when do i get home

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic


a short story recap on the dark post-election violence times. based on true events. fanaticism is real and it takes away our humanity. to what end would you follow a politician?

Submitted: May 29, 2018

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Submitted: May 29, 2018

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WHEN DO I GET HOME?

It had been raining all night, maybe I should have just stayed at home. My quench for education could not be tamed and so I made the better judgment to go to school. I was a fourth-year student at business school pursuing finance option. Maybe I should have thought about my options on that day coz all I wanna do is get back home.

I got ready, put on my eyeliner and lipstick, made sure to lock the house and off I went. Along the way, I met a police officer and he offered to give me a ride in his GK police car. At my youthful age, money meant more than it should have. Got in the GK and there was another guy in the back seat. He did not seem bothered by my presence; he rather smiled and continued to talk about the recent events in the country. It was an election year and I promise you most of the candidates were sore losers. They had turned our country into a circus, people fighting and killing each other over power. What exactly is power, I thought to myself. Maybe [people should get the meaning straight before killing each other over some politician that they only got to know from his false promises of a better future and better living conditions during the campaigns. I mean, they were fighting over lies, crazy. Along the way, we passed by a completely torched personal car and all I could wonder was whether there was a person in the car when it got torched. A mother moaned by the road, must have lost someone dear to her, a wounded dog, we had become the animals.

Hearing the radio now more distinctively, a mother was speaking and her child of 6 months had been hit by a stray bullet during the riff raffs. An innocent kid who never knew what politics meant went to heaven knowing its effects. I got scared; my heart raced a little as I tried to calm myself. I had had enough, seen enough to realize that life is just another game of thrones in reality. It was like a circus show for the gods and all I wanted was for them to intervene.

This was not the first election violence we had seen or experienced. Ten years ago, it was more tribal than political. Many tribes were cast away by their neighbors and friends all because they did not come from the same tribe. I was in primary school back then, and in my class, there was a boy who had lost his entire family in the crisis but still gathered the strength to walk miles g=for some peace. His home had been torched and I could have sworn I felt his pain. The screams of a beloved one going up in flames is not a melody. It is worse than hell itself. Yet after it was all done, he had the courage to go back to school. Heaven is above but for a moment, I thought it had shifted. After mediation and foreign influential figures trying their best to calm our situation, they finally came to an agreement, but the people had not yet had enough apparently, here we are ten years later and people are hungry for more flames. All they wanna do is tear each other apart. This time, it hit close to home. I watched people bring down walls just to get to their neighbors. I could not understand how the human brain worked anymore. When you get to the point where you can kill a person in cold blood just for the fun, then this must be the pre-run for the apocalypse.

I had taken part in the election for the first time since I hit 18 years and I didn’t even get to brag that I had voted. At that point, I loved America more. They had voted, shown love and did not get what they wanted. But I can’t seem to recall them doing half of what we were doing in our country. This was when I got to understand the true meaning of fanaticism. They called it post-election violence on the news; I called it inbuilt rage aroused by-elections. Maybe some people got off killing each other; maybe we had a fetish for wild screams as a nation. Before I could join the movement and support the leader I wanted in power, I had to stop and think, but there is no thinking in such situations, at least I thought so. How could I raise a panga at my neighbor of 10 years just to satisfy my power rage? How much of my humanity was I willing to lose for a politician I probably would never get to meet? Was this going to be life every five or ten years? Deep down I hoped not.

But this time it was different, the violence spilled over to the next year. People just could not get enough. Maybe we had reached maximum longing for violence that we had mutated into war thirsty maniacs. My heart cried but my face was still brave and I knew I had to be brave if I was gonna keep the hatred out of my heart and war out of my mind. I wanted peace and I wanted it forever, no more bloodshed, I remembered Michael Jackson’s lyrics. Maybe we should stop to notice all the blood we had shed before, the crying fields the weeping shores, what had we done to our world? All the dreams, the many had dreamt but were no more.

So, in the GK, heading to town and I felt more scared than the time the al-Shabaab took over the mall, it felt scarier than the bombing of the US embassy because most of the lost souls knew their killers. Because we killed for the mere fun and for power which was not as important as life itself. We had scared our hearts forever. And now the rage was turned onto the police. For a shooting gone wrong, a stray bullet that left a permanent mark. The very people that we trusted to protect us, we were now forced to crucify them. To make them pay for that one life taken by bad luck, but who was going to crucify us for all the life we had taken in cold blood? The severed friendships.

I had the vehicle behind us for a while now but thought they were going to the same destination as us. Naïve I, young and so dumb to realize we were being followed. I hoped I had gotten off at the first stop before we got into the ally. The one vehicle behind us had four maybe five occupants; I couldn’t make out the total number. I hoped, I really hoped that they would somehow think otherwise and not do what I thought they were going to do. I saw them exchange something that looked like a gun, being a cops kid, I was able to recognize a gun in my face. My heart, oh my pretty young heart froze, I should have spoken up, but without evidence, I would have escalated the events. Maybe it was best to let life take its turn. I sighed, confused and terrified. All I could think about was my mum and whether she was fine. Was my dad ok and would I get to see them again?

We had been driving for close to a mile then I saw the smoke ahead of us. It was thick, like from an explosion but as we drew nearer, I could see it was intentional smoke. The road was blocked with burning tires and there was a mob. Can’t say it was a justice mob, there was definitely no justice served by them. I was getting late for my class session, it was mathematical and I did not want to miss it. I loved education; I always thought it was the missing link between humanity and their feelings, wisdom, and compassion. But I saw a classmate of mine, holding a club, shouting at the top of his voice, “there are the police who kill the innocent!”His fellow mob, most of who were carrying stones, I could have sworn I saw one with a can of petrol and someone flushed a matchbox. That was when I knew they had not met by chance, they were here by choice and they had intentions. It was going to be a daylight massacre. At this point, my fear scale was at 100 and ready to blow, I could not fathom how and why? I could have begged but no one was ready to listen, I could see business people close up their shops suddenly as If they knew exactly what was about to occur. They must have thought of calling the police, but we were the police, at least those who were with me in the GK.

I figured my options, a driver for the police and a guy I was not sure who he was seeing he was in casual civilian clothes. I was lost, lost in fear for this day was turning out to be a nightmare. The mob had been shouting for a while now and funny enough, they had not attracted any crowd, everyone was in fear throughout the country ad crowding was not a hobby in these times. The driver in the car was confused and he was asking, “What are they doing?”I shrugged my shoulders in response and told him to find an alternative route but it was a one-way road with no branching or feeder roads. He was confused but the guy in the back seat seemed calm, calm enough to give a smile at me. then I saw him take his cell phone and make a call. he was talking to another guy from his base and I heard him say,”Mko tayari”, local language for are you ready? My brain screamed betrayal, but at this time, that did not shock me. I told the driver to try and calm the people but they were like bloodthirsty vamps, ready to drain us .we slowly get out of the GK as the driver waved at the mob to stay back but he was suddenly on the ground, his forehead bleeding. Someone had thrown a stone at him. I jumped back, but someone was in my way, tall, black with muscles for days. I shoved him aside but he was too strong, he held me by my wrist and shouted, “here is his partner!” and the mob responded with a roar in unison. I wanted to be rude but seeing as my options were limited, I said I was not a police. He smiled with the same smile as he had in the car, this time with much hatred and I could see it in his eyes, the rage boiling up in him. He was thirsty for vengeance and I wondered how he was related to the shot kid. Probably no relation, maybe he was a vigilante playing for the people.

The driver was still on the ground, holding his forehead to prevent blood from gushing out of his forehead. Then one of the mobsters approached, clearly, with motive, he looked at the driver with mockery in his face and said,” you are the police who are killing innocent kids? We will teach you a lesson today!”I was scared for him, I wanted to scream for help but I knew that it would only bring my punishment closer. The mobster hit the driver with his muddy worn out boots. You don’t hit a man when he is down, I thought to myself. That is when I knew these were savages, out to eat or be eaten. He beat the driver over and over and I could feel the pain with every blow. And as he continued, so did my hate and rage grow. I was furious, wondering why, calling to God for a little help, a chance to see tomorrow. But my cries were all in vain. More men came over, with clubs and stones and they rained on him like a wild untamed animal. I shut my eyes, terror in them and said my last prayers. he was dead before I could say my prayer and I knew they had preserved the special effects for me.

I wondered what kind of death I would prefer if I was given a choice, I fathomed I would be old, with kids and grandkids, maybe a loved one that I would die for. Maybe I would have become a professor, a great business woman to leave a legacy for my kids, seemed this was soon to be a dream gone by the wind. I opened my mouth to say please, have mercy, but I short of words. I was not ready to negotiate with terrorists in my life. If I was going to die, it would be in dignity, not begging like a dog for a life I was 100 percent sure I was not going to get back. I hoped I would be missed, but I had not made as many friends as I had wished. I had not lived half my life and here I was so close to the end that I never expected. I  wondered, how is the class going? Does anyone wonder why am not in class? Maybe I would have grasped a lesson that would have brought change in someone’s life or a revolutionary idea in the world. All I could do was wonder, I wondered, when do I get home?


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