6/30/2004

The small men

I walked along the yellow winding path, deep in the jungle. Monkeys swung and chattered in the trees above, and the morning dew slowly fell, gently caressing my face. A bird cried out above me, it screamed a beautiful melody, its voice rose high into the sky. The animals stopped to listen for a bit, and then wandered on in the search for their meal. The jungle would feed them, and give them everything they needed. It was their mother, it kept them safe, it provided their meals, it taught them.

The path continued, winding around hills, continuing across fallen palm trees that bridged the deep streams that occasionally ran through and watered the forest. I followed the path, drank in the streams, and looked around for something I could eat. Soon enough, I saw mango tree.

The thicker branches had been stripped by the monkeys, but the smaller branches still had a few fruits hanging on them. I threw sticks at them, and was soon sucking at the fruits. I felt content. I was going somewhere, I had food, and I had water.

After an hour, the foliage started to thin out. Not by much, but one still had the sense that ahead was a cleared area. And sure enough, within the next hour, I started to see small farms. They were no longer tended and were running wild, but cassava is a plant that is mostly spread by man. And there were cassava plants out here. I was approaching human beings.

The path suddenly widened into a street, and I was in a village. The village was enclosed in a fence constructed of bamboo and the houses were made of mud. Several of the houses seemed to not have been used for a long while, and their thatched roofs had collapsed inwards. I could see that there was at least one inhabited house, because a blacked metal pot steamed on the side of the house.

However, I saw nobody. So I walked towards the pot, though the village was too still.

I looked into it, and I saw meat cooking. It was an arm, a human arm, and the flesh had mostly fallen off. It had been cooking for a long time.

I fell to my knees, and raised my hand to block the sun, because it felt like a light was burning through my head. But the light did not come from outside, realisation seared and tore me from within, and my hand could not block it.

I realised that this was a pygmy village. I remembered that the rebels I had worked with regarded the pygmies as half-human, and killed and ate them to become immune to the bullets of the enemy. I saw the brown blood that stained the walls of the hut. I smelled the stench of death about the place. I saw the small footprints in the sand, tiny and delicate between the treads of military boots.

I heard the terrified shouts of the small men running from the big men, I heard the screams of the women and the children, I heard the machetes hit flesh, I heard agony.

I dropped to the ground and cried.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,I find your stories interesting, but, are they true?

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep posting, I find your stories interesting.

5:02 PM  
Blogger John said...

All the stories are true, but the times are a little bit warped, mostly because I cannot be bothered to sort them out. And of course, there is a little bit of literary embelishment...

5:26 AM  

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