- For Teachers
Please, would you proofread the eight part of my short story The War.
It seemed that the torture of the first prisoner was only the beginning of the orgy because the man with the scar called out two more names. Immediately there was a commotion again in the adjacent warehouse, and two men emerged, trudging as if their legs were deep in mud. This time he first admonished them for following President Izetbegovic, for wishing the separation from Serbia, and for plotting against the Serbs. Then, suddenly, he raised his bat and hit them each in the head. Both men fell down and did not have a chance to go up again because of the deluge of blows, which were assailing them.
His companions were watching him amused while he was swearing and hitting the poor prisoners from which throats came muffled cries. Suddenly just as he had begun, he stopped hitting them and ordered them to pick the body of the first prisoner and return to the warehouse. He took off his beret, wiped the sweat from his forehead with the sleeve of his jacket and lit a cigarette. He was smoking it like a manual worker who had taken a short break before continuing with his hard job.
Soon his voice boomed in the night. This time there was a stir close to me and I saw first one figure going up and then another. They walked outside through the door and in the next moment, they were screaming under the barrage of blows. At the same time, my body started shaking uncontrollably. I closed my eyes but my ears were open, and the horrible sound of torture gave me a great fear. The voice inside me repeated, “You are the next!” Another voice, the voice of reason, was trying to soothe me saying, “Calm down. They’ll not hurt you.”
But the fist voice was stronger and held my mind under its spell. I could hear that every part of my body was rattling and shaking, even the blood in my veins seemed to boil and splash. About ten minutes later the men returned and lay down without uttering a word. I was hoping that the man with the scar would finally tire and leave, but his devilish energy was unending.
For his next victim he picked up an old man. “Where are your sons?” he asked. The man answered that he did not know. “They are with our enemies!” he bellowed. When the old man answered that they did not live with him, the man with the scar slapped him in the face. “Down on your knees!” he ordered and the old man did what he had been told. “Pray!” ordered the man with the scar, and the old man clasped his hands together in front of him. What followed next was pure evil, which no other creature beside human beings is capable of. The youngest companion of the man with the scar, the boy who still was a teenager, came up to the kneeling old man and began beating him with a thick cable. His heavy blows rained down his body, but the old man uttered neither a whimper nor a scream. He was still kneeling and praying to God who left him in the lurch, and who was unwilling to confront evil in the world.
It was just beginning to dawn. Yellow and pink were spreading on the horizon and the world was preparing for another working day, which would make life on earth more prosperous and comfortable. And here a young man was beating another man who was so old that he could be his grandfather. My fear turned into rage. I wished I were brave and in this very moment had walked towards the young man, wrenched the cable from his hand and hit him just as he had been hitting the old man. I would be killed immediately, but at least I would die like a human being, with dignity.
TO BE CONTINUED