Blood, sweat, and tears

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 23, 2016

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Submitted: May 23, 2016

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Boom. Boom. Boom. I never sleep at night. It's 2:00 am and I'm crouched down in the elephant grass with my "brothers".  Yesterday I killed four people, I'm 12 years old.  My name is Ali.  I was recruited eight months ago when my father, mother, and older brother were lined up and murdered by the rebels who raided our village.  I managed to escape and fled about five miles.  That's when I ran into them.  I encountered a boy, about two years younger than me.  Carrying a weapon that seemed to weigh more than he did.  He started screaming, and in that moment I didn't know whether to run or fight. My answer came shortly after when I was surrounded by children and men.  I told them why a fled and begged them to spare my life, when in all reality I didn't know they would become my new family. My brothers. 

We always stay moving.  Sargent says if we stop, we die.  Although every three or four days we set up camp somewhere and watch war movies in the tents.  Those are my favorite nights because we aren't training.  My shins are raw to the bone and scars cover my body.  They say it's an honor, but how can an honor hurt so bad?  Before bed every night out leaders give us shots or even sometimes pills.  I hate taking them because they always make me feel funny, but the boys say it's normal.  

When we enter our raids we are ordered to kill everyone.  Men, children, and women.  These are the people responsible for my family's death, so I do as I'm told.  I'm proud to serve my country, and I will kill anyone in order to save my brothers. 

Three years later:

three years ago I was rescued.  At the time I beleive it was a raid until the officials announced I was safe now.  Safe?  How can I be safe with you?  I'm only safe with my brothers. At least that's what I had thought.  I was taken to a center where I received therapy and found out I have been drugged for the past eight months of my life.  The men I once called my brothers were my biggest enemies.  There are still nights I wake up in sweats or jolt to a hand around my throat as a reflex from the guys laying next to me.  Through all the hard times, I won't ever forget who I've become and what matters most.  My recovery has taught me that I'm not at fault, I was just a kid.  In fact, today I'm receiving education and on track to help child soldiers caught in situations just like mine.  My mother always said, never give up, and don't venture too far from yourself. 


© Copyright 2020 Emma Lonneman. All rights reserved.

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