Innocence in War, by Harry Hughes, Prince Henry’s High School, Evesham

‘I’m warning you, get out of my way!’ The gun’s barrel was targeting him with menacing glee.

‘Put the gun down and no one has to be hurt.’

‘I’m sorry, but this is for my family.’

BANG!

Ash and smoke were smothering the ruins of the city. The survivors of the bombs were huddled together in fright. These innocent people were forced into hiding as soldiers marched in unison through the streets. The children’s faces were tucked up, hidden from the trauma. Shop windows were shattered and bricks were crumbling to dust. Through the thick blanket of smog, the crowds could just see the silhouettes of the German Zeppelins.

2am: it’s Thomas’s shift on patrol. His job is to march around Regent’s Park, making sure no one is looting. He does about five laps around the area. By the third, his eyelids are beginning to droop.

Then the night comes when Thomas has no choice but to do his duty and stop the rampaging citizen.

‘Please sir, calm down,’ Thomas says.

The man he is talking to is young, with dirt all over his shivering face. He is splattered with fresh, warm blood. His body jolts towards Thomas and he pulls out an XB-8 revolver.

‘I’m warning you, get out of my way!’ yells the man. Despite his dominant voice, there’s a glint of fear in his eyes.

‘Put the gun down and no one has to be hurt.’ Thomas has never been in a situation like this. His instinct is to reason.

‘I’m sorry, but this is for my family.’

The man’s finger gains strength and then BANG!

Decades pass. At the bottom of the Thames is a rusted World War 1 bullet with a blood stain, waiting for its story to be uncovered.