Flee to Egypt

Holding the carving in my hand, I couldn’t believe it. He said, I inspired them as he placed them in my hands. Me, holding the baby. One figure holds him up dancing, the other holds him close to nurse my son. These statuettes in my hands. My husband made them carved of wood and sanded smooth as marble. He is so proud of me and the baby, so full of joy to be alive. I feel as though there is something magic about the statuettes.

But now we must run, hiding with so many refugees. We have to get to Egypt. I know that and yet something is pulling me else where. Is it the figures he carved? As soon as I touched them a timelessness surrounded me. I was holding them but now my hands are empty. I have to get to Egypt with my baby.

But there are so many people. I am pulled along in the flood. Where my husband and child have gone, I don’t know. I can feel them with me somehow. As though my husband is just out of sight ahead of me and my son wrapped in my many layers of scarves I have about me. My veil is quite long, somehow the white and light blue colors seem wrong, everyone else is wearing dark and dull colors. No one seems to notice though, no one seems to notice me at all. I am glad. Everyone around me is tense, hungry and afraid. We travel many miles to stop at a camp. They are telling the men and women to separate. Most are exhausted. There is a line for food. Small portions of a soup with rice and vegetables, but they have no more bowls. No bowl, no soup, we should share.

Looking around I know we won’t. There is distrust in every eye. I look again to find my husband. Not only do I not see him but I feel more certain than ever I have stepped through time. The people around me are so grim. Death feels so close it is palatable. A man comes and sits next to me, he doesn’t seem to see me but then he moves closer and sighs. He can definitely feel me, my warmth, my life. It makes me uncomfortable. I get up and try to find the other women. There is only one left. I follow her down a concrete hallway. As soon as I enter things change drastically. I am pulled down the hallway to a pair of double glass doors. A yellow van, the letters Polizia flash by, and a horrid popping sound starts. A gun is going off. Looking inside the van I see a small boy holding a toy gun. All around him are the bodies of his family, dying. A woman with a colorful scarf about her head looks directly at me, her face is bloody. She seems to ask me why I’m not doing anything. Why can she see me? Is it because she is dying? I don’t want to be here. I want to run. The sound of gunshots is everywhere, all around me. I don’t want to know the truth. I don’t want to know that they are killing them all in a massacre, the refugees. People rush all around me, bodies fall in heaps. I keep expecting to be shot myself but no one sees me. I try to run away but I can’t, my feet seem stuck in the pavement. I fall over and try to crawl. Reaching forward I notice the white and light blue veil against my arm. That’s when I know the connection. The carved statuettes of a mother and child, a refugee trying to get to Egypt with her husband and child, and a veil of white and light blue, one single name connects them all; Mary.

The moment I think it, I am awake in my own bed. Cats scatter as I jump up. I’ll sleep no more this morning. I still have goosebumps from the sound of the guns and the sight of bodies and blood. I wish I could convince myself it was just a dream. But I can’t. The way no one saw me, that and the ethereal feel of my body upon awaking I remember from other dreams I wished weren’t true, but were. I don’t know what to do, so I start typing.


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