Originally posted on kennahartian.com.
The sky is grey, its light snuffed out by smoke and smog, as if the world is trying to block out the little light left. It certainly seems to be working. Peter would say something different, and he has, often after we’ve lost someone.
“It seems tough right now, and it is. It won’t be easy. Darkness doesn’t like light and will try it’s hardest to defeat it. But it doesn’t know the light has already overcome the darkness!” I don’t understand it. I’m cold and cramped, crouching behind cans full of trash, pressed to a cement wall. I’m hiding from the soldiers who attacked our fort in an attempt to crush this rebellion against their tyrannical government.
Noise assaults me from beyond my hiding place: screams, gunshots, sirens and yelling. Where is Peter now? I bet he ran off as soon as the soldiers attacked. Shifting position, I peek over a trashcan. It’s hard to see what’s happening through the lights dancing dizzyingly on the smoke. To my surprise, the people the soldiers are attacking are praying. A soldier stumbles backwards against the trashcans, and I instinctively shrink away, trying to protect my head. I can’t believe I thought joining this fight would bring me something. The soldier yanks me to the street, tying my hands behind my back. I’m scared. He pushes me to my knees beside another rebel. She’s praying with the person next to her. I don’t understand their faith. Sleek cameras line the street, in stark contrast to the crumbling shacks squatting alongside it. Families line the roads, breaking curfew to see what is happening. Suddenly, a soldier yanks a man out from the line of kneeling prisoners, forcing him to kneel in front of us instead. His calm face betrays no indication that he knows what is going on, though surely he must. The soldier lifts his gun.
The soldier looks around.
“Who said that?”
A man stands up, though with difficulty.
“Well, then. You can go first.” The soldier nods, and two others bring the man to the front of the crowd. A strobe light bathes the man in red and everyone – the people, the rebellion and the soldiers – gasp.
“If you let them all run free, I promise you can have me. You know I’m the only one they want.” Everyone looks at each other, the same expression of fear and surprise echoed in each face. The soldier smirks.
“When a leader is gone, a rebellion is crushed. You know what we’re going to do to you.” Peter nods, and the soldier’s smile grows bigger. “Well then.” He makes a sign, and we watch the soldiers disappear, fists in the air.
After they leave, the families lining the streets start to help us get up. They want to know more. So do I. And I know where to find the answer.