Creative Writing Response
“Encountering conflict changes one’s values.”
Friday afternoon, finally. Barely 4pm and she’d already snuggled down into the warmth of her bed, exhausted, miserable. Relieved that she didn’t have to face school again for a couple of days, the stares, the giggles, the shoves in the corridor. The relentless whispering and snide remarks.
Pathetic bullies, she thought bitterly. That’s all they are.
But despite her brave words, her eyes still smarted and she ached with the knowledge that there was nothing she could do. She hated it, the injustice of the way those girls treated her, treated others too, and she wanted to be brave. But she could never stand up to them. ...view middle of the document...
But this time, it caught her attention. She looked over at Gran’s weather-beaten face. “What… what did you do in the war?” she queried tentatively.
Gran snorted loudly. “What did I not do! I was female fighter in the Resistance. I was spy, and I was soldier to fight against the Germans. I have seen the things you have not never seen.”
“It can’t have been that bad,” teased the girl, poking Gran in the ribs.
But Gran looked at her, shaking her head. Her eyes were sad, doused in memory. “No. You do not understand. I had seen the Germans beating the Jewish women and the children. They shoot the men, and I had seen a woman covered in gas and set on fire for helping the Jews. They tear my beautiful France apart, they spit on us like dogs. And the next morning, I am having to wait in line to buy the bread and the milk from them, just for feeding my family. I am having to give my money to those awful men.”
Gran’s brow was furrowed and she was still shaking her head, clutching her walking stick with trembling hands. The girl looked at her, shocked into silence. She gazed at Gran with eyes that suddenly saw the stories behind the weathered face.
“I would rather I have been tortured than surrender to the Germans,” Gran muttered. “But I am having to feed my children.”
“But you joined the Resistance. You fought back,” said the girl quietly.
Gran looked at her and smiled gently. “Yes,” she murmured. “I fought back.”
As Mum bustled in the kitchen, the girl sat down at the stool and leant her chin in her palms. “Gran was telling me about the war,” she said, watching Mum wipe the bench. “I had no idea she was such a fighter.”
Mum looked up and smiled fondly. “She certainly was. Her whole life, even before the war, she was a tower of strength. Never let anything stop her.”
The girl shook her head, still in bewilderment. “It’s just hard to imagine. I don’t get it. She’s seen so much and she never backed down. Conflict like that could just… I...