Sunday, July 1, 2007

In the Eyes of a Child

It is late at night, and I can hear men shouting... I wish they would stop but it seems to go on and on. The men are yelling at my father, they want to come and use our house. My father said no, because he is responsible for the protection of all of the children. The men got angry, but they went away, and quiet returned. My father is a strong man and he keeps us safe. All of the grownups seem nervous.

I don't understand.

During the day, our house is very hot, so we spend our time outside. Papa says to stay close to the house, and we younger children are always under the eyes of my father, or, when he is meeting with the green men, by one of our uncles, or the men papa hires to guard our house. I don't like the green men, because they wear strange clothes, and speak in a strange way.

I don't understand.

At night, the shouting returns... this goes on almost every night, and every day for a week, men shouting and threatening my father in the dark of the night, and the green men asking my father questions in the hot light of day.

I don't understand.

One day, the green men take my father away... there is much shouting in the village, because the people don't want my father to leave... my father is the local Mayor. Why are they taking him?

I don't understand.

When the men come that night, they forced my uncle to let them into our house, and the other houses in the village. The next day the men in our houses fought the green men. There were explosions, men screaming, and lots of noise and dust. I hid under a table. When it was over, I went and looked for my mother... she was dead. We screamed and cried... later the green men brought my father home.

I'm afraid... and I don't understand.

That night, the men came back to our house... but they didn't shout. They killed my father's men and one of my father's brothers. Then, they killed my father... all while I watched.

After the funerals, I asked my uncles why my parents were dead. My eldest Uncle, our new Mayor (in my village we call him "Sheik" instead of Mayor) answered me by shrugging his shoulders and saying: "This is war, my sweet" I asked him who we were fighting, and he thought about it for a moment, then looked at me and said: "Everyone".

I'm an orphan because of "war"... So are all of the other children in our house.

I don't don't understand.

Gunfighter lives, with his family, in Washington D.C.'s northern Virginia suburbs. He is a tactical firearms instructor for a federal agency. he is active in his community and church. When he grows up, he wants to be a writer, or hand out balloons at Disney World... either would make him very happy. Gunfighter can normally be found at The View From Here, ranting on any number of subjects.

This post is part of the July Blog Exchange. This month we're tackling the prompt “In my child’s eyes”. You can find me at Gunfighter's site today, and the full list of participants can be found by clicking here.

15 people like me!:

Jenn in Holland said...

I am utterly speechless, and in tears.
Beautiful work GF.
Really wow.

Alex Elliot said...

Oh my gosh! Very moving. Well done, Gunfighter.

Cori@SAHMbles said...

So much goes on in the world we live in that we are oblivious to, everyday children suffer. Great post.

Jodi said...

Amazing post!

soccer mom in denial said...

Stunning. And painfully sad.

Amanda said...

Sobering and powerfully communicating the value in being grateful simply for being, with our children and our parents.

Heather said...

I'm honored to be hosting such an amazing writer today. Thanks Gunfighter!

Lara said...

wow... i'm just plain in awe. thank you for sharing such an amazing piece of writing with us.

Gunfighter said...

Many thanks for being such a great hostess Hether... I am so glad to have been exposed to your blog and your readers.

I'll be visiting again!


dana said...

This is a stunning entry. It definitely makes me think of the safety of children.

Damselfly said...

Too bad that is a reality for so many children.

Mom Thumb said...

Too many children live in pain and fear that goes unnoticed by most of the rest of the world. Wonderful piece, thanks.

Rose said...

Just wow, no other words can do justice to the writing and to the sentiment.
Thank you for writing this.

Heather said...

Congrats to Gunfighter for his Best of Blog Exchange Award for this post!!!

PunditMom said...

I'm sorry I am just not getting to read this. This is so jarring. To say this truly deserves a Best of Blog Exchange is an understatement. What an amazing piece of writing.

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