Photo prompt provided by Louise – The Storyteller’s Abode.
We packed them in so tightly, a woman towards the back whimpered.
None turned to offer help or switch places.
The youngest children were last to fill the bottom level, frightened into a silence more heart-breaking than if they had cried out or struggled.
I tried not to make eye contact as I closed the lower door. Instead, I followed protocol, stoically channelling the next group towards the upper deck.
Did they know?
They had to by now. One by one, TV and radio stations went dark. Supply trucks never arrived. Those sent in search of answers never returned. Still, even when the power flickered out for the last time, the desperate hauled up the putrid water from the river and continued to ration the last of their food.
The boats were meant to bring hope, and yet they must have seen, even in the eyes of those cajoling them towards the ‘arks’, that the virus left no room for even that.
And yet we had to do something. Didn’t we?