Voices of my past lives Part 1

It had been a terrible war

One that had plunged my people into darkness. The only light one could see at night was the fire licking at the roof of a neighbor’s hut.

I was a broken man. I had already watched my wife and two children die in front of me. I had nothing left to lose.

Yet the gods had decided to show me no mercy and not only gave me unwanted life but gave me recurring dreams of my family’s demise.

The Moontago as they called themselves were an outcast tribe who had lived among the deserts eating cacti and scorpions till their grandchildren got up in their large numbers to terrorize our village.

They had started a war which most of my people did not even know its origin as there were no records of their exile and their names were said only in hushed whispers by the gray and worn out elders who nodded their heads in acceptance to the vengeance of the Moontago.

The worst part of the war was that they never fought as a regular army would. They would only come at the stillest moments of the night and wipe out an entire district. Leaving only when our armies had readied themselves to retaliate and disappearing back into the wasteland.

We had tried everything. We set traps. We waited in shifts but these demonic creatures would only attack when we had assumed we were rid of them. We could wait months and they would still attack the night we dropped our guard.

I overheard an elder say ” they are like a Hyena who takes giant bites off a Lion who still chooses to sleep beside it” I cursed that elder’s name. For causing such a calamity to befall us.

Every morning they attacked, we would wake up to see a new hut razed to the ground. Another day of work to rebuild. The real heartbreak was the people. Relatives would roll in the ash covered mud into a fit of pain and frustration as they saw the roasted, mangled bodies of their loved ones. I felt so useless. Then in the corner of my eye I saw an elder nod his gray head and utter “we deserve this”

In a blind rage I ran across and threw him to the ground. After a few punches, he was dead. Yet I still battered his limp body. As I hit him, I felt justice for my dead family. I felt like I was doing the village a great favor. I don’t believe they agreed with me because the next thing I felt was a heavy rock against my skull. I saw the elder’s wrinkled face for one second before my world went dark.

I woke up with a numb feeling in the back of my head and my eyes were stuck fast like I had been sleeping for days. Feeling my way around, I realized I was back in my hut but all entrances had been sealed tight as a sort of prison for me for the murder of the elder.

Those fools. If only we killed all those senile elders then maybe the Moontago would forgive our village.
Nobody would hear my thoughts as I sat in the darkness with nothing on my mind on what to do next.

Every night, a wooden bowl would be passed through the bottom of my hut. My new source of food was soup and dried roots. For the first few nights, I would wait till the supplier comes again and empty the previous night’s bowl on his head. This practice brought joy to me.

Over time however I became too hungry to waste even a drop. The supplier must have assumed I was now eating because he decided to change my soup. Upon tasting it, I spat it against the wall. It was urine. I heard laughter outside the hut and knew he had gotten his revenge for my spilling the soup on his head. I cursed my name for causing such a problem for myself. I ate nothing but roots that night.

Months passed and I grew weaker and sicker. Yet death did not come. The Moontago seemed to avoid my cursed hut and granted peace in death to the ones around it. Every night, I would hear screams and the smell of burning flesh would choke me for hours.

I was a broken man.

Finally they came for me. I should have known because I finally dreamt that night. A beautiful dream of my family and I walking among the trees that line the village. My children were laughing and my wife was looking proudly at them.

For a brief second I smelt smoke and felt the spears pierce deep into my body. I didn’t scream because I was not afraid. Neither did I beg because I did not want mercy. I felt the roof  collapse on me and heard the blood curdling sounds of them running back to hell.

All this did not faze me because I was with them. My beautiful family. Finally I was free of the bondage of life.

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Fragile

    I had awoken from a sleep that had seemed to have lasted months. So deep was this sleep that I had lost all sense of direction and the whole purpose of life seemed ridiculous.
Upon standing I realized that my whole being was out of sorts and I was in pain for reasons I could not yet understand.

   The pain mainly originated from the left side of my chest and my eyes were sore and dry. My clothes were drenched in a salty sticky moisture; its origin I couldn’t deduce.
After what seemed like an eternity my sore eyes began to pry open and I realized I was in darkness. Darkness so thick I could grab its wisps between my fingers. Stumbling around in it only made me bump into objects I could not identify. Slowly though my eyes got accustomed to the darkness. I realized I was in a sort of makeshift dungeon that was crudely fashioned just to hold me in.

   Although it was poorly made, I couldn’t break out. I was stuck. I was a prisoner to a captor who had not yet shown their identity.

  In the corner of the room was a gramophone that played a selection of tunes on repeat for hours on end. I could recognize the music but I couldn’t place where I had heard it before and was too busy trying to escape my given plight to care.

After battling with the cage for hours more, I gave up and crawled with my remaining strength to the corner where the gramophone stood and absorbed the words that I could understand. I would have cried but all the moisture in my body was already soaked into my clothes which were yet to still dry.
Days passed then weeks and finally when I had no strength left. There was a knock at the gate.
Upon sight I realized who she was. She was tall and slender and was everything I wanted in a partner but the smile on her lips showed she enjoyed watching me in my situation or found it funny that I could not escape after all this time.

  The smile cut me like a knife and the pain in my chest multiplied in great proportion. I pulled up my shirt and saw in horror a gaping hole where my heart should have been. The hole was big enough for my hand to fit and I carefully felt around in the cavity. It took a few seconds before my fingers hit something sharp and I recoiled in pain. Placing my hand back I began to pull pieces. Pieces of my heart. All scattered and broken in rough, jagged, uneven pieces.

When she saw my discovery, my silent captor’s smile turned into a giant grin which brought great distress to my being. I was becoming more unnerved by the minute looking at her sinister grin that stretched from ear to ear.
Then it dawned on me. Like a big, heavy sledgehammer on my skull.
The music, the lady, the whole makeshift prison.

I was in the FRIENDZONE.

The music was the Take Care album by Drake and the lady was the girl I had so pathetically fallen in love with without any received affection.
The revelation explained the makeshift prison which I had personally built. The heart that She had broken.
I realized I had stayed in this funk for too long. I pulled my torn and decaying body off the ground and assumed a crouching position. With the last of my energy and superhuman effort I broke through the bars that had held me back for so long. Pushing her out my way I gave one last painful look at the source of my innermost pain. I was never looking back. Ever.
I was free. I was finally free.

*Not Based On A True Story