The helicopter swung its light back towards the trio and lit them up like actors on a theatre stage. A voice yelled for them to stop. Arina’s eyes widened as men with rifles ran toward her family.
“Hurry, hurry,” she screamed at them.
“Arina, run away. We are right behind you,” Sarah called.
Arina stayed where she was. Her hands pushed against the fence, her fingers poking through the wire mesh. “Hurry, hurry!”
Sarah and her mother were struggling with her father. The soldiers were getting closer. To her right Arina saw a military jeep racing along the fence line. Arina screamed a warning, but her voice was lost in the din. A soldier standing in the passenger side swung a swivel gun toward them and fired. Erupting dirt followed the flashes of light. Her Papa held his hands in the air and shouted at the soldiers not to shoot. Her Mama held onto her Papa’s arm and Sarah’s hand. Soldiers yelled more orders and her mother, father and sister dropped to their knees. The helicopter turned away as the soldiers surrounded them.
Arina’s fingers slipped from the wire. She knew what she must do. Find Uncle Felipe. She slung the strap of Sarah’s bag around her neck and ran into the jungle. Spikey plant tendrils tugged at her clothes and scratched her arms. She did not slow until the sounds of violence had faded.
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