My body was left an emancipated skeleton, my clothes worn down to rags. All I had in my hand was a photo of my brother. I was homeless like many others as the earth-quake took everything from us. Starvation and dehydration affected me to such a degree that I could hardly even walk. I sat down motionless and weak as everyone selfishly worried about their own selves. I died.

However, prior to my demise, my story took place on the 14th of September 1923 in the area of Osaka, Japan. An earthquake struck on a hot, sunlit morning of Saturday 1st September 1923. The earthquake sent numerous shockwaves which lasted for over two hours. During this period, our house had capsized, killing both my parents. Me and my brother were all that survived.

Our town was almost that of a war-torn country. Huge chasms formed in the roads swallowing everything; people, cars and buildings. Telephone and electrical wires were easily snapped causing both electrocution and a limited means of communication. This pandemonium though, was not the end of our suffering as fires raged endlessly throughout the streets. Junta, my brother and I were living in a shelter of some kind, during which time I stole food in order to survive.

“Shogo?” enquired my brother on the ground that he was laying on.

“Yes brother, I’m right here,” I replied to him as my tears began trickling. Junta had contracted Cholera aside from suffering starvation. His body had rashes and no doctors could help us and most of the medication got damaged during the earthquakes anyway.

“Here Junta, have some mango,” I said giving my brother a piece of mango I had cut for him.

“It’s delicious,” said Junta’s lifeless voice.

Our shelter only possessed salvaged stuff that I could only get from damaged and abandoned houses. No relative of ours was willing to help us. In truth, no-one did help us, everyone only worried only about themselves. I tried giving Junta more mangos but saw he was able to eat no more. I left him to sleep.

He didn’t wake up. I could not cry and just felt numb as no emotion or thought passed my mind.

Holding Junta’s body in my hand, it felt cold and untrue at the same time. Hours passed and after the torrential downpour of rain, the next day was a bright perfect sunny day. I carried Junta’s body to an open field. There, with my bare hands, I dug his grave. I dug and dug and dug till my fingernails began bleeding. But pain was not even registering to my brain, nothing was.

I put Junta’s body in the grave. I covered it and got flowers and rested them on his grave till I passed out.

Waking up in the early hours of the morning, I left my brother’s grave and made my way to no destination. I walked mindlessly with no aim in sight my destination was no concern to me. Reaching a train station, there like me, were homeless people males and females, young and old alike.

I rested against a pillar for over three days. I was parched, starving, felt dejected and worthless as my thoughts were of my brother. Holding his photo in my hand I could only stare with a blank expression down at his photo. My lips were flaking away, my eyes sunken in their sockets. I breathed my last breath and died, thus my story of the earthquake that happened on the 1st September 1923.

***

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