Searchlights pierced the sky, ripping through the
night like razors on a black cloth. In the distance you could
hear the chants of the protestors; angry, desperate, moving
closer and increasing in volume.
Soldiers marched down the street, the orange glow of
the flames which protruded from the looted store fronts creating
an orange-outlined silhouette of the marching columns. The only
way to describe their appearance was hellish. They looked like
demons, marching down the street, the flickering orange flames
reflected in their eyes, unaffected by the screams of agony that
followed every burst of gunfire.
How ironic, I remember thinking to myself, that the
army of the people was now being sent to oppress the people.
It was 12a.m., two hours past curfew. Anyone caught
outside, even standing on their front porches or balconies were
shot instantly, no hesitation, no warning, just a single bullet
to the head. Be it children or elderly, no one was safe.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a red ball roll out
of someone's front door and onto their front porch. I turned in
time to see a small boy no older than six, completely ignorant of
what was going on, as he stepped out onto the porch to retrieve
his toy. I watched on in horror as a soldier, alerted by the
noise of a door opening, whirled around and pointed a rifle at
the boy. I closed my eyes, unable to bear the sight, and heard a
single gunshot, pierce the night. I finally forced my eyes open
and saw the boy laying there, dead on the porch, a single shot to
the back of the head.
Unable to control myself I let out a shrill scream,
attracting the attention of the soldier, who quickly whirled
around to see me leaning out my window. I quickly jerked my head
back inside and hurried to the living room, not wanting to end up
like the poor boy I had just seen ruthlessly murdered.
Of all the horrors I saw during those few,
nightmarish days, one image stood out above all others. In that
brief second the soldier looked at me, before I pulled my head
back in, our eyes had met, and what I saw in them will haunt me
for as long as I live. In that mans eyes I saw no remorse, no
guilt, no sadness… nothing. His eyes were as empty as the head
they rested in. In his mind he hadn't brutally murdered an
innocent child; he had completed his orders and neutralized a
"threat". Apparently, in the leaders mind, anyone that broke the
law, now matter how insignificant the law, was a threat to his
perfect society. Whether the perpetrator be eight or eighty was
of no importance, the punishment was still the same… death.
The sound of the approaching protestors jarred me
back to reality…