Sigh as a Free Man

Children were playing, women were fetching water, their men were not at home. That’s when they invaded. We were thrown out of our houses and forced to leave our villages. The sea was our only escape. Some of us managed to make boats, whereas the others, like me, took a wooden plank and we floated away.

While we were on our boats, starving and craving, we were praying that the other shore will accept us.
Not all of us were able to make to the end of the sea. During this dull and depressing voyage, many died, mostly youngsters.
We covered our gravest fear with faith, but sooner, it was unveiled as we reached the shore. Their militia was prepared to knock us out.

At that point, I criticized my permanence in my community. I knew they rated us no better than pests. And they want to sweep us out like we are some kind of bacteria, spreading some awful disease in the environment.
We faced this discrimination, maybe because we believed in another fictional story of God or because we were born with a different tag.

At first, I thought the army men will shoot us, but I was wrong, they had a better plan.
They conveyed all the kids first. And the beach echoed with the wailings of children being parted from their parents. Their parents knew this is goodbye. But they were standing helpless. Viewing this scene with my own eyes was such a torture to my mind.

Then they took me, the teenagers and all others who could work. I don’t know what happened to the rest.
They counted us, we were about fifty. They held us captive for five days. Each of us was allotted a separate room, more like a cell. Those five days were the gloomiest days of my life. I was not able to prevent myself from thinking. And I dreamed of going back to my land, where I can run in the meadows, contemplate the sunset and go fishing. I freaked out at moments because I was so afraid of breathing the rest of my life in this dark hole.

Finally, they moved us out. They made us stand in queue and figured us over. I peered around as I ached to see the faces of my people. I wanted to be certain that I’m not alone. Looking at them gave me a slight warmth but no strength.

We were conveyed to a research lab. Then one by one they took us for medical analysis. They checked me green and I was sent to the next level. As far as I could understand, green meant yes and others who were marked red were taken elsewhere.
I took a glimpse of the next stage and I saw the doc giving a dose to one of my people. I could see him shivering in his seat and hear him screaming. After a wee while, he was quiet or plausibly paralysed. Subsequently, they placed him in a large glass barrel where they pricked his head with hundreds of syringes. I couldn’t comprehend what they were ingesting to him, but I did not want to be next.

So I rolled out, and four of my people accompanied me. I knew this was the most thick-witted thing to do. We preferred the stairs and rushed in one of the labs we found. We barred the door, and this time, there was no sea to escape.

It took them no while to spot us. They began banging the door. We got frightened, I asked my people to find something with which we can resist them. The lab turned out to be a treasure house of weaponry. We cracked the glass tubes and took out rods from setups. Everyone grasped something in their hand. I grabbed a rod with an attached glass tube.
When they burst in, we all got terrified and forgot that we actually have defences. We were directed to raise our hands.

Just then Aleeza, the girl with short hairs, hit the guard’s head with the rod so hard that he dropped down. She acted out of aggression. Despite the odds, Aleeza protested but the two guards seized her.
They made her kneel down and dragged her by her hair. The rest of us were asked to follow their lead. We all were rooted in our spots and startled at what just happened.

Aleeza’s screeches made me lose my balance and I did the most terrifying thing I could ever think of. With the rod that I was holding in my trembling hands, I stabbed the guard who was pulling Aleeza, straight at his chest. I drew back my bar and gazed around to examine the reaction. And I realised that these guards are not approved to shoot us.
Seeing the blood on my stick, I was panic-stricken. Thoughts of being called a murder flooded my subconscious mind.

Please, someone, tell them, all I require is to go back to my hamlet and sigh as a free man.

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