5 Photo Story
Story by: Miranda Balk
Photos by: Chris Magic

My name is Bethany and 5 years ago these soldiers came and took me from my home. I have not been in touch with my family since the night they came to get me. But one night I stole a phone from one of the guards. I called my brother and he is helping me out. We set a date and place 7 weeks from the call and he told me he would be there waiting for me. He had no other way of helping me so the rest was up to me. One day I asked for a map to paint pictures on where instead the picture drew out my route to “Arnold’s place” the restaurant we are meeting at. Tonight is the night. The sun is going down and I am preparing for the worst. The guards will go in around 10 to switch shifts. That is when ill go. Ill run. As fast as I can. As far as I can. Until I make it there safe. And hope for him to be there. Waiting for me. This is what I have been preparing for, for the past 7 weeks.

The night is here. In front of me is safety and a whole nother life. Or most likely torture and death if I get caught. I know he’s there. I know he is waiting. All I need is to make it through tonight.

--I made it through without being caught… so far. Until they do head count before breakfast tomorrow. This is why I need to get as far away as fast as I can because in about 5 hours the sirens will be alerting anyone around. Everyone will know I have escaped.

The sun is rising and I can still hear the sirens from where I am at. I am exhausted and too tired to keep running so I began to crawl. All I know is that I have a long ways left and but I need to stay low and be careful. I’m sure there are men walking the grounds looking for me. It happened to the last girl. I’ve only had one helicopter. fly over so far but I’m not sure if it is for me.

I am taking a break along this tree line for a few minutes I brought my little back pack with a bottle of water, watch, map and a few piece of bread that I have collected from dinner the past few days. I need to get going because I can hear the highway from here.

I’m finally here. But my brother is not. Am I at the wrong place? Where do I go from here? Is he on his way? Am I too late? Is he on his way? I can’t be found. So ill wait a day. Until I start running again.