The Boy who wanted to play soccer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a historical fiction book about the "100 hours war" or "the football war" The characters in this story did not exist, but some of the things that they did were done by different people. I will now shout out Youtuber Oversimplified who gave me the idea to write this, and some facts about this war between El Salvador and Honduras.

Submitted: November 05, 2019

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Submitted: November 05, 2019

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The Boy who wanted to play soccer


 

 It was a rainy Sunday afternoon, and 6 year old Pedro was inside watching his team play. At the time he was living in San Miguel, El Salvador, and loved watching The El Salvador National team play. He dreamed of someday playing on the team, and winning the world cup, a dream that would never happen. 

When he was 18, he was preparing to tryout for the El Salvador team. The night of the tryouts was 2 weeks away, and he could not wait. Over the past year, he had practiced two and a half hours a day, 6 days a week, every week. Now he started his practice for the day, at 6 A.M, as to get it in before the heat came. He started with agility dribbling, then to shooting, and ended with full field sprints. 

After practice, he walked all 5 miles to his house, which took him just over an hour. When he got home, he took a shower and then he started to watch Soccer, his favorite team was Alianza F.C. They started off strong, with goals in the 17th minute, and the 23rd minute, but C.D Fas tied it up in the 72nd minute the game had 4 minutes of extra time, with the score being 2-2. 

Alianza had the ball, with 1 minute left, but they lost the ball, giving C.D a great opportunity, which they capitalized on, giving Alianza the loss.Pedro could not believe it,  and he knew that every other Alianza fan was in the same place. He knew that he could not let that happen to the national team, and the only way to be sure was to be on the team. 

He started to practice earlier, and longer, and harder, and 7 days a week,  to make sure that he was on that team. He got home the next day after his now three and a half hour practice, at around 11:00,  and was starving, he had some Pupusa, and rested. When the tryouts were one week away, he was out practiceing, when his friend Carlos came up to him and asked if he wanted to play 1v1, and Pedro agreed.

During the game, the ball was going out of bounds, and Pedro tried to kick it in the goal, but his leg hit the goalpost, and he immediately knew that he messed up. He felt like a  bomb had just detonated, inside of his leg. Carlos wanted to take him to the hospital, but Pedro knew he couldn’t afford it. Carlos was able to call a taxi to pick them up, and brought Pedro back to his house. 

He knew that he would have to go to the hospital eventually, so he decided to get a job to be able to pay for it. He applied for a job at a news press, and got hired. After two weeks, he was able to pay for the hospital. The doctor examined the leg, and came to the conclusion that it was broken beyond repair. This news was terrible for Pedro, who’s life dream to be a soccer player was being destroyed right before his eyes.

The world cup was now just a week away, and Pedro was limping around his house, knowing that he would never fully recover to play for his country. He knew that El Salvador was going to have a tough matchup in the world cup qualifier matchup against Honduras. He took charge at his job of writing news on the world cup. 

There was tensions rising between El Salvador and Honduras, and the fact that they were playing in a week did not help. Pedro got news that Honduras was brutally beating El Salvador immigrants, and burning down their property. One of these victims was Pedro’s father, who moved to Honduras to find a job. He received a letter from him saying:

 

Dear Pedro, 

 I miss you very much. My neighbors have burned down my house, while I barely made it out alive. All my possessions were ruined, and I fear that I will be killed here. I think I will have to leave now, before it is too late. I truly feel like our country will be forced to take up arms against Honduras and their tyranny. 

Love your father, Juan. 

Pedro was struck by the letter, and he had immediate anger against Honduras. He printed an article calling Honduras “brutes”, and “murderers”. He also put his father’s letter in the press, to share with all of El Salvador how their people were being treated in Honduras. 

The news eventually got to the president of El Salvador, and convinced him that there was little chance for this to come out with a peaceful solution. He sent a letter to the Honduras president, which stated “...if you don’t stop killing our people, we will be forced to declare war on you…” Honduras ignored his warning,  further increasing tensions. 

The first game was in Honduras, with the El Salvador team being harassed when they got there. Outside their hotel room, there were angry mobs of people throwing whatever they had at their hotel window. They were scared that if they came out, they might be killed. 

The game started at 7:00 p.m, and El Salvador started with the ball. They went down the field and shot but didn’t score. The crowd was creating an atmosphere that was being hostile to both sides. Spectators were fighting, and nobody was getting away from it. This atmosphere just got worse when Honduras got a red card on them. At halftime the score was 0-0. 

El Salvador had a great defensive half, only allowing 2 shots on goal, and 0 points. This was included in the halftime speech by the coach: We may not have scored, but what is important is that we did not give them many opportunities to beat us. Honduras’ halftime speech had more of a negative tone to it: You guys had a fourth of the shots on goal that they had,  you know that you are failing your nation as of now. Both teams had one goal though, score the ball. 

The second half opened up with Honduras getting the ball taken away, but El Salvador missing on the other end.  Noone was able to break the tie, until Honduras scored a late 90th minute goal. Honduras fans were cheering, but El Salvador fans couldn’t handle it. One girl really could not.

After seeing the defeat, a young salvadorian could not bear to live with her country defeated, so at the stadium, she pulled out a gun, and shot herself. The news got to Pedro the next day, and he knew that she really could not bear to see her country loses, and he decided to put her in the paper. 

The article said “Last night after Honduras harassed our players, didn’t ;et them sleep, and then played the dirtiest soccer game ever played, they did not break our spirits for our nation. A girl at the game knew this. She, a national hero, decided that life with a defeated El Salvador, is a life worth losing.”This article sent the message to all El Salvador citizens, that they were not going to let Honduras do everything that they did, and not pay for it. 

Pedro began to make preparations to do to Honduras exactly what they had done to him. First he organized over 100 people to go to the hotel that Honduras was staying at, the night that they would be there, and throw bricks at their windows. Secondly, He organized a heist to steal the Honduras flag that would be raised up, and replace it with a rag. Lastly, he designed got the president to attack Honduras if El Salvador lost the game. 

It was 5 days before the next game, and Pedro was writing a letter to his father, and it said this: 

Dear Father, 

You have probably heard of El Salvador’s loss in the World Cup Qualifiers, and everybody at home can’t believe it. I have prepared a plan to get back at them. I can not tell you, just in case someone in Honduras gets a hold of this. All I can say is that it will work, and we will win the game. I really miss you, and I hope that they stop harassing you.

 Love, your son Pedro

Everyone in El Salvador was wanting to lay it to Honduras,  so when the Honduras team came to El Salvador, they threw rocks at their car, hoping to get to them. When they got to the hotel, they threw bricks at their window. The Honduras team got no sleep that night, and were not ready for tomorrow's game. 

Pedro? plan had worked, they disrupted Honduras from getting any sleep, and now it was time to see if the next step worked. The game was scheduled for noon, but rain delayed it until 1:30. Pedro had tickets to the game, and he was ready to see his team win. 

Pedro turned his attention to the flagpole, where they would raise the flags any minute, and he would see if his plan had worked. They raised the flags up, and instead of the Honduras flag, there was a now dirty, and soggy gray rag hanging up, showing the two countries that this was more than soccer. 

The game started with both teams struggling to play in the now muddy field. It went back and forth, both teams messing up easy goals, and it looked like it was going to be a repeat of the first game. That all changed when El Salvador scored in the 41st minute, giving them the lead going into the half. 

El Salvador? locker room was focused on capitalizing when Honduras gave them opportunities, and keeping the lead. Honduras Locker room however was about doing whatever they could to get back in the lead. Both teams wanted to score the ball more. The second half started, with Honduras getting a red card in the 57th minute, this was followed up with a El Salvador red card in the 61st minute. 

The crowd was getting anxious, and fights were breaking out between the two fanbases. There was now food and drinks being thrown on the field, and mobs of fights in the stands. The completely outnumbered Honduras fans were forced to leave for their safety, giving El Salvador even more of an advantage. 

The game got excited when El Salvador scored a 76th minute goal, putting them up 2-0. The crowd went wild, and now beer bottles and other drinks were being thrown at the Honduras bench. The crowd got even louder when they scored an 85th minute goal, practically sealing the game. They won the game 3-0, and the fans would not let Honduras forget it. 

When the Honduras team left, rocks were thrown at them, and they sprinted to their car. The car was bullet-proof, in anticipation of a worse crowd. On the ride to the airport, the Honduras coach said ?You're lucky you lost.¨ 

Following the loss, the crimes on El Salvadoran immigrants in Honduras reached its height. Many were now being killed, and large amounts of them were moving back to El Salvador. El Salvador was now becoming an overcrowded nation, and many of the immigrants found themselves homeless. 

Pedro got a letter from his father, saying:  Dear Pedro, 

 I have made a decision, I will leave Honduras now, and come back home. I think it will take me around a week to be back home, and I can't wait to see you. I feel like after Honduras being defeated, I will be killed, if I stay here even for a week. I am so excited to see you, and I know that you feel the same. I want to see how your soccer skills are, and hopefully you will make the national team someday. 

Love your father, Juan. 

Pedro could not believe the news, his father was coming home! He told his mother, and she couldn believe it either. They knew that jobs would be scarce, but they didn't care, their father was coming home!

The next day, Pedro went to work, and started brainstorming ideas for the paper. He was in his office when he looked outside, and saw maybe a thousand El Salvador troops moving past San Miguel. He wondered why this was happening, maybe they were moving to a new training base, but it was still weird. 

It took them about an hour to leave San Miguel, but then it happened again. This time there was probably over 15,000 troops, and again about 2 hours later.  Pedro knew now, El Salvador was preparing for war. Pedro now knew what he should write about. 

The news soon got all throughout El Salvador,  and everyone was preparing for all out war. Meanwhile, the final qualifier game was just 5 days away, and it would take place in Mexico City. Pedro was wondering if his father was going to be home in time to watch the game.

He wrote  another article, stating: …In five days El Salvador will play Honduras in a neutral site in Mexico City. We encourage all of you to go to the game, and wreak havoc on Honduras… 

Honduras mistreatment on El Salvador immigrants was reaching an all time high, and even more were crossing back over the border. El Salvador was now even more than before, extremely overcrowded. Unemployment reached its highest in centuries, and El Salvador couldn’t take it. 

The next day, Pedro noticed around 20,000 more soldiers passing San Miguel, and there were now an estimated 50,000 El Salvador soldiers on the Honduras border. All of El Salvador and Honduras knew that war would break out any day now. 

Pedro bought tickets to the game, and was leaving the next day. He packed, and finished packing around 7:00 P.M. He prepared to write an article there, after the game, and was excited for the trip. 

He left for the airport around nine in the morning, and arrived at 10:30. He boarded the plane, after 2 hours of waiting, and it left 40 minutes after that. He had no idea what would be in store for him. 

The plane ride started off with Pedro preparing his article for if El Salvador won. Pedro didn’t create one for if El Salvador loss, because he could not bear to think about that outcome. The flight lasted just over an hour, so he got to Mexico City around 2:30, and he was starving, so he went to get lunch at a taco stand near the airport. 

The taco stand was called El Comida, and was recommended by anyone who he asked. Pedro was amazed at how delicious the food was, but still at a cheap price, Only 40 Pecos. After lunch he got to his hotel, and took a siesta. He woke up at 5:30, and continued to work on his article. 

For dinner he had an enchilada, and finished at around 7 o’clock. He was amazed that Mexico City had so many stores, he could see 10 just from his hotel window. At around 8 o’clock, he looked outside and saw a group of Honduras fans getting into a fight with two El Salvador fans. He wanted to help, but he was on the 8th floor, and by the time he would get down there, it would be too late. 

He grabbed a soccer ball which he had brought with him, and threw it at the honduras fans. It knocked one of them out, and they pulled out a gun and shot at Pedro’s window. They missed, but the sound was heard, and a nearby security camera caught it. 

The distraction also allowed for the El Salvador fans to crush honduras, and ended up knocking all of them out. The police were called, and they looked at the tape, but the one thing that the tape didn’t show was Pedro throwing the ball. 

Pedro woke up to the sound of knocking on the door. He got dressed, and answered the knocking. It was 3 police officers,  who apparently had begun an investigation of anyone who was in the area of where the ball came from. 

They came in and were surprised that someone of Pedro’s young age was staying by himself. They asked him a few easy questions, like what he was doing at the time of the event, and he replied “I was trying to fall asleep, I couldn’t though because I heard grumbling noises outside,  and eventually, a gunshot.” The officers believed that no one of his age could do any harm, but they were wrong, a mistake that would cost thousands of lives. 

After the investigation, Pedro went down to the lobby to get breakfast. He had waffles and pancakes, with milk to drink. He finished at 10:00, and started to go to the stadium. 

The field was about an hour away,  and he got their, and started to hang around the stadium. He got lunch at 12:30, and went back to the stadium at 1:20. 

He got into the stadium at 2:30, and got to his seat at midfield. The game started at 4:30, and it was 4:15 when he went to get popcorn. He got back at 4:25, and was fully ready for what was about to come. 

The game started off with two players getting ejected in the 7th minute, 1 from each team. This got the crowd tensions very high, and again everyone was looking for whatever they could to hit the other side. When Honduras scored a 43rd minute goal, fighting broke out between the two sides. 

At halftime, Pedro got into the fighting, and he knocked out two guys, and he broke another’s nose. He wanted to help out his team however he could, and if it meant hurting a few Honduras scum, then that is what would happen. 

The second half started with neither team scoring, but in the stands, things were getting worse. There was a total of 200 people were sent to the hospital, and 40 of those were unconscious. All of the Honduras fans again were forced to leave the stadium, just like the game before. This gave El Salvador a huge advantage. They capitalized with a 72nd minute goal. 

The crowd went nuts, El Salvador had just brought back hope to over 3 million people. The game was tied 1-1 after the 90th minute, and the game had 5 minutes of extra time, and in the second extra minute, El Salvador scored another goal. Honduras failed to come back from the late goal, and El Salvador moved on to the World Cup. 

Pedro was filled with more joy than he had ever felt before. He made a reservation to go to the world cup, which again would be in Mexico. The games wouldn’t be for another month however, so he went home the next day. 

When he got home, he walked in the door at 4:00 p.m, to see his father standing there. He was frozen in place when he saw him with bruises and wounds all over his body. He was also shocked to hear that this was all from his neighbors in Honduras. 

He went to hug his father, and asked him the story of what happened, and he was told: I had just started my journey home, and it was sunset, and I stopped to look at it. After no more than 5 seconds of sitting down, I got hit in the head with something heavy, and I hear “Hey insect get out of our country.” I put my hand over my head because it was in severe pain,  and I felt some liquid rushing on to my head, and I knew it was blood.

Pedro could not believe what he had just heard, his father was beaten up, and it was all in on the hands of Honduras. He went up to his room, and he started writing a personal letter to the president of El Salvador, to urge him to declare war on Honduras. 

In his letter, he included all the letters he received from his father, talking about his experience, and also his new conversation with him, to show the president just how badly their people were being treated, as he put it “like animals.” 

The letter got to the president two days later, and he was shocked by the report. He went to his advisors, and they unanimously agreed that they had no other choice but to declare war, so they prepared their armies, that they had already stationed next to the border, and gave orders to attack Honduras. 

 Pedro immediately signed up for the military, even though his dad advised against it, and he had no idea why. He was sent to Valle, and about an hour before he got there, a bomber raid ruined the city. He got there at 4:00 p.m, and he was ordered to search for any Honduras soldiers. 

He climbed up a crushed building, and he saw in the distance, a squadron of over 10,000 Honduras soldiers marching towards the city. He rushed down the building, to tell the general. He was going down when out of nowhere a bomb blew up just 10 feet away from him, he battle had officially begun. 

Most of the El Salvador army was not ready for the sudden fighting,  so Honduras got the early advantage. Honduras had 10,000 men to El Salvador’s 8,000. Pedro was knocked unconscious by the bomb, so was out for the first part of the war. 

At first, El Salvador scattered throughout the city, to start guerrilla warfare. After an hour of fighting, the soldiers heard roaring behind them, and they saw the El Salvador air force flying to the battle. They dropped bombs on the Honduras side. 

It was another two hours before Pedro gained consciousness, and he woke up under rubble. He looked to his right to see what he guessed to be 10-20 Honduras soldiers walking by not noticing him. 

After he was sure that they were gone, he reached for his gun, and looked for a lookout point. He found a good spot in a shallow cave on the East side of the city. 

He got a pile of leaves, and put it over his body as to hide himself, and he shot at anyone who came near him. He After 30 minutes of doing this, he saw 3,000 Honduras reinforcements coming to the city. He realized that if they combined with the Honduras main force, there would be no hope for El Salvador.
So he got a hold of 15 other El Salvador infantry soldiers, and 10 bombers to hold them off for as long as they could. They knew that before getting to the city, they would have to go over Paz hill. They set up on the top of the hill, and waited. 

They waited for 30 minutes before the Honduras troops started to march up the hill. Pedro and his soldiers had an advantage of being higher than the opponent. The Honduras troops were not ready for a sudden battle, and were organized. Most found ditches to hide in, but others were shot before they had a chance to hide. 

The 15 soldiers threw grenades down into the ditches where Honduras was hiding. Out of the 10,000 original Honduras troops, now less than 7,000 remained, all with not a single of the 15 El Salvador soldiers getting a scratch. 

Now the El Salvador bombers came into play. They would bomb the Honduras troops, killing many of them. By this time, the battle in Valle was won by El Salvador. They noticed the bombs and shooting in the hills, and over 2,000 men rushed to help Pedro’s squadrent. By the time help arrived, there was 4,000 Honduras troops left, and just 4 El Salvador soldiers killed, and 3 wounded. The reinforcements mainly just forced the Honduras soldiers that were left to surrender. 

The whole El Salvador army could not believe what had just happened. They knew that if those 15 soldiers had done that they would have lost the battle,  and opened up the gateway to San Salvador. 

The next day, Pedro and the other soldiers were awarded gold medals of bravery. They were now promised an extra 10,000 colones, after the war was won. 

They started to march on to Las Marnos, and if they win that battle, they would have a clear path to the Honduras capital of Tegucigalpa. They began marching in the 74 degree heat at 6 in the morning. There was 5,000 soldiers, and by 11:00 with the temperature reaching mid 90s, over 700 died from heat stroke. 

It wasn’t until 12:30 that they stopped, and had a mere half a sandwich per soldier. By 1:00, 200 more soldiers died from the heat, but they finally got into the shade. They were walking through 2 miles of woods now, and got back to good health when they found a spring. 

By 2:00 they were just 4 miles from Las Marnos. They wanted to get to the city before sunset, but were suddenly halted. When they were less than 2 miles from the city, they were fired upon by a small Honduras militia of guerilla fighters. 

Pedro and everyone else ducked for the bushes, unaware of where their enemies were. Pedro look for any sign of an enemy, but found none. Out of nowhere he heard his general yell grenade!

Pedro dove into the river, and saw an explosion about 2 feet from where he was. He got above water, and spotted a group of Honduras soldiers. He aimed and started shooting at them. 

He was able to get out of the water, and climbed up to the highest point of the battle. He saw several hundred Honduras guerillas trying to escape to Las Marnos. Him and the rest of the El Salvador army that was healthy chased after them. 

There was only 1,000 unwounded El Salvador soldiers left, and among them was Pedro’s lifelong friend, Roberto. They were running in the 97 degree heat, causing over 300 being forced to stop in the shade. The soldiers knew that there was no catching the Hondurians, so they went back to their squadrent. 

The commanding general, General Juanacito, knew that there was little soldiers in Las Marnos, so he sent the 1,000 unwounded soldiers back to the city. They knew that there was no reinforcements coming to save them, except for maybe a few hundred, so they wanted to get to the city before Honduras could get organized. 

Las Marnos was in a valley in between three large hills, so they knew that inorder to win, they would have to be on one of those hills. They marched up the one on the west side of the city. They set up camp once they were on the top, and slept for the night. 

They decided that the best time to strike was before the sun came up, so at 5:00 they started firing on the city. They had 5 cannons set up, and 3 planes bombing the Honduras line. 

After 30 minutes of fighting, they realized that they had underestimated Honduras’ strength in Las Marnos. They had thought there was under 1,000 soldiers, but in fact there was over 4,000. Honduras surrounded the hill, and with having far more cannons started firing up the hill. 

The El Salvador soldiers were unsure of what to do, some wanted to surrender, but others, including Pedro wanted to keep fighting. The ones who wanted to surrender walked down the hill with their hands up, but Pedro and 300 other men kept fighting.

Pedro sent a message back to the general, telling what was happening, and called for backup. After this he went down into the wet mud, and kept fighting. While he was fighting, there was a grenade thrown up the hill, so he ran out of the way. 

As he was running, things went into slow motion, as he looked to his right, and saw a bullet coming straight for him. He froze and it felt like a bomb had exploded in his heart. Pedro fell down, knowing that he had only a few seconds. He dozed off, never to wake up again. 

 


© Copyright 2020 Juan Tomas. All rights reserved.

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