Her eyes scanned the forest floor, but she had no idea what to look for. A hump of earth? Twine? A dense patch of dry, brown needles? She took another step forward, waited for disaster. When it didn’t come, she stepped forward again, paused.
Better not pause for too long.
Only a short while ago, she had watched from a distance as Kovan, the fat older boy that had once called her names, stepped forward and had his leg fall into a hole.
Ah, shit. Lemme guess, the soldiers thought it’d be a waste of time to bother helping him get it out, and shot him instead?
He’d screamed, and when Hana and the rest of the children had rushed forward to try and lift him out, they had only increased the volume of his shouts and the ferocity of his thrashing. With the Turkish soldiers watching silently behind them, Hana and the others had used their hands to scrape at the hard, rocky earth, revealing the wooden stakes that were lodged in the sides of the hole.
…? Some kind of animal trap?
Each was set in the earth so they pointed downward at an angle, with some at the bottom to pierce his foot. Supple, the wood had bent enough to let the leg fall down deep into the hole, but attempts to raise Kovan had only pulled his leg and foot up into waiting wooden points.
Maybe it’s not an animal trap, but a trap set out against incoming soldiers?
It was, she knew, one of the traps that had been placed by her village’s hunters or by the guerrilla fighters that defended their village.
They were all over, set throughout the woods, around her village, near roads and other important places. She had overheard one of the fighters describing this very trap to her father. She had been told, over and over, that she wasn’t to play in the woods for much this reason, that if she had to travel into the woods for any reason, she needed an adult to guide her. The full reality of it hadn’t registered until she saw what had happened to Kovan.
She needed an adult who knew where the traps were. The soldiers didn’t.