Let Your Indulgence Set Me Free

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Take a leap of faith, live and flourish, and let your indulgence set me free

Submitted: October 28, 2011

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Submitted: October 28, 2011




Let your indulgence set me free


“Today, 400 of our diggers landed in Timor, charged with the job of protecting us, their fellow countrymen from the barbaric advances of the Nip forces” crackles a raspy, informative voice out of a radio which sits, bare, on a table...


A twig snaps. He winces...


Fleeting images of human-like figures flash through the tree line, always there, always watching...


A soldier steps emotionlessly onto a brochure, “I owe you” its says, “live and flourish”...


A newspaper flutters through the wind, as if dancing to the silence. It glues itself to his window, the headline reads “Heros of Timor home at last”...


Rapidly returning to consciousness, Trevor remained slumped in his chair, staring, fascinated by the empty beer bottle on the carpet. Finally summoning up the necessary energy and motivation to extract himself from the couch, he stumbled toward the fridge, searching for anything edible. After realising his apartment was devoid of any food aside of a lone bag of potato chips, Trevor pocketed the chips and ventured out, into the cool night.


As he enters the pub, he acknowledges David with a silent nod, and seats himself further down the bar. The ensuing silence was eventually broken by the gruff voice of David.

“They entered Kraras today”. Frozen mid-drink, Trevor slowly directs his gaze to the source of the noise.

“What do you mean?”

“Kraras. They entered Kraras.”


“Oy, Trev! Check it out.” Dave gestured towards the village. It was rather small as far as villages go. It couldn’t have supported more than 200-300 people. The wooden houses and straw roofs looked like they belonged to a cheap film, set in the Australian outback.


“They? Kraras?”


The village appeared deserted. Trev however was taking no chances. Quietly he crept, always alert, always alert. His finger curled around the trigger of his rifle, poised to react to the slightest movement.


“Yes. Them. Kraras.”


Trev inched his way along what was the only road. He looked down, and beneath his feet a twig snaps. He winces.


“I have no idea what you talkin’ ‘bout. Kraras? What’s that, a food?”

“You know as well as I do that Suharto’s men will do far worse then the Japs ever could”


Trev crouched behind a stone embankment, peering over the top for any sign of movement. Fleeting images of human-like figures flash through the tree line, always there, always watching. From behind, something creaked. Heart thumping out his ears, he lurched at the sound, frantic, searching like a mother for her lost child. A small man of Timorese origin trembled out of the furthest house, hands aloft. “Paz,” he stuttered. “Paz, paz.”


“Don’t play dumb Trevor, we both know what Kraras is, and what it means. Where is your honour? Where is everything you swore to be?”


“Whatever happened to Trev? Where is I Owe You? Live and Flourish? Where did it all go?”

“Live and flourish,” Trevor snorts. “You talk of life, you talk of prosperity. We brought no life, we brought despair. Despair, therefore and death.”


“Paz”, Trev murmured to himself. “Peace.” He lowered his rifle. Dave and the rest of the squad emerge from the bushes.

“The-the-they took them!” the man blurts. “The-the bastards, they took them.”

Trev placed his arm around the man, “calm now my friend. We’re going to help.” Trev escorts the man back into his house, now sobbing uncontrollably. The inside had been completely overturned, as if somebody was searching for something, something extremely valuable, something contained in every cupboard, every draw. Taking a rare chip packet from his bag, Trevor offers them to the man, seating himself beside him.



“You saw the figures as well as I did. We couldn’t have won, we couldn’t have stopped them.”

“What would you have me do? What’s done is done.”




“There was…a…massacre…”


The man looked up at Trev with a weak smile. However more than just a smile, the smile penetrates, deep, deep, deep into the floorless abyss of the soul. A smile with such relief and emotion, such grief, and an endless devotion.


“A…what? And Nicolaj? What about Nicolaj? Is he…Nicolaj...”

A shake of the head this time.

“I don’t know man, I don’t know.”

“And here we are sitting on our asses! We got to do something, I’ve got a buddy with a plane, we can…”

“Ease up a sec, we can’t just go to Timor.”

“Why not? You said it yourself, THIS is my I Owe You, THIS is…”

“Just stop! Alright? We cannot go and fight, that is not what we do!”

“Then why all this? What did you hope to achieve?”

“We can make a public protest…”

“A public protest?!?!?! For what purpose? The government won’t do shit! All they care about is their oil! No. We must lead. A bloody tyrant, and a homicide, unchallenged no longer.”

Trevor slams the door violently on the way out, once more venturing into the night. This time though, was different. This time, he was against the night.


“He says his name is Nico, sir. He says most of the women and children were able to escape into a valley not far from here, everyone else was killed or taken captive. We’re only a few days behind them.”

“Excellent. We’ll stay here the night and move on tomorrow.”

“What about Nico? We can hardly leave him here, what if the Japs come back?”

“There is nothing we can do. I wish we could help him, I really do, but this is bigger than one person and one village.”

“With all due respect sir, his wife and daughter did not escape.”


Sunrise sets the silhouettes of crosses. Crosses and crosses. Crosses after crosses. White crosses. Two hundred and eighty seven of them. In rows. In columns. Just crosses.  Trevor inched his way along what was the only road. He looked down, and beneath his feet a twig snapped. He winces.


It was night when the Japanese returned, about 50 of them, with 20 prisoners. Nico screams at the sight of his daughter. 2 of the soldiers hold him back. Tears stream down his face as he is restrained, and forced to watch his own flesh and blood herded along, as if cattle. The sickly smell of agony and anguish sweeps over the group of men gathered together in the hut as the daughter stumbles and falls to the ground. One of the soldiers turns and raises his weapon…the rest is silence.


Trev lay, collapsed behind a stone embankment, staring at a cross. The chip packet from his jacket flutters through the wind, as if dancing to the silence. Fleeting images of human-like figures emerge from the the tree line, always there, always watching.


“Hell is empty and all the devils are here!”

Now returning to a whisper, Trev turned to stare into the lifeless soul of death,


“Let your indulgence set me free…”

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