Creative

Before Gate H- Ellie Taggart

By February 1, 2019 May 28th, 2019 No Comments

By Ellie Taggart

We were silent in the car. Nothing but the breathing of two bodies, one young and thin, the 

other old and frail, both lying under a tarpaulin. The sounds of the world around us echoed in 

the space between. Cars, nature, people. It’s scary how much noise you make when you’re 

trying to be silent. My Young One reached out her hand for mine but I stopped her from 

making a sound. As she retracted her hand I could see her face scrunching up, ready to 

sneeze. My hand shot out but it was too late. 

Achooo!” 

 

It was quiet but it didn’t matter. 

  

The car pulled over and I could hear the squeak of sneakers on the bitumen. I held my Young 

One’s hand and motioned for her to not say anything. The footsteps made their way to the 

boot and for a second I imagined that they were here to tell me to get out now, and take 

Young One now and run off now. But they didn’t. The footsteps sat on the edge of the car 

and lightly tapped the door. 

  

“You can’t make any noises, not on the way there, not when we get to the gate and finally not 

until a long time after,” the footsteps said. 

“What about sneezing, Mr Flynn? I can’t help that-.” I put my hand over Young One’s 

mouth. 

“You can if you value your life,” the footsteps said. And with that the car lifted again and the 

footsteps squeaked away. 

  

Young One nodded and wriggled back into a ball next to me. 

  

“Sorry.” 

“That’s okay,” I said. “Just no more noises.” 

“Can’t we go when I’m better?” 

“No, we can’t go another day. It must be today.” 

Young One nodded. 

  

The sounds of our breathing, the occasional twitch of a foot that went to sleep and the crinkle 

of the tarpaulin bounced around in circles trying to escape. Suddenly the car hit a bump. We 

went up, bouncing off the tarpaulin and the shelf above that. Young One gasped. I scowled. 

 

We both knew we were close now. The car sped up a bit before abruptly stopping. A 

commotion of voices moved towards the car. 

 

“Where is this one heading?” an unfamiliar voice boomed. 

“Gate H, sir,” Mr Flynn said. 

“Why so nervous son? Got drugs in the boot or something?” 

“No. Just army packs.” 

“Jeez. Lighten up son.” The unfamiliar voice said. “Head on down to gate H.” 

  

The car began its journey slowly down what I imagined was a narrow path. The wheels 

twisted and winced as we made our way to gate H. Mr Flynn stopped the car and we were 

met with more unfamiliar voices. 

  

“So, this one’s heading beyond the border?” an older man barked. 

“Yes. With your permission, Sir,” Mr Flynn said, his voice wavering. 

  

“What’s it for?” 

“Supplies. Army supplies. Pack’s mostly.” 

“Oh really?” The sound of combat boots clacked closer to the car. “You didn’t know about 

van 403, did you? Meant to be bringing our supplies. My men think they got lost 

somewhere.” 

“I haven’t heard about that.” 

  

“Okay well just to make sure you’re safe, you know ‘supplies-wise’, you wouldn’t mind if 

my men take a look, would you?” 

“Go ahead,” Mr Flynn said. 

  

The boot door opened. Young One stared at me with wide eyes. I closed mine. The men 

scrambled around, moving things but failing to come too close to our hiding spot. They 

picked up packs and shifted packs and threw packs, ignoring the ones above us. 

  

We were silent in the car. Nothing but the breathing of two bodies: one young and thin, the 

other old and frail, both lying under a tarpaulin. The sounds of the world around us echoed in 

the space between. Cars, nature, people. It’s scary how much noise you make when you are 

trying to be silent. My Young One reached out her hand for mine but I stopped her from 

making a sound. As she retracted her hand I could see her face scrunching up, ready to 

sneeze. My hand shot out but it was too late. 

Achooo!” 

  

It was quiet but it didn’t matter.

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