For Justice: Victims of War

....Continued from For Justice: The Promise

Many years back, everything had been like in the movies. People were aimlessly running with their bundles of clothes. Animals were scuttling. There were bleats and squeals and shrieks in the air. Everyone was evacuating. Julio saw Harold being towed by his parents. He had never seen his friend so much frantic and frightened. He called them, but by the next instant, they were gone, dissolving into the chaotic crowd.

“Mother! Father!” he called out.

The earth suddenly trembled. His head drummed due to the explosion that occurred. He dropped and saw himself sobbing.

“It has reached us!” a woman cried.

Julio sprinted back to his house. He pried into every room but found no one.

“They’re in the farm,” he mumbled.

His visions blurred. The house was spinning, the room was sultry. He probed for support. Everything had turned oppressive. Slowly, his world crumbled.

Julio woke up to the noise of wild birds and to the rustle of feet on crisp leaves and sticks. The air smelled of decaying matters. His head still hurt. He couldn’t see clearly; he was blinded by the pale light seeping through the foliage.

“Where’s mother? And father?” he asked.

“They might be dead,” a voice answered. “Many civilians were killed in the rash encounter.”

He leapt and studied the environment. Only then he discerned the picture.

“No, you’re lying!” he yelled at the men.

“That’s the truth, kid.”

That was twenty years ago….

Presently, the hostage, in camouflage and whose hands and feet were tied, was made to kneel before the assembly. Ka Andres had captured him in a confrontation a week passed.

“A sacrifice has to be made,” Ka Andres resumed his speech. He walked up to Ka Julio and put something on the friend’s open hands. “Ka Julio, I am an old man now, but still sturdy and able, as you see. And in any minute now, the war may take my life. The hierarchy must go on. You have been with the group for quite so long. And I have treated you as my own dear son. I saw the spirit and the passions within you. I believe in your abilities. So now, I entrust to you the leadership of our troop in the event of my death.”

“Amen!” the men chorused again and cheered.

“Ka Julio, I want you to do the honor of giving this man a decent death with my own prized gun.” He faced the bowing hostage and addressed him. “It’s not the intention of the group to waste innocent lives. Like you, we are also bound to do our duty. If to give up one life is the only way for us to be heard, so shall it be….”

To be continued....

Image courtesy of Truman Library Photographs.


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