For Justice: The Promise

The moon was sinister. Its yellowness imposingly deprived the stars of their place. The heavens were evenly stretched from all corners. The vastness of it soothed Ka Julio’s jumbled mind. The month had been onerous for him and for the whole troop. Military assaults were interminable. The frequent clashes broke the rebel group into several small factions. But Ka Julio was optimistic. They had to win, and they would. He believed Ka Andres, one of the leaders of the group and was now commanding their unit, would devise the proper plan.

“Justice is for all!” his friend Harold used to say.

“We will fight for justice!” he would back up.

Then they would chase Harold’s dogs as if they were petty criminals. It would be a long pursuit until they reached the river, and there, they would dip in the mucky water all afternoon. When the sky seemed to be a garden of pink carnations, when birds began to line up in the emptiness above, they, tanned and sober, would talk about their thoughts, their sentiments, and their ambitions.

“I want to serve mankind,” Harold once said.

“I want to serve my people,” he would say.

“Julio, promise me this,” Harold demanded. “We will live out the meaning of our creed. We will fight for justice.”

“Yes,” he answered. “We will protect the rights of the people. We will serve the common good.”

“Julio, we are called to become heroes,” Harold declared. “Please swear in the name of this river that we will fight for justice.”

“I swear. I cross my heart.”

His consciousness was awaken by a call. The voice, low and brazen, was distinct beneath the songs of the crickets and the creepy whispers in the forest. Rising, he felt the coldness of the wind cut through his thick clothing and crept into his flesh. He shivered, then walked toward the voice.

“We are not losing the battle,” Ka Andres said to his men of seven. “I know our compatriots are still fighting the military forces, wherever they are now. And we shall also continue fighting up to our very last breath.”

“Amen!” the men chorused.

“So now, we have to make an example of our power.” He stalked through the darkness and immediately came back, bringing with him their lone hostage.

Is this right? Ka Julio asked himself. For the first time since he became one of the rebels, Ka Julio had doubts. For in his heart and mind, he remembered clearly the promise he had made with his childhood friend….

To be continued....

Image courtesy of Matamua-Art.


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