Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta foreigners. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta foreigners. Mostrar todas las entradas

sábado, 4 de junio de 2016

Men & Monsters

   The chains did a horrible sound, indicating that Genke was now a slave. He had fought bravely and had resisted for many days in the jungle, but the Wataku tribe had attacked with everything they had. They had burned down every single tree in the jungle, killing every animal that lived in it and making every former free man run for their lives. They put men on all sides of the jungle in order to capture the escaping men. They would beat them up with sticks that damaged the skin and then throw one of those stink bombs they used to render people unconscious.

 Genke had been the victim of one of those bombs and had woken up in a cell on top of a cart. He had been sleeping in a corner, as there were at least five other men with him inside the cage. The cart advanced through the wilderness very slowly and it was then when they all realized the jungle was burning, very far in the distance. It was something very difficult to see, as the forest had provided food and shelter for a long time and now it has fallen with them

 They wanted to ask where they were taking them but there was no way they would answer them. Any sound they made was answered with the crack from a whip. It always scared them despite the fact that it never it them. They were too scared and tired to fight nay longer and decided to let things happen however they had to happen. They stayed in silence and tried not to annoy the Wataku.

 The night passed and when the first light of morning appeared in the horizon, their new masters made them step down the cart and start walking behind it. They did not know why they had to do that but they did it without question. They had no intention of crossing any of the slavers. The man with the whip was on a horse and looked at them like a hawk. Any wrong move would be enough for him to react.

 That wrong move was when the youngest of the new slaves fell to the floor, possibly because of dehydration. The man whipped him with an uncanny ability and the kid’s flesh opened horribly, making wounds that would never properly heal, much less in the new conditions that they were living in. He had to be helped up in order to resume the walk, which he almost didn’t finish. The following morning, they entered a small village.

 It was called Sihoku and it was a settlement created by the Wataku that lived from capturing other tribes’ men. There was something like a jail there, where the five men were put in. There were lots of other slaves, possibly twenty more. Genke thought, for a moment, that they could rise and destroy the enemy but that wasn’t possible. Everyone was either too tired or had been beat up horribly by their new owner.

 Later, a tall member of the Wataku came and pushed every single man to the corner of the cage where they were being held. As he did that, two others carried a big metal deposit that worked as a feeding device for the animals. There were two of them. The big soldier pushed and kicked them, calling them names in his language and then left, doing some kind of a grin that they thought was very strange.

 As soon as he left the cage, every man except Genke and the boy that had been beaten up, ran to the metal deposits in order to eat and drink. They looked like pigs or cows feeding as if they had never eaten in their lives. Some pass over others to get food, some others hit their fellow men in order to get a handful of the food, some kind of mashed product that smells like it had gone bad recently.

 Genke did not even try to get closer. He thought they had to be better than that, he thought it was better if they showed the enemy that couldn’t be broken so easily. They had their houses burnt, their wives and children skinned alive or burned and now they were behaving just like the enemy wanted. They seemed to have forgotten every single thing that had happened recently and, the worst part, was that their new owners realized how easy it was to tame them and to convert them in the nice little slaves they wanted them to be.

 However, they had also seen how Genke had not even tried to eat or drink and they had already decided to make an example out of him. During the night, the cage was open and the big soldier entered again but this time he was careful no to be so loud or violent. He was there to grab only one of them and it was easy to stop who he wanted as he was apart from the group: Genke had separated from them because he couldn’t stand them anymore.

 The man grabbed Genke, woke him up and took him out of the cage. They tied a rope from every extremity and tensed the ropes from poles in order to cause him extreme pain. This was done over a wooden table were he was lying down, although there were moments when his body didn’t even touched the table. That was how much they stretched his body.

 Genke screamed all night. The guys in the cage realized what was happening and were sad for him but they had understood that there was no way to win to the masters. They were stronger and simply hand the upper hand. When morning arrived again, Genke was not thrown into the cell again but into the one in a cart. Others joined him there and then the transport began to move. The journey would be much shorter.

 The Wataku were sending them to the ocean. There, they saw some kind of event happening in the beach and also immense boats floating on the ocean. They understood what was happening just as the cart stopped and they had to walk, in chains, to make a line behind many other men that were been auctioned to a public of foreigners. They were dressed in funny clothes and look very different from one another. Genke even noticed that they all preferred to raise their hand and show fingers than actually speak during the auction.

 When they finished with the group that was there when they arrived, it was their turn. Genke felt sick, not only because of his torture, but because he was very hungry and thirsty. He walked in front of the foreigners making his best effort not to faint and then waited for their Wataku master to release them from the chains. But that didn’t happen. The Wataku were merciless and never forgive any misbehavior.

 All the slaves in their group were kept in chains and the foreigners had a chance to approach before they began the auction. Genke found it humiliating, as the foreigners checked every slave’s hair, their teeth, their skin and even their overall size, including the size of their feet. They didn’t understood why so many measurements and detailing. What had the mouth anything to do with working in a field?

 The auction began some time after that. One by one, the men that had been captured the same day as Genke were being sold to different foreigners. Other men from beyond the sea would come and take them directly to the ships. They didn’t wait or let anyone say anything. They just dragged the slave if they had to do it.

 The younger boy that had been badly beaten up by the Wataku was sold to a man with a mustache but when he was being taken to the ship, he started fighting his new owner, trashing about and yelling in their tongue. Somehow, he thought they would all suddenly rise and defend him from being taken away. The truth was much more sad: he was punched and kicked in the ground and carried unconscious into the boat. No one knew if he ever survived the journey.

 Genke was sold to a tall man, the tallest he had ever seen. His eyes were cold and his skin was the one of a ghost. He didn’t fight them as he was taken to the ship. He didn’t say anything when he had to sleep with dozen of others inside that boat. And he didn’t talked once he was sold again, in a port far away from his homeland, which he would never see again. He rarely spoke again, hoping he would eventually die and, at least, have some peace in his grave. That was his only wish.

jueves, 5 de mayo de 2016


   Yitris had always been a very special place to leave. The few people that lived there, never left but they lived in one of the best places in the world because it was located in a remote area where no one would go bother them, whether they wanted it or not. Its location in the middle of the desert, made it only possible for the best explorers to reach the city and know its citizens and also, their queen.

 Queen Alina was more than fifty years old and she had been working for her people for at least thirty years. She lived in the top house of the city but her home was not really different than other peoples home. It was only above all others house, all built on top of very high trees in the middle of the green valley, hidden in the desert. It was a very good place to hide but also a very good place to feel free from everything.

 There were less than a thousand people living in Yitris but hey all had access to good doctors, to the only school that was directly handled by the Queen and also to food, that never really lacked in any of the people’s tables. Everyone had to have, at least, some bread and fruit to eat. Only half of the population actually ate animal meat and they were very good at using every single part of the animal’s body in order not to kill something and then waste it all because they only wanted some of the meat.

 People were very trusting and, also, always seemed to be happy. No person of Yitris yelled, unless they were really angry and it was only for one second. The Queen, of course, set the example for the rest, always been gracious when she did her daily tour around her small kingdom. She went from her place, to the jungle floor. There, several people had settled, specially the ones that were hunters or farmers.

 There was a small piece of the terrain that had almost no trees and that had been specially done by the people with the permission of the Queen, because they didn’t have anywhere to grow things like corn and wheat and they also needed land to build mills and kitchens where they would make the bread and so on. So she authorized a rather small piece of land to be used for that purpose. It was so small; it was always the first place to be hit by sandstorms, when they occurred.

 The desert was mostly benevolent, protecting them from the outside. But it’s sand was sometimes the worst thing for them because it could almost destroy everything that they had build. But they endured because it was because of that sand, because of the endless desert, that they had always been protected from exterior influence. Only a handful of people had made it to Yitris and all of them had died there, whether from exhaustion or because they had chosen not to go back to their lands.

 That was until Jack Freeman, a English explorer, and two of his men wondered into the desert and stumbled upon Yitris after a particularly strong sandstorm. The locals were cleaning their homes when they saw the men approach. It was the first time for many to see a foreigner and that’s why so many did not seem to remember that they always had to notify this to the Queen. She only knew about these knew visitors when they decided to ask for a leader and the people, shy but interested, indicated her home.

 She didn’t like, at all, to have people enter her house without permission as they did. Alina knew nothing about manners in the exterior world, but she imagined England and all other lands must have been really awful places if all people did that to their neighbors. They communicated with hand gestures and body language because both of their languages were highly incompatible. Even so, the English sometimes yelled things in their language, as if the people of Yitris had to understand them.

 The Queen, trying to be as generous as she could, decided to invite them for dinner. She had all the best food prepared for them and every single person in the small country, which only consisted of a deep valley, was able to come and greet the strangers in person. Those men ate differently and seemed to have a second skin that made them smell funny. That’s what most of the people thought of them.

 The English, however, thought the people of Yitris were nice but also very strange. They thought it was very weird that a valley like that existed in the middle of the desert. They had been looking for another settlement, an oasis that they had to check thoroughly because it seemed to be located on top of an oil reserve. That’s the kind of explorers they were. Not adventurous men working in mankind’s behalf but just some guys working to get some money like many others.

 When, after the party, they decided to leave, the Queen denied this and insisted on them sleeping on a house that they would give them to be alone and to rest. No one would be there, just them. They took them by a series of stairs and bridges to a lower level where a big house, normally used for storage, had been cleaned and three beds made of thick leaves had been set as well as some more food and water on a table in the middle of the circular home.

 The locals left them alone and the foreigners decided to leave as soon as they could the next day. They agreed that the people of Yitris were very nice but they also thought that they had some work to do and that they couldn’t let down the company for which they worked. Oil was important.

 When they attempted to leave the next day, a group of locals decided to take them, instead, to the mills and fields in the border between the valley and the desert. The men looked at the sand with insistence but the people did not realize that they wanted to leave. Even at the end of the tour, when the English did all signals for them to know they had to go back to the desert, the people appeared not to understand or at least it seemed like they had no answer for that.

 The English had arrived with an exhausted horse and some bags of objects and they went straight to the Queen’s home and demanded their things to be brought to them immediately. Again, she was very bothered by them entering like if it was their home but she decided not to say anything. Instead, she told her aides to bring the objects and, as they did, she told the English with mimic that their horse did not existed anymore.

 She imitated a four-legged animal and then passed a finger over her throat. They understood that immediately and one of the men launch itself at her in rage but two locals grabbed him and stopped his attack. He was yelling and crying and having all sorts of emotions that the people there did not really exhibit on a daily basis. Even for the men holding him, it was interesting to see how foreigners used their feelings.

 They released him and the Queen then spoke in broken English. They were very surprised. She explained that the horse had been killed because in their land, animals were not used for work. Besides, the creature they had brought in was exhausted and wouldn’t have survived another trip. That’s why they had decided to kill it and use its meat and insides in different things in order not to waste anything.

 The man crying didn’t really hear any of this but his leader did. He demanded her to explain what that meant and when they would be able to leave, as they had important matters to attend.

 Queen Alina simply said that the horse was in all that they had eaten fast and happily the day before They had eaten all of his meat and the organs had been stored for further usage in soups for the people of the valley.  They expect it to be very nutritious. As for the bones, they could use them to make weapons or instruments for working on the fields.

 The second question was easier to answer: they couldn’t leave because no one left the valley. They couldn’t afford anyone leaving and telling the world of their existence. So, smiling, she insisted on them going back to their assigned home and settling in. They would soon learn their ways and will be integrated in no time, been able to enjoy all that life had to offer in Yitris.

 The English men complied but not because they agreed but because they knew when to stop fighting. In their minds, Queen Alina was now an enemy and Yitris had to come out to the world and be destroyed. Only because of a horse and the secret of its existence.

domingo, 24 de mayo de 2015

The guardian of the mountains

   In a very far off land lay the town of Var. It had a small number of houses and was located in the middle of a trade route, which explained its existence. The people of Var were used to foreigners passing through, sometimes without even saying a word and other times staying for days, enjoying the beer the people of the region had learned to make. What was most particular about Var was that most of the time it was covered by a dense fog. No one knew why that was. Some believe in the folk tale that the town had being built by the devil on top of a fissure in the ground that lead directly to his lair in the center of the planet. Others, more scientific minds if you will, thought the fog was related to the mountain chain that passed close to Var, a chain that was largely unexplored and that housed a couple of volcanoes.

 In Var lived various types of people. But one of the most interesting ones was Gerta. She was one of the various women that were in charge of washing the linen and the clothing of other people and were paid for this. Gerta liked her job because it required her to leave town and go to a nearby river to wash by hand. There, all the ladies would reunite and talk, sing and discuss various subjects in the peace and quiet of the outskirts of the town. But Gerta would rather listen most of the times. She found herself to be not all that interesting and very clumsy when speaking.

 There was a subject, however, that she didn’t like to discuss: children. The other women talked about their girls and their boys and what they did or had learned or said at home but Gerta couldn’t do any of that, even if she had been interested in speaking out loud. That was because Gerta, who had turned forty years old recently, had never had any children and the possibilities of that happening were just getting more and more slim.

 You see, Gerta was a big lady in all the physical sense and men had never appreciated her silences, which could last for days. They thought she was dumb and simple and would only trust her with their clothes and nothing more. Sometimes she thought about this, when the other women started discussing their married lives and their duties as mothers, but to be honest most of the time Gerta was busy dreaming.

 What did she dreamt about? Simple. She would think of a prince from a faraway land that would fall in love with her and would take her on his horse to travel the world and live in adventure and romance for the rest of her days. Every time she saw a foreigner or a caravan of merchants crossing Var, she would stare at them one by one and not move until all of them had passed through town. She saw their clothing, the way they behave, and knew that she wanted to one day leave Var forever and not comeback to her simple ways of being a washerwoman.

 After washing the clothes, Gerta would normally help her father, her mother had been dead for some years, in their small crop. The ground around town had turned arid in recent years, many said because of the foreign horses, so the land that people could use to grow food was always shrinking, getting smaller and smaller. Gerta would plow the land; pick up the carrots and potatoes and clean lettuces and various medicinal plants that his father had used for years in the making of medicine for his small pharmacy.

 It was a renowned store, where people from every corner of the world came to buy remedies for their illnesses and pains. His father was well known but the amount of medicine he could do had been declining steadily for the last few years. He was growing old and almost blind so he had taught Gerta how to manage the store and how to process the medicines. The truth was that he would have preferred to have a son or at least one more child that was a male but that hadn’t happened. So he taught everything he knew to Gerta and told her the store was one of the pillars of Var and that she couldn’t let it crumble. She needed to form a family to keep it alive, long after his death.

 One day his father felt especially ill and lay in bed. The store had to be closed, as there were no medicines to sell. Many ingredients had not been harvested but Gerta knew where to find them so she entrusted her father to a doctor and left town for the mountains. His father had been there for many years, since he was a naughty kid, picking up plants and roots. She took a book with her where her father had drawn all the plants needed to make medicine so it would be easier for her to spot everything.

 The think god also covered the mountains and by midday, Gerta knew she was lost. She tried to find her way back to the main path but she had definitely taken a wrong turn somewhere and now there was no way to go back. She was feeling desperate when suddenly she realized she had been climbing the mountain. The fog was disappearing and the soil had turned black, covered with rocks. She found her first root and then another and so on for hours. She would put them all in a basket she had brought and grabbed everything she could, as she had no idea when she would be coming back.

 But suddenly the ground shook and Gerta screamed, afraid for her life. It seemed like an earthquake but it wasn’t. And she knew it wasn’t because the ground moved and she fell and, before hitting her head, she saw a shape beyond the now light fog and the clouds. She woke up several hours later, already at night. What was amazing was that she was at entrance of a cave, looking out to the starry night. Somehow, she had walked to the cave’s entrance after falling or someone had brought her here. It didn’t matter as she needed to go back home soon or her dad would worry. She stood up and then realized her basket had disappeared.

 It wasn’t in the cave or in the outside of it. That was frustrating as Gerta had been especially happy about finding all of those roots and plants so fast and in all the same place. She was now tired and dirty and felt bad that her trip had been useless. She started walking out of the cave but from the sky fell an enormous figure and just some meters in front of her a gigantic head with bright yellow eyes and a long snout with warm nostrils at the end. She was looking straight at the face of a dragon and the dragon was looking at her.

 Her reaction would have been to scream or run or both but Gerta couldn’t do anything. She couldn’t move or react in any way and was afraid she had been frozen in the spot. A few clouds in the night sky moved, revealing the moon and, in turn, revealing the true size of the creature. Now, Gerta did scream. It was pitch black, covered in scales and with a body capable of destroying a whole town in just a few movements. She had no idea if he could breath fire but that wasn’t something she was interested in finding out. She wanted to go back home but couldn’t.

 To make her shut up, the monster talked and that was even worse. Gerta screamed like mad but the monster then kicked the ground to make her stop. Apparently getting it, Gerta shut up and the monster greeted her, telling her he had been the one to put her in the cave. He had done it because wolves came out at night and would have eaten her alive if she had stayed in mid part of the mountain. However, it had been him that had caused her to fall. After all, she had been walking on him.

 The dragon explained to a shaking Gerta that the roots and plants were part of the mountain and that he had been entrusted with the care of all the mountain chain. Gerta had heard the legends of merchants encountering dragons but everyone thought it was a just a tale for children. The monster said he forgave Gerta for her intrusion only because he knew her father with whom he had made a deal: he would let Gerta’s father take roots and plants if he made the dragon a potion for his sore throat. That way they lived in peace.

 Then Gerta, with a weak voice, explained she had come because her father was ill and he was already very old. She promised to make his potion too if he let her go with the roots and plants as she had told her father the store would not die with him. The dragon thought of this and then looked straight to Gerta’s eyes. She felt dizzy, as if he was able to read her mind. He then said he didn’t need the medicine anymore but that he was thankful anyway. So he would grant her a wish in honor of her father and the gratitude he felt towards him. He would let her, and only her and her family, pick up the goods from the mountains.

 Gerta told him she didn’t know what to wish for but the dragon told her the wish had already been granted, so she could go home now. Gerta didn’t understand. At least not after a few months when she realized she was pregnant. The dragon had given her the gift of a family, to keep on with the store but mostly to make her happy and make Gerta realize her true potential as a human being. From that day on, she thanked the dragon by praying at the foot of the mountain with her child, who grew up to be a great man.

sábado, 24 de enero de 2015

Her war

  Alicia had just taken the lives of at least ten men. But she didn't care. She had learned not to care much when it came to do what she had to do. The past had taken the lives of many people she had loved, some way or another. Who cared if even more people were killed now? The world wasn’t one to care no more. And she, Alicia Hall, wasn’t one to feel sorry anymore. She just didn’t care.

 The fight had happened just outside of the many quarantine zones. This one encircled the whole city formerly known as Panama City. As many knew, even then, Panama had been a worthy ally to the Statian cause. So much that, during the attempt of the Confederation to take the south part of the continent, they built a parallel city on the other side of the Panama Canal to ensure their troops were properly supported. They had even built a large nuclear energy complex to feed both cities with electricity.

 But no one predicted a surprise attack; done by the Southies (slang termed the Statians used to call the people living on the other side of the canal) but covered up by the Statians, calling it a “failure” of the energy station. There was an explosion and everyone got evacuated. Many people died, though but no one ever knew about any of them. The place was rapidly turned into an exclusion zone for airplanes and the whole city was barricaded and put into quarantine. The people living beyond it were left to their deeds. In other words, they were left to die to the radiation.

 That had happened almost thirty years ago. The world today was very different: the war had ravaged entire regions. Food was hard to come by and countries were not as important as they had been before. The Statians had been reduced to a mountain range and many others had done the same. Technology existed, of course, but had been improved. All innovation had stopped. Anyway, people were more worried about feeding their families than about anything else.

 Alicia herself remembered her parents and brother often. It was true that she cried every night, thinking of them. She would always remember the day she had been taken from her home by a group of Righties. Righties were people that still believed in the superiority of one race or one group of people. They were loads, as people in fear always trust the wrong folk. They ravaged towns, raped women and killed innocent people, thinking they were Vikings of sorts. They also kidnapped women to be sold as sexual slaves and that’s what had happened to Alicia.

 But she had escaped. After an awful trip across the ocean, she had been sold in New Africa, the center of the Statians country. Strangely enough, the city was located by the sea. It was the commercial center of the country. Nevertheless, most of those folk lived inland, scared of invasion. Alicia then became the slave of a renowned politician and lived in his state for two years. Then, a storm broke out and there was fighting between the Statians. She took her chance and escaped the compound, unseen.

 But the day after, when she got up to a high hill, she realized they were following her. So began a journey of many days, even months, chasing through wilderness of all types to escape her captors. Eventually, they let her flee thinking she would die in the wild but Alicia was better than that. She learned to hunt and gather fruits in the forest. The young woman had even found useful things in more deserted cities: clothing, weapons, water bottles and food.

 The food was the best, by far. People everywhere were starving and there she was, having a whole city for herself, where she could pick up anything she wanted to eat. For example, Alicia had never had a spoonful of ice cream. The first time she had some, she laughed like a little girl and ate a whole bucket of it, tasting of vanilla. The stomachache that followed was awful but she thought it wasn’t a high price to pay for such a delicious treat.

 It was in that deserted city when she first killed. A group of men in military clothes walked in the center of the city and she saw them as they dragged two women along. The women looked foreign, like Alicia. She realized they were slaved. Rage ran through her veins and in that moment, she decided to do something bold. Without giving them the chance to say a word, Alicia penetrated their camp at night and killed the four men, with a couple of knives she had grabbed from a department store.

 When she was finished, the women escaped screaming like mad, looking at her as if she had done something horrible. But she knew she was right. All those men, all those people that thought were better just because they were of some color or lived somewhere, all of them, they had to pay. So, in her time in the city, she killed no less than a hundred men. She had trained herself, alone, to use every single weapon she found. Alicia had a small flat on the top of a small building and, in a case where she kept guns, knives, axes, arrows, grenades and other instruments to kill.

 But it was after some time that she realized she had to move on. Someone would get wise and would come to hunt her. And she didn’t want to give none of those people the satisfaction to do so. So, after gathering her things, she did a tour of various stores to replenish her stash of food and ammo, as well as some technology devices. These didn’t really worked well but she needed a GPS in order to know where to run.

 She wanted bad to go back to her country but she knew that was even more dangerous than facing a buck load of army men. She would have to penetrate the Statians territory and then, somehow, board a boat back the other side. No, that was a stupid idea, filled with things that might go wrong. Instead, after looking on a paper map, she decided that her best choice was to go south, through the old border and beyond.

 At the border, precisely, she met friends for the first time. They were indigenous peoples. Alicia had never seen people so beautifully dressed, not after the devastation of the war. But the indigenous women she met told her, in signs that they wanted to preserve what was theirs. War had torn them apart but they trusted that everything would get better. Alicia wasn’t as optimistic but shared a couple of days with them before continuing south.

 It took her months to cross through jungles and devastated cities. It was incredible to see how many people had survived the war, hiding in forests and going back to the lives lived by their ancestors. They were casual hunters and some had even started to grow food again. Many volcanoes made the soil a good friend but many people ran scared when rain came of when the wind blew to strongly. They talked about La Mancha, some sort of explosion that hey had seen and had destroyed, even more than war, the land were they lived.

La Mancha was no other than the horrible stain floating over the nuclear power plant that had being blown up by the Southies. Alicia heard of the story many times, by many people, on her way to the canal. But she noticed something else too: the more she traveled, the more Statians she saw. Some of them were taken as refugees by the locals but others were in occupation of small territories.

 After crossing lake Nicaragua, Alicia was arrested by one of these Statians. The man called himself a general and said they were retaking these territories “in order to protect them, as only us have the intelligence and power to do so”. They had killed several locals and threatened to turn Alice into a slave, again. But this time she knew better. She faked compliance and started giving them all a private show but when she was almost naked, Alicia took a gun from the general and killed him. Everything turned into chaos but the locals and Alicia prevailed.

 In the midst of the fighting, Alicia realized women where also members of the Statian army. They were not many, but they were there. She realized she had no compassion for them either, thinking of how low they had gotten. They were no different than the men. Alicia realized her struggle was not again the Statians alone; it was against every person that wanted others to do as they said.

 After the skirmish, the young fighter crossed more mountains and forest until she got to the exclusion zone. It was there where she killed ten more army men. She went through several papers they were carrying and realized they had been set to check the plant and retrieve something from it. Dead as they were now, they weren’t going to finish nothing and, hopefully, it would take some time before the Statians knew what had happened to them.

 Alicia then reflected on her being there and realized something: she was alive. She inhaled and exhaled several times and then stood still, as if waiting for something to happen. Nothing. Somehow, she could breath. Was that why those men were there? Then, she heard something she had only heard from afar and in television: a helicopter. It appeared just above her, flew a bit further ahead and landed softly. From the machine came out a gorgeous women, tanned and with short black hair. She neared Alicia and she was surprised by her question.

-       Are you all right?

 The young woman nodded. The woman told her to come with her. She took Alicia’s hand and they both walked towards the helicopter. Once inside, the machine started roaring again and rose above the trees and old buildings. Alicia didn’t say a word but saw the woman besides her give her a smile.

-       My name is Rosa. You might refer us as Southies…

 But Alicia was fainting. Unknown to her, one of the soldier’s bullets had gone straight into her right lung. The last thing she saw, before falling asleep, was Rosa pulling out  a needle from a case and yelling at her. But Alicia couldn’t her a word. She was pretty tired and just let herself go.