Fighting for Freedom

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Just one morning in the life of a freedom fighter.

Submitted: April 17, 2019

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Submitted: April 17, 2019

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Fighting for Freedom

 

Tobor saw the African sun slowly rise in the sky. Within half an hour the chill of the night would be gone, replaced by the warmth needed to make his stiff joints work again. Sleeping under the stars on the hard ground often made him feel like an old man instead of just seventeen. He always woke early. It was as if his body forced him to wake just a few minutes before sunrise. He didn’t mind. It had become part of his routine. Like cleaning his rifle was part of his routine, a daily recurring chore that had to be done. Tobor looked at his rifle lying only inches away. It looked clean, all their rifles looked clean, but Sergeant Ondobe would make them take them apart, wipe the individual parts with a rag, and put them back together again. It was one of those things that had to be done before breakfast.
‘You’ll need to be prepared,’ Sergeant Ondobe said every morning. While the shabby bunch of young men cleaned their rifles, the sergeant would go over the day’s activities, usually just endless marches through the damp jungle or across the veld that felt like an oven. It was tough but it was necessary, all part of their duty.

Half an hour later, while the men in the squad were cleaning and oiling their rifles, Sergeant Ondobe walked around, inspecting their handiwork and going over today’s plans.
‘We’ll attack Lugotto before noon,’ he said. ‘We are to take the village and kill the soldiers. It is going to be easy, there are only fifteen of them, and they don’t know we’re coming.’
‘Are we going to take prisoner too?’ asked Tobor.
‘Now listen for once, I said kill, not take them prisoner. They’re vermin, they must be exterminated. They support the General. You want to be free, don’t you?’
Tobor didn’t hesitate, he didn’t want to be clipped around the ears by the sergeant that was built like a rhino, and at least six inches taller than he himself was. ‘Yes, Sergeant.’
The sergeant continued his instruction. ‘You must split up in two groups, we are going to make a pincer movement, that way they can’t stop us. You should kill as many soldiers as you can before we enter the village itself. Don’t allow them to hide or they will try to shoot you in the back.’
‘What do we do, if they want to surrender?’ Tobor asked.
‘It mustn’t come that far,’ Sergeant Ondobe simply said.
‘They can put up their hands when they see us.’ Tobor countered.
‘That’s an attack. You must shoot them when they try to hit you.’ Sergeant Ondobe smiled. ‘You will have to be stern. You must be brave You cannot fail. We owe it to the country. We owe it to freedom. Just do what I tell you to do, you must listen, or you’ll die. Understood?’
They all nodded with glints in their eyes. Tobor felt elated; he was glad he was a freedom fighter. He owed so much to freedom.

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2020 Bert Broomberg. All rights reserved.

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