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Refugee : Part One - Exodus - Preview.

William King

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The following is an extract from the first chapter of my latest novel. A story set against the background of the times we live in.

Refugee: a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

"Syria has become the great tragedy of this century - a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history."
Antonio Guterres - Secretary-General of the United Nations.


It was as if the man knew what the boy was thinking. He gently squeezed Samir's shoulder. "How old are you?" 

"Thirteen," Samir croaked, his throat was dry.

The man straightened. "We'll take care of you." 

"My brothers... and," his voice faltered.

"I'm sorry." The man patted his thin shoulder, turned and walked away down the dimly lit corridor.

Then he realised. Remembered. Tears welled up in his eyes. His shoulders moved up and down as he sobbed. Quietly. To himself. He was alive. On the outside. On the inside he was already dead. He felt empty nothingness. The inside was as black as the blackness those strong arms had pulled him from.

He was swallowed up by the blackness, consumed by it. He must have fallen asleep. Awake again now, his right hand was wrapped in a bandage. Solid bits of wood were tied each side of his third finger, which was straight now. A patchwork of white bandages plastered the back of his left leg, from behind his knee right up and onto his bottom. He still had his torn underpants on.

The people passing in and out, like the groaning around him, never stopped. He wished he was dead. He wished god had taken him with his family. He was still breathing, but he wasn't alive. 

Samir silently cried himself to sleep again, amidst the sounds and chaos in the half light of the corridor crammed full of the injured and dying.



Can you imagine the future when you are thirteen years old? When you’ve lost everything? From the ruins of war in a bombed out town in Syria; the desperation of refugee camps; and slum cities in Turkey, the paramount goal is safety and the impossible: Europe. This story is of our time and does not shy away from harsh reality. There is abuse, exploitation, huge risk, suffering and pain, but there is also romance and a few good souls. 

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