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Silenced

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This story is not true, however, the events that happen in it, happen every day to children in Uganda. I warn you that it is graphic and it will make you uncomfortable, but it’s true and it’s life changing. So I ask that if you don’t read it and even if you do, you would pray for these children and their families and, if you are able to, I ask you to send in donations to Invisible Children at www.InvisibleChildren.com. Please help. These children are silenced by their captors, but you have a voice, so use it.



It was a peaceful night in a small village in Uganda. The crickets chirping, the small river splashing. Quiet footsteps crunched on the dry dirt outside of eight year old Mamba’s hut. Wearily, he sat up and rubbed his sleepy eyes. His little sister, Tirhas, was peacefully snoring beside him. She was six years old and very shy but she could be intimidating when she wanted to be. To his left, his big brother, Abami, groaned as he shifted beneath the worn, brown blanket. Abami was fifteen years old and the bravest person Mamba had ever known. Their parents were asleep on the opposite side of the room. Their mother’s name was Saba and she was the nicest, most loving person in the whole village. Their father’s name was Ashenafi. He was a silent, kind, and fearless man. But he was HIV positive and very weak man. Mamba feared for him. He loved his father so much and couldn’t live without him.

Crunch. Crunch.

There are those footsteps again, Mamba thought. Maybe it’s the neighbors getting water too. He slithered past his brother and sister and walked to the door of their hut.

Before Mamba could scream to his family, a callused hand came over his mouth. His hands were wrenched behind his back and a gun pressed against his head. Out of the corner of his eye, Mamba saw Abami and Tirhas flung out the hut’s door like ragdolls being thrown away.

One man threw Tirhas toward another man with a gun, while yet another man grabbed Abami and held a gun to his chest. Mama and Daddy were shoved out next. The cruel looking man, who must have been the leader, shot Mama in the chest three times.

“No!!” Daddy wailed. He lunged toward Mama to try to save her but another man held him back. Daddy fought the man with all his might. Suddenly the man holding Daddy let go of him and pushed him to the ground. The man took the butt of his gun and hit Daddy over the head with so hard that you could hear the impact all the way across the yard. Daddy fell back and hit his head on the ground. The man who had hit him laughed a stomach churning laugh and kicked Daddy in the shins.
Then he turned and tied first Mamba then Tirhas and finally Abami to a long rope that all ready had several of Mamba’s friends tied to it. Mamba was about to start crying when he heard another child cry followed by a gun shot.
It had been that cruel man. The cruel man looked at every single child on the rope and snarled, “If you cry, I will kill you!” Then he stomped off.
A little while later there was a tug on the rope and everyone began walking. They walked for hours and hours. The only stops that were made were at other villages like Mamba’s where more and more children were brought to the rope and tied to it.
Finally, when the sun had been up for an hour, they stopped at a big place that everyone was calling The Bush. Tirhas leaned against Mamba and started to sniffle.
“Shhh!!!” Mamba whispered in her ear. “Do you want to be killed?” Tirhas stood up straighter and shook her head slightly.
At the front of the rope, Mamba could see boys and girls being separated. Terrified that Tirhas would insist on staying with him and Abami and therefore be killed, Mamba leaned down and whispered to her about what was about to happen and that she must listen to the men.
When it was Mamba’s turn they cut him from the rope and looked him over. Then they shoved him to the left where other boys stood. In the group where Mamba stood there were boys as young as four and as old as sixteen.
Next was Tirhas. She looked so tiny and terrified that Mamba wanted to run over to her and hug her and tell her everything would be alright. But the only thing was, Mamba wasn’t even sure if it would be alright.
The cruel man looked over Tirhas. An evil smile played on his lips. He looked over at another man and whispered something Mamba couldn’t hear. But evidently Abami heard what the cruel man had said. Raw horror covered his face and he lunged at the cruel man. He succeeded at grabbing around the cruel man’s neck and began strangling him. Shocked, everyone stood in complete silence.
Abami shook the cruel man, tightening his grip. “Don’t you dare touch her!!” He screamed.
Just then another man jumped up and grabbed Abami. Abami knew that he would be killed now so he turned toward Mamba and shouted, “Watch yourself! Keep her safe, Mamba!”
Mamba wished with everything in him that Abami wouldn’t have done anything to that cruel man or shouted out to Mamba. Because just then, the cruel man’s head snapped over to where Mamba was standing. He held up his hand to the man who was taking Abami to be shot.
“Wait!” He said, his voice sounding more evil by the second.
He stood up and walked over to Mamba. “So this is your brother. . .” He said, not waiting for a reply. “Your first lesson as a soldier will begin now.” He turned away. “Bring me a gun!” He yelled to no one in particular. He motioned for the man holding Abami to step closer. He turned back to Mamba. “Shoot him.”
Shocked, Mamba looked from the gun being handed to him to Abami, who was now brought to kneel in front of him.
“You heard me! Shoot him!!!” The cruel man bellowed. “Or I’ll make you shoot your sister also.” He added
Mamba used shaky hands to grab the gun. His desperate eyes pleaded Abami to help him find a way out of the situation.
“It’s alright, Mamba. You can shoot me.” Abami choked out the words. “Do it to save Tirhas. I love you, Mamba. Everything will be okay. Now . . . shoot me.”
Petrified, Mamba lifted the gun, almost dropping it it was so heavy. His last memory of Abami still alive, was one of Abami’s eyes. They were . . . forgiving and . . . loving.
Mamba closed his eyes and pulled the trigger. BOOM!! The deafening sound ricocheted around them. Mamba felt the spray of blood hit his face and his brother’s body fall on his feet.
“Remember this!” The cruel man yelled, pointing at Abami. “If this ever happens again, the same, or worse, will happen to you.” He snatched the gun out of Mamba’s hands and strolled back over to Tirhas.
“Take her to my house. She will be my reward for working so hard today.” He mumbled, rubbing his temples.
The line kept moving as if nothing had ever happened. A short, plump man scrambled over to where Abami was hunched over on the ground. He grabbed Abami’s body and hurled him over the side of a cart, like he was merely another piece of trash.
Mamba’s feelings overwhelmed him. His big brother was dead. Mamba remembered what Abami had said. He had to get himself and Tirhas out of here.



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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

BostonTerrierGrl56 said...
Mar. 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm
I love it! You are an amazing writer!! :D
 
Winters_WillowThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 19, 2012 at 10:05 am
Very graphic, and although I was aware things like this happend all the time in the world...this was...eyeopening, and very shocking. 
 
Epiclyawesome said...
Mar. 15, 2012 at 8:15 pm
Oh, my, gosh. That was........was.......enlightening. Your and excellent writer and everything, but now I'm really dazed. I knew horrible things happend like that everyday, but I've never really thought about it like that. Thank you for raising awareness about things like that. Your doing a good thing.
 
Epiclyawesome replied...
Mar. 15, 2012 at 8:16 pm
Also (even though it's kind of petty) would you mind reading my peice? It's called the Story of the Demons. I would really appreciate it if you rated and commented it. Thanks :)
 
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