After things had settled, once the fresh emotions had turned stale though still embedded in the lives of those affected, the people in the town would always start the story with the journey of the ball. There was something macabre that engaged their listeners when they started the story with the ball. They would tell of how it had bounced down through a winding alley of the camp, gathering speed as it passed the shops as though it simply sought to escape the dreadful scene. They would tell how something strange had stirred in them that only after did they realise was the absence of children’s footsteps following behind. At this point they would know their listener was hooked, and would begin to linger in the details. They would focus on the way the boys’ backs had lay flat on the Earth as though their bodies had hoped to catch a final ray of sun. They would describe the way one of the boy’s blood and guts surrounded him, as though they sought to draw attention to the brutality of his demise, whilst the other boy’s ostensibly intact body appeared as a distasteful imitation of his friend. Then, how the primarily nauseated silence had erupted into moans, as elders wailed from witnessing the passing of those so junior in years before their own, the wrath of rage that erupted from those bearing the energy to mould such injustice into angry revolt, the high-pitched emittances of terror from the children who had stumbled into witnessing the scene.
What they would not tell, because they did not know, was how throughout all this, the mother of one of the dead sat laughing; laughing as she listened to the jokes of her favourite Egyptian comedian, freshly broadcast through the radio. They would also not tell how, throughout all this, the sister of one of the dead was humming; humming as daydreams led her merrily through the town. Nor how the brother of one of the dead had been joking; joking with his peers, as they sat, smoking, on a wall, waiting for the boy who was to appear hanging from the shoulders of others.
No-one would ever tell that part of the tale because these memories became forgotten; wiped out by the rapid torrent of events that followed.