As I stare at the old Gothic church’s colossal structure, my eyes wander, analysing every inch of the building. The perched gargoyles have expressions of that of wild dogs, with the ancient antique structures having been there for centuries. Dominating the skyline, the church seems to stretch up for miles upon end, its bricks now a soot black colour accumulating over the years of war and peace. Suddenly with a bong, the loud noise of the metallic church bell fills my ears, completely deafening them for a few seconds as the ring bounces back and forth, echoing in my head. Adding to this sound from the church, the ear-piercing hollow of the choirs is heard all over the city, celebrating the Lord’s Day of Rest, with a smile stretching from ear to ear and jumping up and down as I encounter the magnificent smells of the many things on sale in the market. My feet crush the orange leaves underneath as I adjust the buttons on my shirt. My nose fills up with sensations from the different foods, such as the creamy sweet mouth-watering smell of Rurki with its fresh whipped icing drawing me close like a moth to a flame. Stores that offer these foods are brightly coloured, with flags flapping as the breeze gently pushes them side to side. A spectacular sea of colours floods the Market Square with all these souls offering different Polish dishes. I hop from store to store, examining these mouth-inducing foods. My taste buds dance in anticipation every time I see these foods on display, wanting the sweet relief of these dishes to settle on my taste buds.
Coming across the children’s playground. I hear children’s giggles as they express themselves through the play of make-believe. Playground equipment sits there with its paint slowly peeling off as the years and days take their toll. The bright colours faded from the use of many children. Stretched chains swing back and forth as the breeze gently pushes them, creaking. The bridge, with its planks worn and torn buckling, under the tonnage of the many children crossing it. Springs sprouting from the ground due to the playground equipment being torn off fill the park with their pink metallic colour, signalling that they are bygone to a previous time. As I move my feet, I catch the street curb under my stride, falling face-first into the cold rock-hard concrete. My head starts to spin, and as I regain consciousness slowly, I realise I am in a very familiar but different place.
Artillery roars throughout the sky like a massive storm brewing boom boom, preparing to strike down its foe with all its fury and might. Rockets pound the inner city creating massive craters representing the moon’s craters as they continue to thunder down fires, a spark from these rockets swallows everything whole like a dragon preparing to feast on its next meal. Screams of people in pain echo throughout the emptiness of the city. Not even a pin could drop to disturb the eery silence between the gun and Artillery fire. Flies buzz around strewn-out corpses across the street, bits of flesh lie scattered across the pavement, and fresh pickings for birds and mice alike. I see the soulless expression of the dead staring deep into my inner core, their mouths wide open as if they were screaming for help to end their eternal suffering. The rat-tat of machine guns breaks up and swallows the silence as bullets fly back and forth from each opposing side. In its ruins, the playground equipment lies scattered across the horizon, blown to each corner of the world by the constant barrage of artillery. Goosebumps prickle my skin as the bullets whizz past me from my sandbag position. I smell the burning flames as my nostrils curl up in disgust from the oil fumes and other industrial smells.
Squelching under my feet, bits of flesh create a mushy feeling. My feet bounce off it as soon as I realise. Dirt wafted into my face as a grenade is thrown close, tasting the grave, it makes me curl up my tongue from the dusty sensation inflicted on my taste buds. Pushing down on the ground, my face hugs up against it as close as I can, trying to avoid the weapons of war being aimed at me. Bodies are riddled with bullets as blood squirts from every angle possible, creating a sea of red and turning the whole street into a deep colour. No matter what happens, I know the city will never be the same after this, nothing will ever bring back the laughter of families and children. They say time can heal wounds, but I beg to differ.