Saturday, July 1, 2017

Flash Fiction for Freedom

This year, my writers’ group wrote flash fiction or poetry or whatever for July 4th about freedom and liberty.  The writings get framed and displayed in the local library.  Since, although it’d be a fun trip to the country, visiting my small town library isn’t in your summer plans, I’ve posted my flash here.

They Came

By: IE Castellano

I was a small child when I witnessed their ship land—war torn and ragged.  These people emerged from malfunctioning airlocks not all that different than us, only where it mattered.  They knelt in the soft dirt, crying.  When they rose, they asked for sanctuary—a place to start over—a place to live their lives in peace.  Their elders had seen peace.  Their young knew it not.  They relayed stories of war and ravaging, of death and destruction.  They wanted better—to provide a future for the next generation.

We sympathized.  We offered them the chance to make new lives on our planet.  However, we also gave them a counter offer—help repair the ship and provisions to leave, if they preferred.  They chose our hospitality and stayed.

They kept to themselves, but they sent their children to our schools.  I cultivated friendships with them, or so I thought.  My “friends” learned our ways and enjoyed what our planet afforded them.  They grew to know two lives—ours and theirs.  We encouraged them to keep their home traditions.  They responded by sharing with us.

I wish I could say that our lives were richer because of them.  I wish.  But, I can’t.

I don’t remember when it all went wrong.  It just did.  There was no one big thing.  A series of little, inconsequential issues led to—boom—knives in our backs and guns to our heads.  The more I reflect, the more I realize that we were not intolerant.  They had this plan all along.  From the moment they landed, they set their scheme into motion.

They took over everything.  Squished our freedoms like bugs caught in a stampede.  Many of us kowtowed to their demands.  They killed us anyway.  Our blood washed the streets.  Those of us who assimilated became their slaves with short, albeit, gilded chains.  Those of us who bow to no master, they hunt.

A couple of my childhood “friends” found me.  They knew exactly where to look.  Ironic that I kneel in this same soft dirt on which they came.  Because we’re “friends,” they’re giving me another chance to embrace enslavement.  I’d rather die.

The barrel parts my hair.  Their cold authority presses right where my head and neck conjoin.  One soft squeeze and I will purify the ground of their tears.  I’ll die as I lived—free.

No comments:

Post a Comment