The Unfeeling Soldier

“I know, Grace. I’m using rubber bullets,” replied James.

He pulled the trigger.

Tangu Tangu…,” called out one of the boys in the group. His name was Okayo.

Eee (yeees),” chorused the rest.

Nyang’ omaka (the crocodile has clutched me).”

Eee. Omako ang’oni (Yeees. Which part of you has it clutched)?”

Omako tienda (it has clutched my leg).”

He then dived into the water and the others too dived looking for him.

Ayude (I’ve found him)!” shouted another, resurfacing with Okayo on his back. The others rejoiced.

Tangu, Tangu,” called out another.

Eee,” chorused the rest, and the game continued. It was the dramatization of an old folklore in which a fishing crew (Tangu) dared the torrent waves and sea beasts to save the life of a boy seized by a crocodile while bathing at the shore of Nam Lolwe, the great lake of the people.

“Hey! Did you hear that?” cautioned Okayo. They all stopped playing and listened. There was nothing, except the sound of birds chirping on trees and the throbbing river wading down the thick forest.

“Does anyone hear that sound? Oboo, do you?” Okayo asked again. All the boys laughed, all except him. “No. I think I heard something, like a croogling sound.”

“It’s the river and the birds, you chicken,” replied Oboo. They laughed again and returned to playing. After some time, a stone about the size of a hunter’s club-head splashed into the water. The boys stopped playing and looked around scared.

“Who did that?” asked Oboo. He was the eldest among the boys.

“It’s from the bush. I told you I heard something, and you called me a coward,” replied Okayo.

“You didn’t splash that into the water to scare us, did you?” pressed Oboo, chucking his rattle out of the cot. He moved closer to Okayo. “I’m asking you, did you just throw that stone into the water to scare us?” Silence. Suddenly, a man clothed in a pair of short and t-shirt and armed to the teeth jetted out of the bush. Two others, a man and a woman, followed him carrying bags.

“It’s the Blue-eyed. Ruuuun!” shouted Oboo. Fear gave them legs. They started running in different directions. Those who were far from the bank dived into the water.

“Stop! Don’t move,” shouted the armed man. The boys did not understand. The man pulled up his gun in position.

“Stop, James! These are just kids,” implored the woman.

“I know, Grace. I’m using rubber bullets,” replied James.

He pulled the trigger.

“Aaaaaaa aaa aaaaaaa,” one of the boys made a loud heart-jerking shrill and fell onto the ground. He had just been shot at the leg. The other boys at the bank turned and met the dreadful sight of their friend sprawling on the ground, writhing in pain, blood gushing out of his left shank. They were shocked, but would not leave him behind, for the sake of friendship and respect for cultural norms. Neither could they proceed with their escape lest they all be like their friend. They gathered around him. They were about twenty in number.

“Aaaaaa uuuush wooooi. Help meeee. I’m dying,” the shot boy cried even more. They also began to cry, gripped by the agony of their friend and seeing that the two men and woman were crossing over to them.

“James, what did you do? See… you made a real shot,” complained Grace when they had drawn closer to the boys.

“Oh! I forgot to change the bullets. Anyway, it’s no big deal. Can’t you see I just shot the leg of the monkey,” replied James, topping it up with laughter. “Hey, kevin. Won’t you give this coon first aid instead of standing over there like a dry post?”

The man referred to opened his bag and removed a first aid kit. He bent down and began the process of pulling out the bullet and dressing the wound.

Oboo stood in front of the boys, leering at James and stretching out his arms backwards as a form of bulwark to his group. Were they going to be manhandled or taken to a camp far away from home? What did the Blue-eyed want from them? Was it now, after so long, wrong to swim in the river? These questions ran through his mind and set him blazing in a formidable apprehension.

In place of the man standing in front of him, he saw a crocodile that had devoured one of his crewmen and was just about to pounce on another, or perhaps the whole crew. He tried to contain himself, but fear and anxiety found their way out through his arms and legs.

“These naked monkeys…,” said James looking at the boys, and frothing at the mouth. “Oh God… forgive these sinful creatures. Dress them up, Grace. Dress the monkeys.” Grace opened her bag and pulled out a pile of clothes.

“The boys are too many; these won’t be enough,” she said. “Do you want me to go back to the truck, or what are you suggesting?” asked James. “If you don’t mind,” she replied. He looked at her for a moment, then said, “They aren’t your children, I suppose, and tomorrow… is another day, all right?”

“Oh, I wish they were mine,” she mumbled as she turned over the pile of clothes looking for shorts and t-shirts. Then she started clothing them one after the other.

“Eeiish oooo woooi,” the boy moaned as the first-aider pulled the bullet out of his wound.

“Quiet, boy; you will be alright,” he told the boy, placing the bullet on a tissue paper. He washed the wound with spirit and went about bandaging him. “What’s your name?” The boy did not reply, the words fell onto his ears like the sound of a cymbal.

“He is in great pain he won’t even talk to me,” said the first-aider looking at James.

“He told you so? Did you expect it to hear what you’re saying, kevin? You’re such an ass.”

“There’s no need of calling me kevin. We’re either all or no kevins out in this continent.”

“Haha. You’re a working class, George, and I surmise they pay you well for this job… this job of… how do you even call it first-aid-kitting? Haha. We’re all earning, bro. Don’t be pissed off just because I called you a kevin in this dark… Anyway, does being here even change the facts? Hahaha. Once a kevin always a kevin.”

“I think we’re not getting along well, James. I wonder how and why being in the army changed your attitude towards humanity? Next time I’ll prefer going out with someone else.”

“What are you talking about? Are you going to report to Dr. Hobley that I’m stubborn? Hahaha. Go ahead, bro.”

“Not just stubborn, you’re an animal.”

“What! What did you just say? Did you call me an animal?” He moved closer to George.

“Yes, you are. I’m not afraid to tell you, James. In fact even animals have feelings. Look at what you’ve done to this kid.” He stood up and faced him. “You’re an idiot.”

James gave him a clout on the cheek and spat on him, fuming with anger.

George dropped the bottle of spirit he was carrying and turned to James, his eyes red and his breath rapid. He flexed his muscles like a trained fighter and gave James one thunderous blow on his right cheek that sent him flying helplessly like a light piece of paper before dropping onto the ground. The kids stood back in complete awe.

James lay on the ground for some time, shocked by his counterpart’s unexpected burst of energy. He then hoisted himself and sat, peered towards George’s direction, shame nibbling his spine. He rose with full strength and lunged towards him to retaliate, but a carefully planned firm kick from George drove him back to the ground.

The kids began to spectate. Even Grace stood aside, completely taken aback by the revelation of George’s strength. When James stood up again to make his second approach, Grace would not withstand it. He knew the man, he would opt for the gun.

“Hey! Stop! What are you guys doing?” shouted Grace rushing in between them. “This is not right. We have a mission to accomplish.”

“Tell him I’m not an idiot,” said James.

“He needs to know I attended some taekwondo classes as well. Can’t you see what he just did to a little harmless kid? It doesn’t stop here in fact. I’m going to report this to Dr. Hobley.”

“And do you think he’s going to do anything about it?” asked James.

“It’s… it’s OK guys. Stop these silly rantings and fighting. We have to get moving.” She picked up her bag and began to walk away.

“Grace, are we going to leave this kid out here just like this?” asked George.

“What else can we do, dear? I’d love to bring him along with us. But you know it’s not part of our mission and Dr. Hobley and that… and James won’t allow it. You’ve bandaged him properly, allow his friends to take him home.”

“Perhaps Dr. Hobley but not this fool. Ntah!” He packed back his first aid kit and placed it in his bag. They left without saying another word as the boys watched with amazement and relief. The boys lifted up their injured friend and left for home.

🌷🌷🌷

This is an excerpt from the historical fiction “The Long-lasting Tree” by Lamittan Minsah published in 2020. Click here to buy a copy from our new bookshop.

81 Comments

  1. Sadje says:

    Very absorbing story Lamittan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you many times, my wonderful friend Sadje. I’m happy you enjoyed. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome

        Liked by 2 people

      2. 💕🌟🌟💕

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sadje says:

        🙏🏼

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike U. says:

    Action-packed and intense, and it does a good job of exposing racial hatred on the part of the Blue-Eyes (James is a monster of a person). This is amazingly well written, Lamittan! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Mike. It’s from a historical fiction novel I published way back in 2020 with details about how the British colonists exploited Africans to their own gains. The damages have lived with the people hence, but we’re glad today isn’t like yesterday and people all over the world are slowly embracing love, humanitarianism and the much-hyped civilization. Thanks for reading and leaving such a graceful comment. You might want to grab the novel from my library on this site and tour these indigenous parts of Africa, learn our culture and what Colonialism threw us, haha. It’s available as a free download. I’ve left a link below the post.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dennis says:

    A very enthusiastic story you got 🤗🤝

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, my dear friend. I’m certainly happy that you like this story. Much gratitude 🤗🌟 🙏

      Like

  4. Daphny Aqua says:

    I love this, I just downloaded myself a copy and will definitely enjoy reading. 💖

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dearest friend. I’m glad you liked it. I’m even more glad you’ve downloaded your copy and will be reading. ❤💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Daphny Aqua says:

        You’re most welcome dear, I am going to enjoy reading it for sure. 🤗💖

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Wonderful. When you complete it, kindly leave a review on the book page, dear. The pleasure is mine. 🌼💖🤗🌼

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Daphny Aqua says:

        I will do that for sure. 😁❤️❤️

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Pleasure. Glad to have you as a dependable person. Do you have any published novel? I’d very much love to read you.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Daphny Aqua says:

        No I don’t have any so far. I use to write short stories but now mostly only poems.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Well, I love your poems by the way; your style is irresistibly great.What about the short stories, how can I have access to them? Or any poetry collection I can put my mind on can be helpful. 🌼🌟🌼🌷

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Daphny Aqua says:

        Thank you so much, that really means a lot to me 🥰
        Well not published hehe… Use to write short moral stories during high school for story telling thats all. Some of my poem collection is available at Google Books, you can easily access it by typing Daphny Nianghoi or the link is in one of my previous post, will send you the link to it. 😊❤️

        Liked by 2 people

      8. Oh amazing! Thank you so much. There’s actually one beautiful collection I aready read on Google. But I’d still love to see much of your beautifulwriting. Thank you so much. 🤗🌼🌼🤗❤🌹❤

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Daphny Aqua says:

        Then I think that’s probably the one, I haven’t really made a new submission after that. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      10. No problem. I’ll still go through it. I love to learn from fellow writers. 🌼

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Daphny Aqua says:

        Aww.. Thank you so much! 🤗💖 I agree reading others helps you in so many ways. I’ve learned a lot from you as well. 💖

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Quite elevating to hear, Daph. I’m obliged for your invaluable kindness. Pleased to have you, my friend. 🤗💕🌟🌟💕 Thinking some table 🫖 with you one day Godwilling will be great joy.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Daphny Aqua says:

        Pleased to have you as well. 🤗💖
        Oh! That would be an absolute delight, surely if God willing one day. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      14. I very much look forward to it. You’re a friend worth a thousand. 💕🤗💕

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Daphny Aqua says:

        Aww.. How sweet of you. I look forward to that day as well. 🤗💖

        Liked by 1 person

      16. Amazing!! ❤😘

        Liked by 1 person

      17. Daphny Aqua says:

        ❤️❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      18. Daphny Aqua says:

        https://dhoi08.wordpress.com/2021/11/16/excitement/ The link is in this post if you wish to read. 😌

        Liked by 1 person

      19. Oh, thank you so much, dearest. I love your style of poetry for two things. 1. You relate to matters of real life. 2. You simplify poetry in a way that everyone can read and grasp the message while still maintaining your styles. Kuddos to your good writing. 🤗🌼❤🌹❤

        Liked by 1 person

      20. Daphny Aqua says:

        That a huge compliment, I’m stumped. Thank you so very much dearest, you just made my day even better. 🥰💖

        Liked by 1 person

      21. I did? Wow, that gives me complete happiness. I always feel that you’re an amazing person to relate with and that gives me joy too. Feel most welcome, dearest ❤ 😘

        Liked by 1 person

      22. Daphny Aqua says:

        You surely did. The feeling mutual my friend. 🥰🤗💖

        Liked by 1 person

      23. Pleasure 🌺 ❤🌼🌟

        Liked by 1 person

      24. Daphny Aqua says:

        🥰💖🌸🌸

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s a great story, Lamittan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Luisa. I’m glad you enjoyed this excerpt. You can always download and read the whole story. The link is below the piece. Grateful to you always 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Lamittan ❣️

        Liked by 2 people

      2. My pleasure. ❤ 🌼🌼❤

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 🙏🙏🙏

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Wonderful story, Lamittan. So very interesting, my friend .💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so nuch, my friend Grace. I’m so happy you enjoyed reading it. 💖🌼

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I sure did. My pleasure.💕

        Liked by 2 people

      2. 🙏💕🌟🌟💕

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Compelling! You are very talented, Lamittan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh dearie, ain’t that kind and sweet of you to say!! I’m very thankful to you for reading and writing such a noble compliment. 🤗💕🌟🌟💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure, Lam! 💓

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a wonderful write! Very engrossing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh thank you many times, my dear friend. You’re so kind! I’m glad to have you as a friend. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome, Lamittan, me too. 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 🤗🌼🌼😊❤

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Nicely written story, sir! Definitely didn’t expect the direction or that style. Thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you many times for reading and writing such a kind compliment. I’m certainly overjoyed you loved it. 🌼🌼😊

      Like

  10. Jane Aguiar says:

    Awesome story! I like that second language. What is that language called? What is your regional language? dear Lamittan ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for liking the story, and for showing love to my language. I am from the Luo Tribe of Kenya (so the used local language is Dholuo). I speak Dholuo, Swahili, English and a bit of French. Our regional language is Swahili. ❤🌼💕

      Like

      1. Jane Aguiar says:

        You are welcome Beautiful language. Are these languages ​​part of Kenya’s school curriculum?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Swahili, English and (French, sign language and Germany as options) are indeed taught in Kenya.

        Like

      3. Jane Aguiar says:

        Good information dear. I read somewhere that you had longest lockdown period of 2years and now students are not coming to school. Is it true?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Haha. No.. I think that’s been the case down here in Uganda. We had lockdowns which ended way back in July last year, but even then, schools were operating. They were only closed for some four months when we were hard hit by the bug and there was much fear.

        Like

      5. Jane Aguiar says:

        Yes, I understand now. I mingled in Uganda and Kenya. Thank you for your communication and information about your beloved country❤️

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Your most welcome, dear. I’m glad you asked. Have an awesome day. 🌼💖🌹💖🌹🌼

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Jane Aguiar says:

        My pleasure dear ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Jane Aguiar says:

        My pleasure dear Lamittan❤️

        Like

      9. Jane Aguiar says:

        ❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      10. A compelling story, Lamittan. It’s always great to read historical stories. You actually learn quite a bit about the different races, languages and way of life. Well done.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Oh thank you so much again, dearest. I’m touched positively with your love and kindness. You’re the best! 🙏🌼💕🌟🌟💕🌼

        Liked by 1 person

      12. You are welcome:)

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Absolute Wonderful brother!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks to you, my brother. I’m certainly glad you liked it. 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  12. love your story Lam! Suspenseful and lovely to get some of the native tongue into your piece!
    So much fun all the places you take us! 💖🌈🌈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a kind thing to say! I’m pleased you enjoyed reading this Cindy. To learn more about our culture and the challenges our forefathers faced in the wake of civilization, simply download the book for free from my library. The download link is provided at the end of the writing. Enjoy! 💕🌟🌟💕🤗❤

      Like

  13. Beaton says:

    Its an intense read!! I have just gone and gotten a copy!!
    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Beaton.. I’m so glad you grabbed a copy. Thank you so much for your support. 🤝🌼🌟🌼💕

      Like

      1. Beaton says:

        You are welcome
        ~B

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ✅💕🌟🌟💕

        Like

  14. johncoyote says:

    When we train our boys to be soldiers. Are they wrong? or are the teachers of war wrong? USA did some terrible things. I saw some of them in my time in the Army my friend. Powerful and useful words shared.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s painful to know. I don’t know whether the problem is always in the training or the social habits of the trainees. It’s hard to grasp. What do you think as someone who’s been in defense? Is it the training itself or simply personal habits of the soldiers or both?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. johncoyote says:

        It is training. When you train. The trainers will teach you. To kill is okay. Kill with any tool near, They brain-wash the young men and women. This is what soldiers are train to do my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ooohn, quite sad to even imagine. It’s such a sad training then. Instead of imparting mercy and goodwill, they are taught to hate and kill. I could only imagine, thanks to your explanation.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. johncoyote says:

        You are welcome my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

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