FICTION: MERCHANTS OF DEATH

I could hear very clearly, the cries of terror and fear in the air. Inching closer and closer to our house.  As the merchants of death approached, riding in dark riddled clouds and red evil flames.  Sweeping through homes with their guns, cutlasses, fuel & matches, cutting & burning with ferocious anger and madness.

‘Please! Have mercy on me! What have we done to deserve this?’ cried a voice helplessly. While I peep in fear through the curtain of my room upstairs. I saw the voice on his knees with his face stolen by fearful pleas, with his eyes swollen by tears of streams. Streams of blood and salt gushing out like flood. In one last attempt to save his blood from his captors jaws.

 BUT ALAS! No mercy was the response, as he was pushed to the floor, and like a goat they slit his throat, spilling out blood which flooded the road. Dancing and rejoicing in their bloody act, they shouted words of praises to their gods aloud. Chanting and ranting in unison ‘ Death to the infidels! Death to the infidels!’ with such committed vigor and evil pleasure.

They continued to drag men, women, and children from homes, hacking them to pieces on the road. At that point, I felt shock waves rage through my bones- terror eat up my soul- fear rose to my throat, as if to choke the life out of me till I struggled freely letting out a resounding scream of fright unknowingly. This slew them into a repulsive silence and halt. They had stopped with their eyes pointing up at me with shock. They saw me! I saw them! I was too stunned to move till I felt a hand yank me away from the window and drop the curtain low. ‘What were you watching?’ asked my mother with a shaking hand gripping my shoulder. The look in her eyes was riddled and dribbled with stern, regret and a paralyzing fear which I could not have understood or comprehend. I could not answer for words ran away from me like water from a dry like deserts. ‘Where is daddy?’ was what I could utter that very moment. Instantly, he shows up, appearing so different.

My daddy was always tough and rigid, but now he looked rough and weary. ‘What are you people waiting for?’ he asked, looking at mum and then at me. ‘Get ready let’s go!’ he ordered quickly. Just then a piece of rock smashed through the glass window hitting the wall and then clattering on the table. Letting in the cries of the rioters which became audible- ‘death to the infidels! Death to the infidels!’ the cries came louder and louder. Death drew near, hot as hell. My mother grabbed me with my father leading the way as we flew down stairs heading for the door. But we heard a thousand footsteps already anxious for our blood. They have already scaled the fence. They were already in our compound. They were already at our door, trying to force their way to us. We turned and fled upstairs to the bedroom. My mother crying! My father panting! I was not certain of what will happen. ‘Mummy I’m scared. Is something going to happen to us?’ I cried. My mother clasped me firmly in her arms as we sat on the floor facing the door. She looks at me trying to force some calmness which at first appeared helpless. And then she managed to say, ‘ don’t be scared, it’s okay. Nothing is going to happen to us, it’s okay’. Then, her words were reassuring enough. But looking at my dad’s face, nothing looked okay.

He was looking around for something which he did not say, till he brought out a cutlass and then a short gun from a black box probably hidden under the bed. And he handed the short gun to my mom who looked confusedly stranded- ‘take it!’ he ordered.

 ‘What I’m I going to do with this? Mum asked, reluctant. ‘Take it!’ he said again.

‘But I’ve never used it before’ she protested.

 ‘If we have to stay alive, you will have to use it now’ he said, clasping the object in my mum’s hand.

 ‘it’s easy, you just have to squeeze and then release it’ he said. Reassured in discord, she accepted without a word. I was asked to hide under the bed. I watched my father standing there facing the closed door with a cutlass in his hand, and my mother, wearingly wielding the strange short gun, awaiting the approaching violent storm. They have broken pass the first door, and were now moving up the stairs in a rushing flood of footsteps. The room appeared hot like a boiling pot.

 As we finally heard a loud knock at the door and then a mob-like voice, asking us to open up and come out. ‘Why?’ asked my father.

‘Open the door and stop asking questions!’ ordered an angry voice. ‘

I am not going to open up unless you answer my question’- why are u after our lives? Is it a crime that we are different, that we are not from your religion, tribe or descent? Answer me, why are you after our lives?

‘…. ‘because you are infidels, unfit to walk the earth, only fit to burn in hell’ came the reply. ‘Therefore open the door or face the wrath decreed by the creator’…

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