My family was very tired, they couldn't walk any more. We all helped putting up a bit tent beneath a rocky formation, in order to spend the night there. We had walked over twenty kilometres today and that was a lot for some of us.
Grandma was the most tired. Mom had to massage her legs for her to be able to sleep. Dad and I agreed to carry grandma on our backs if it was necessary.
Dad, mom, my sister, her husband and I decided to check the map on our mobile device, as grandma and my niece slept in a corner of the tent. According to the map, we were only a few kilometers from the border that passed over the highest peak. If we passed it, we would be safe, at least for a couple more months.
The war had suddenly erupted and, even if we recognized it or not, it was our fault. Many of us helped that mad man with our votes and now he was the only ruler. Many had been killed and he had decided to cleanse the nation of people he deemed "dangerous".
And that's what we, apparently, were. We didn't even now why but we realized it when the police raided our home and wanted to arrest us. They actually took grandpa and, in part, that was the real pain grandma was suffering. They were my father's parents. My mother's parents had been killed in the first wave of the war, as they lived in another city.
We escaped thanks to my sister's husband, a former member of the military, and now we were all on the run, trying to get to the border over the mountains. We couldn't afford any other way of escape as boats and planes had been forbidden, except for those used by the armed forces.
I turned off my phone fast. We had four phones but used only one at a time in order to preserve the batteries. The communications were cut off but somehow some of the apps still work, such as the map.
We slept on the ground, covering ourselves with a few blankets my sister's husband had stolen from the barracks. They were really warm and cozy blankets and we were all grateful for them. Still, I couldn't get any sleep, thinking of the next day. Without a doubt, it would be a very important day: we would cross the most dangerous part of the mountain and then get to a country that no one knew if it would be welcoming.
I woke everyone up at the first light of the following day. Grandma complained and my little niece was happy as some snow had fallen overnight.
We tore down our tent, we put it on the biggest backpack and started walking. Snow made our ascent mucho more slow than I had imagined. We had to pull out the blankets and cover ourselves with them as our clothes were not made for cold weather.
We didn't stop for lunch: we ate in motion, being very careful with the food as it wasn't necessary to lure animals or anyone to our position.
Sunset arrived and I checked my phone: if we walked fifteen more minutes, we would pass the border. I told everyone and insisted on walking in the dark if it was necessary: we were too close to stop now.
What I didn't expect was for the wind to be so strong and chilly, freezing our faces and bodies to the bone. Grandma fainted and we had to stop. After putting up the tent and putting the elderly woman inside, I checked my phone again. With the last remaining battery power, I could see the border was only 700 hundred meters away. The phone died. When I told the news to the others they seemed relieved and we agreed to wake up early to walk to the border and then down the mountain.
There was apparently a town nearby and that was their goal. We knew many people had fled to the neighboring nation and that it might be problem to get in as such, but that was a problem for tomorrow. Now we felt a bit more at ease and and I even slept a couple of hours before been awoken by a rumble, a horrible sound in the distance.
All the family woke up and, although we did not day, we were scared. We packed up again and started walking. The wind had calmed down and the sky seemed cloudless.
After some minutes, we finally arrived at the top, to the border. My mom gave me her phone so I could locate the town. As it was very early still and the sky wasn't properly lit, we may have seen the town from there.
A horrible sound again. But now it was a rumble but something like an engine... an airplane. We all stared at the sky and saw the shadow of a large aircraft. The first light of the day let us see what was happening: in the valley below was the town we were looking for. And the airplane was heading there but not with refugees or food. They were bombing.
We hadn't seen lights because it had been cut off. From our vantage point, we could see at least five more planes descending into the valley and drop dozens maybe hundreds of bombs. The city was on fire.
From our tiny spot in the mountain we were witnesses of an invasion, the first of many. Our future was now even bleaker.