Edmund Burke once said and I quote, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
We may seem to have acted but we were still the minority in the state.
The morning was serene probably the first time in a long time to have a dawn rise without the soldiers gallivanting our streets, without the blaring of fear lurking around in the corners of the streets.
We were packing our luggages to flee the community on that specific dawn. Everywhere seemed to be peaceful but there was this humongous stench of fear violating the whole geography, this seemed like the right opportunity to flee.
Such degree of calmness was ironic to the real commotion. The villagers were also fleeing the destination like us, we had decided to travel in groups for security and precautionary reasons. Mama placed the huge bag on my head as we trooped out quietly with some of the other villagers. “We will be crossing the border by 3am hopefully,” papa tried to measure everyone when it seemed like our bones were weary.
I was tired, very much sapped out by the huge load hanging on my head. I took continuous steps which seemed to be sluggish, it was like the sands were tugging at my feet and with with every step, it was harder to lift my legs.
Mama seemed to notice the desolation written all over my face, she tapped me gently on the shoulder, “We are almost there.”
I sighed in relief, this long journey seems to be coming to an end, we would be safe at last. Papa had said that the only problem would be to cross the sea which demarcated our community from the city. He had said that once we got to the then we has crossed a huge problem. Hence , we could at least gain the protection of some eastern soldiers and some foreign bodies who had charged the head of state of being indiscriminate and unjust since our community was cut-off from these areas that seemed to be protected.
The morning dews were slowly transcending, innovating such peaceful solitude, I could view the sea which was about to ferry us out of danger, I could feel a grave smile across my face, a smile which seemed to diminish my fears, dismantle my maxim of dysphoria. I was glad to have survived, to have my family beside me all through this times of turmoil, to have a smile which relinquishes destruction, to be free at last from the domineering weevil of evil always lurking around every step I had taken for a long time.
I could sense the smile on Papa’s face, we had been victorious, we had escaped this scene. At least, we had taken in a brief oxygen of relief. What would innovate such joy except the feeling of being free at last. For faith that we were secure from the impediments of a civil war even for a mili second.
We stepped closer to the river with joy written all over our faces, the only thing on our minds as to row the canoes to the town.
A brief cackle of laughter audiated as we prepared to flee. Mama held on Ikem tightly, there as relief in the air, a belief that we were free. A flashlight disrupted our joy, it was a very bright bream of light which laminated our presence “In the name of the head of state, no one is expected to cross this border”
One of the villagers sighed and ran towards the sea but as shot dead by sporadic shots of the soldiers. The congregation as filled with fear, had come this far only to receive such tragedy.
The light revealed the soldiers holding their guns tightly, a shadow as revealed coming closer to us while we stood rooted to the ground.
He was the same Man who had taken Papa at the church, he was back again to torment our dreams, he was back again to steal my Papa away from me, a flash of anger and fury crossed my face as he laughed wickedly.
“I can see that you are all trying to escape.” he thundered and met a grave silence “Who is leading the group of terrorists?” he queried but no one dared answer.
“I will get my answer through fair or foul means” he fixed his gaze on our location, smiled wickedly then walked closer to our direction. Papa shivered quizzically. I could sense the fear written all over his face though he tried to shield his underlying phobia “you are all planning to murder the head of sate and have been found to have committed treason which is only punishable by death as codified in the constitution.”
The villagers yelped out in agony but Papa stood firm , I stood firm as my father though my fears were boiling my pants.
The man came closer to my father “I told you that you will get what you deserve” he whispered to Papa in an evil tone that showed he had been victorious “you are supposed to be one of us, how much did they pay you to save your petty soul” papa retorted “To betray your own people!” yelled papa.
“Much to keep me off their targets” he retorted “Kill them all!” he ordered. My heart jumped into my lungs, literally, I was seized with so much fear that I can’t practically describe nor decipher.
This moment seemed like the last periodicity of air I would inhale, I knew I had to make a way but my legs would not just pull through, they were stamped on that particular spot and would make no motion. Papa immediately disarmed the man then pointed the gun at his skull, it was such a fast moment when nothing could be predicted “Run!” papa yelled at me
“We will fire on the count of ten if you don’t release him” audiated the microphone. Amidst the hubbub, I grabbed my mother and brother as we broke away towards the other side of the bush adamant to the soldiers commands and sporadic shots.
They had opened fire on the villagers, the only way was back, I thought I saw papa fall, my view was really hazy then in connection to our environment commotion. I heard papa’s voice in my mind telling me to keep up the pace, to keep on running, struggling, striving to survive. The sincere truth was, I was tired of this hide and seek life. I really needed it to be over but the heated disagreement was only being exacerbated. The man who had been shot dead lay lifeless on the ground, his blood spilling into the water. The water seemed to camouflage the colour of his blood but its colour still remained the same as the blood simply traveled into the depths of the sea carrying the horrifying message of tragedy.”
The stars seemed to have lost their luminating colours. A foul stench of the apocalypse violates the biosphere. Two months since the ordeal where we had last seen papa. the community is unreasonably quiet, the soldiers have returned in their multitude to restore order in our community. They came back prepared. They had modernized weapons such as an armored truck and sophisticated guns which sounded like a granite.Hunger had torn down homes. Sicknesses were prevailing in the jurisdiction, we were cut off from the outside world, the media could not project our situation.They projected us as enemies in their daily news cast, projected us as anarchist and terrorist who can only be quenched by violence.Everyone had failed us; the media, the government, the outside sources which my father had believed could protect us. We were not only subdued but forced to watch hunger and death tear through our vanjing homes.We were eaten up by kwashiork
I covered myself with a grey wrapper which I saw on the canoe. The man who had rescued me seemed to be in his mid seventies. He was quite kind to me – a character which seemed rare to come by these days.He seemed to be a fisherman. He was quite very optimistic though he had made no catch yet since, he’d just keep on being in high spirits.“Are you a runaway?” he asked. He had a very weird voice.“No” I replied with a gesticulation.“Did you want to drown yourself?” he queried again “You can just dive back and I will act like am not here” sense of humor, huh. I crossed a smile across my face “I want to get my sick brother some drugs in the city” I tried to defend myself from his peering, inquisitive gaze fixated on me. He nodded his head for some time, he seemed to be digesting my story, probably to discover the fallacity in my tales. “The town is on
I followed the van till it got to its destination. I thanked my stars since I had been quite sapped out to continue, my legs were very weak, aching but I just covered the pain in my face.I was just in time to see Papa being escorted out with the rest of the prisoners, he was almost unrecognizable. A man who had once been great was now similar to a psycho living under the bridge.I followed immediately trying to breach the distance. Papa was looking scraggy, his beards overgrown, his hairs tattered, his eyes diluted, he was bleeding, probably over beaten and tortured by the soldiers. His face was no more the smile I had been familiar with, his eyes were red, he had grown very lean – the part which seemed to change the most was the despair written all over his spirits.He was a broken man, one who had lost everything, a role model who could not even inspire himself to heights he had projected. He turned to me, gave me a faint smile, nodded his h
The darkest days are always before the morning. The early rain is a sign of dismay. The howling of evil birds filled our creeks on that specific dawn, howling the sound of tragedy innovating an evil omen.We had expected this day, prepared for the way to total decimation, imagined this apocalypto.The early rain fell heavily in our community sending chills into our veins. The splatter of the rain rhymed to the loud cohorts of gunshots. He watched as soldiers tore into our homes, shooting and killing every living creature.“Mama, we can’t stay here” I cried. We knew we couldn’t put up with hiding anymore but where do we run to?Every path seems to have been torn to shreds, every direction creating a wind of confusion. We had not expected such dawn.The rains came down heavily as their lorries landed, the soldiers released gunshots into the air sending terror to varying homes. I peered out through the
We persevered relentlessly into the jungle. We fell, stood up, dusted ourselves and continued our scavenging for survival.We could see the fading ashes of our community burning, the spiritual life forms rooted as gases transcending into the atmosphere. Silent tears dripped from my eyes as I watched all I had ever go away, distant relatives, friends, my community turned into ashes and dust.Mama fell to the ground, her weight pulling us down with her. Our strengths were sapped out, I pulled myself once more trying to defeat the weakness in my muscles.“You can do this” I tried to convince myself.“Leave me continue running” mama breathed out words which I could never obey. I kept quiet as I pondered on the antidote to this phenomenon I took a small branch of a tree, utilizing it as a walking stick to aid mama support herself on my shoulder.“We will make it together” I tried to assure her whil
Nelson Mandela once said “They can take all that we have, break our bones, make us bleed but what they cannot break is our spirit."We slept in front of mama’s corpse, we could not move forward, strive for survival which was only futile. My mind captured with so many dark thoughts “Why not they kill me too?”What was the real value of life – Nothingness.I woke to find that the moon had covered the skies, the atmosphere very serene. I turned my gaze to the direction where my mother lay lifeless on the grass – streek of silent tears clouded my eyes.“God, why!” I soliloquized. I could not comprehend why our metaphysical creator and protector would desert us when we really needed his solace. I felt this feeling of void space left porous in my heart. A part of my mind was mocking my existence, it kept on deepening the scar in my heart.I felt so rejected, dejected – we had been subjected to t
It had been a month since we came to the refugee camp. The camp was a big catholic church being protected by a group of soldiers from ECOSOC.The camp shattered many people, probably about a thousand. It was not like home but we had learned to live in rough conditions.Food was shared every night by the humanitarian workers, we were locked inside the church compound being warned of the catastrophe of stepping out from the eyes of the soldiers.Who cared!No one went out, at least we had the protection of social workers and we believed that the war was not going to disrupt our terrain. “I Believed”… what else could we do but believe that darkness would not struggle us, we had suffered enough, lost loved ones, homes and even our own mentality.All we just wanted was for the war to be over, to be free at least from the scowling prowls of Hades.We were fortunate to be alive. Where we?Probably
What about their promises? They said that they would protect us but now it seems they are just selfish.I stood there with my brother staring at the doom about to be spelt out to us.We had been wrong, they were not going to be here until it’s over, they would desert us like overgrown weeds in a dead man’s farm.They were different, they had to be, how could they just leave us prone to the evil omen which will surely befall us.We had been wrong to trust them, doomed to think that they were going to stay forever. We could have known better but we decided to be ignorant – at least till it all went away.Fear crept into our minds, all our strive washed down the drain. How do we thrive on, struggle to survive now that we had no means of meeting even our physiological needs.The women wailed aloud, throwing themselves on the sand with tears of agony, the men were filled with resentment and despair, the question on everyon