and licked her lips in anticipation of a meal for she hadn’t eaten since morning. As she turned round the corner, she saw a hot dog stand. She headed straight for it, never taking her eyes off the hot dogs sizzling on the grill pan. Handing over a wrinkly dollar, she grabbed the hot dog eagerly. She took a bite and closed her eyes in ecstasy; hot dogs were now her favourite food.
Sighing contentedly, she made her way through the park. Night had fallen like a black curtain. The dark streets were illuminated by bright street lamps, casting long shadows on the ground. There were less cars now and Fiona felt afraid for the first time since running away from home. What if a kidnapper abducted her? Someone might hurt or murder her!
Fiona shook her head to push the negative thoughts away. She looked for a place to spend the night and stumbled upon a bus-stop. She decided to lay claim to it for the night. Pulling out a sweater, she donned it and lay down with her backpack for a pillow. The events today had been taxing and her little body was totally spent. “Tomorrow will take care of itself,” she supposed, drifting off to dreamland.