Student or Learner
This is the second part of my short story WAR. Please, would you proofread it.
They brought us to the crossroad where the buses and tanks had been already waiting for us. The atmosphere changed. The soldiers around the buses were watching us with suspicion and hostility. We were ordered to climb on the bus. As the first group of men entered and sat down on the seats, there was a deafening roar inside and the soldier shouted. “Get down on the floor or I’ll shoot you all.”
I climbed on and was faced with a burly man in his twenties in a dark uniform and a black headband. He blocked my way and bellowed in my face, “Give me your money!” “I have no money,” I answered glancing at his dark eyes, which blazed with rage. He raised the butt of his AK-47 aiming it at my head. “If you don’t give me your money, I’m going to beat you senseless.” I repeated that I did not have any money and showed him my empty pockets, but that seemed to make him only angrier.
I felt my legs wobble. I was in a trap from which there was no escape. This brute was going to smash my head into pieces, and if by chance I survived, I would be walking like a zombie, unable to communicate with other people.
I expected the impact of the blow any moment when I heard the voice from the rear, “Don’t hit him, he has no money! I’ve got money! Please, take it.” The brute lowered his gun, turned towards the voice, walked down the aisle and snatched the wad from the hand of my neighbour Omar. He counted the notes and put them into his pocket, grunting contentedly. He ordered me to sit down with the others. I was sitting on the dirty floor, wishing I could hug Omar like my saviour and tell him that I was indebted to him for the rest of my life.
Another soldier who was so young, as if he had just left a college, walked up and down the aisle, and chose for himself some wristwatches, which he quickly removed from the people’s arms and slipped into his pockets. Nobody protested. The soldier could become angry and not only take their watches but also cut their arms.
The brute ordered us to keep our heads down and remain silent. The driver started the engine and we expected to depart to our trip to hell. However, suddenly an elder solder came in and shouted at the brute, “You bloody idiot! Who told you to treat people in this way? Who do you think you are?” And then turning to us he said, “Men, go up, everybody. Sit down on the seats like human beings.” Everybody felt like a victor, sitting and watching the brute outside, being dressed down by his superior.
They drove us to the military barracks, but the driver was told that it was full and he turned on to the main road. As we approached the villages where there had been recent fighting, we could watch a surreal scene. A few houses were burning, orange flames leaping through the windows and roofs. Another houses had marks of a heavy gun battle: large and small halls, charred fašades and all windows shattered.
Cattle and poultry were roaming aimlessly, packs of dogs sniffing at the dead civilians in the street. The smell of burning was overpowering. In front of us a group of horses were galloping along the road, they have lost control over themselves. In the middle of the road, there was a body of an old man, lying with his face on the asphalt, apparently shot from behind.
Our driver slowed down and carefully manoeuvred the bus to avoid any contact with the dead body. One of our guards ordered him to stop, and when the doors opened, the guards started chatting with the solders. One of them, a man in his thirties, pointing his gun at the burning houses said, “Look what we are doing to them. They are still shooting from the forest. But instead of shooting back, we simply burn down their homes...” The soldiers and our guards sneered, and I was thinking how mad all this must be, and how our homeland would be turned back in the middle ages. And all this suffering only because of a few idiots who became politicians, and misused their power to manipulate people. We continued, but again the driver pulled over, this time to take in a young soldier on leave and his girlfriend, who were hitchhiking at the roadside. He was wearing a spotless green uniform, a beret cap of the same colour, and had an AK-47 on his shoulder.
She was a young beautiful woman, in a short white skirt, and a light, pink summer dress. They stood in the aisle, chatting with the guard. “Prisoners of war,” he said, and the soldier and his girlfriend gave us a pitying look. “Want a watch,” the guard who pocketed so many watches now pulled out one of them and showed it to the soldier. He shook his head, saying no, and the guard felt a little bit offended and slipped the watch in his pocket, saying, “I’ve many friends, they need good watches.” Watching the young couple, I was pitying myself. I had spent years hoping that one day I was going to succeeded in life, and now instead of success I was on the way to the prison camp where a madman with a gun in his hand could decide if I was going to live or die.
The woman’s shapely legs reminded me that even my love life was just another failure. I had already passed the years when normal human beings start their relationships and form families, but I was still a virgin, and I did not know how it feels to fondle woman’s hair, face and other body parts. I was living not like ordinary people, in reality, but in some imaginary future where my dreams were going to come true and I was going to walk the earth like an incorporeal being and never feel pain or suffering.
TO BE CONTINUED
Mr.Bassim, i did not know that you too were a writer. did you remember me AMK_future writer. well you have written well. when are you going to finish your novel and i think that a writer could help a writer. you have written well and now i think you can help me write better than before. check out my new thread "my first edited novel" and please reply there.
if you can or will tell me your e-mail address to me.