Brutal Reality

June 19, 2014
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A bed of shrivelled leaves rustled underfoot as the slight wind picked up, causing the towering palm trees to sway violently like wind chimes warning a hurricane. Adrenalin coursed through my veins as my feet thundered up the stairs; every nerve and every bone was awake and buzzing in my body. As soon as I entered my mould-infested house, the sweet smell filled my nostrils while my taste buds tingled actively. Grasped tight in my hand was a half rotting yam; looking at the decomposed section didn’t help to prevent the churning in my stomach but I was grateful for what was left of the precious gold.

The sun’s rays fought hard to get through the slits in the window while I sat cross-legged, grasping a piece of the yam that I had managed to save, in my fragile and skeletal hand. My mouth watered incessantly as I eyed the glorious masterpiece, one that I had been able to get hold of after months of starvation. The hungry monster inside me growled loudly, gnawing at my insides continuously, as if slowly ripping me apart. Suddenly, the thought of neighbours, who like me, had endured a life of famine engulfed my ears with the repetitive drone that sounded like, ‘Shouldn’t I share with them?’

Miniature droplets of sweat dribbled down my face as temptation forced me to take a quick bite. I couldn’t wait… not any longer. Bending forwards, the pungent aroma intensified and all the while, curiosity and anxiety swirled inside me, quickening its pace by every passing second. Blood rushed to my ears and my heartbeat grew louder, increasing instantly and the stomach moaned again as the sweet smell travelled up my nostrils; perspiration ran down my face, hair and neck while every cell and fibre was buzzing in my body as if charged with electricity… every part of me alive for once… THUD!

The door rattled loudly, startling me as the piece of gold dropped lightly to the dusty wooden floor. Scrambling to my feet, I nervously walked towards the half-broken door, curious as to who was beckoning me. As I neared the entrance, a low yet familiar hum of the dreaded monster grew louder, defined by daunting echoes, almost threatening me. The whooshing of the palm trees seemed sinister and my growing heart rate didn’t do much to help keep my calm. THUD!

Retreating back in fear, realisation dawned on me… they were here for me. With clammy hands and a parched throat, I tentatively opened the door, only peering through a slight gap, large enough for a rodent to squirm through. A hefty man with the iron-grey soldier’s uniform towered over me, almost as tall as the palm trees. His pointy chin and hawk like features reminded me of merciless predators as he contorted his face into a disapproving yet angry frown.

Within a second, he flung the door open and I landed with a heavy thud to the festering floor; his bulky arms lifted me carelessly by the collar and threw me face first onto the mucky earth. Rain had now arrived, its heavy droplets hitting my face with a harsh splash as clouds collided against each other, creating the thundering sounds of nature that blasted my ears. In a flash, lightning had destroyed an entire palm tree, only leaving wispy smoke and an acrid smell, which added to the already foul spirit that hung like a veil over me.

With a quick flicking movement of his hand, he ordered another iron-grey shirt to toss him something. I couldn’t exactly make out the outline of what it was, but the creepy chuckle that neared me was enough to know that whatever it was, it wasn’t good. Out of nowhere, a blood-curdling scream shattered the atmosphere and I looked around for the noise. Trying to bend forwards, I moved and pain shot up my spine; as my eyes fell upon the muddy ground, a pool of red snaked down the slope. Then, I knew who had screamed… my own voice itself had been so unrecognisable. The pain intensified as the soldier repeatedly brought down the weapon on what was now, my clay-like body. It was pain like I had never experienced before.

Without warning, the other iron-grey shirt grasped me by the collar and my head lolled back as my eyes rolled inside, only leaving the whites visible. Abruptly, a wave of darkness washed over me as I lost feeling of my senses, except for the almost unnoticeable prickle that was also slowly diminishing.

The loud slamming of the car door brought me back to reality however my vision was still blurred and voices were heard through ambiguous echoes. Moving my head from side to side, a mixture of colours swirled around, so I blinked a few times to steady my vision. The heat was unimaginable; the jeep was as hot as an oven. Sweat that formed on my blood-crusted upper lip was carelessly wiped away by my sleeve that was now spattered with bright red and mucky brown.

After the shouting had ended, the car engine sputtered to life; its soft purr seemed menacing as fear wrapped its evil essence around my heart, clutching on to it tightly. I turned my head only to find what looked like a puddle of blood that was being filled up by the continuous drip from above. Looking up, I saw a girl, around the age of five, bundled up in a tight ball while she clutched the right side of her face, crying softly in agony.

Bile rose up inside me and I had to turn away; what did the poor child even do? These monsters would go to any measures to stop us speaking our minds; there was no freedom, no memories, no belongings and no life. Even though we were treated like animals, we didn’t complain but they continue to ruin our lives and we have no choice but to stand and watch, doing absolutely nothing.

Finally, my time has come. I can see a thin piece of withered string in front of me with the cold and steely scissors, ready to cut my lifeline in an instant. Embracing it, I close my eyes and return to the world of freedom.

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