© Randy Mazie
“On Wednesday, January 2, 2019, President Donald Trump sent the 101st Airborne to maintain order at the American-Mexican border near Nogales. That was fifteen years ago.” Professor Pauline Vasquez periodically pressed her thumb on the remote, advancing the slideshow in her classroom.
“500,000 migrants, desperate to gain sanctuary, were being turned away by Army soldiers, supported by the National Guard. No one knew who fired the first shot, but it turned into a bloodbath. Three-fourths of the refuges were either killed or wounded while the rest fled.”
One student raised his hand, “Do you know when the genocide reparation hearings are scheduled for?”
I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.
I Googled “Goats and Graves” since that’s part of the photo’s filename, and I came up with a scholarly paper titled, “Goats and Graves: Reparations In Rwanda’s Community Courts. So in this case, I’m using the image symbolically, when normally, I would have taken a more literal perspective.
According to Wikipedia:
In 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a rebel group composed of nearly 500,000 Tutsi refugees, invaded northern Rwanda from their base in Uganda, initiating the Rwandan Civil War. The group condemned the Hutu-dominated government for failing to democratize and confront the problems facing these refugees. Neither side was able to gain a decisive advantage in the war, but by 1992 it had weakened Habyarimana’s authority; mass demonstrations forced him into a coalition with the domestic opposition and eventually to sign the 1993 Arusha Accords with the RPF. The cease-fire ended on 6 April 1994 when Habyarimana’s plane was shot down near Kigali Airport, killing him. The shooting down of the plane served as the catalyst for the Rwandan genocide, which began within a few hours. Over the course of approximately 100 days, around 800,000 Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu were killed in well-planned attacks on the orders of the interim government. Many Twa were also killed, despite not being directly targeted.
Since the Rwandan genocide was triggered by half a million refuges, I made that the jumping off point for my own, wee tale. Of course in the case of Rwanda, the relevant events took place over several months and not in a single day. As I was writing, I was also reminded of the Kent State shootings of 1970.
To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.
Image: Google Images labeled for re-use.
This was by far, the bleakest and blackest of Fridays, at least to the inhabitants of the northern lands of Shek.
Sir Cornelius of Aaroness mounted his steed Urgeox just outside the border of the twelfth village, and turned the animal in a tight circle in order to look back at the conflagration consuming that community. The flames were reflected in the lenses of his helmet, while the filters made certain that no soot or any slight remnant of the dying bacterium brought here by the priests could offend, let alone harm him in any way.
“A beautiful sight, isn’t it Urgeox.” A gloved hand patted the beast’s shale-colored hide on his muscular neck. The Grendel, for such is what they were named by the first exploratory team to visit Chandra Beta as a prelude to human colonization, stood impassively, a marvel of adaptiveness and exacting training. “I know. You care not. Your only concern is food, shelter, and my ministrations to your base needs.”
Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, president of Sudan, sits in the Plenary Hall of the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the 12th African Union Summit Feb. 2, 2009. The assembly endorsed the communique, issued by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, to defer the process initiated by the International Criminal Court to indict Bashir.
Ali Garang Salah stared into the black mirror and saw his past.
He was only five years old the first time he was raped. They murdered his Father right before his eyes, then raped and murdered his Mother and three sisters. The Sudanese soldier took a liking to little Ali, or so he said, and spared his life.
The little boy “served” the soldier, who he was ordered to call “Master,” until he was seven and old enough to use his rapist’s own knife to slit his throat.
He was found by foreign aid workers when he was nine and working as a prostitute in the back alleys of Juba. They put him in an orphanage, but he ran away. He was put back again after a hospital reported him. The beating he’d taken from one of his “customers” was worse than usual. A broken arm this time.
An American woman, a physician from something called “Doctors without Borders,” took pity on him and convinced her husband they should adopt him. It was a miracle that only a year passed before his survival instincts told him it was better to pretend to adapt to life in suburban home in San Diego.
Image: JPL NASA
From the Flight Log of Freighter Pilot Camdon Rod
Not only am I a moron, I think I’m going out of my mind.
For the record, my name is Camdon Rod and I’m the owner/operator of the jump freighter Ginger’s Regret. Ginger, the woman the freighter is named for, is here too. Well, sort of. Over fifty years ago, a hyperjump accident destroyed her flesh and blood body, but the rest of her stayed here. She’s the ship’s personality. Sometimes, she can become a woman for a while. Convenient since we’re in love with each other.
Sometime ago, I accepted a deal to work for a group of hyperspace beings, illegally hauling cargo for them. I had no choice. They could kill Ginger if I didn’t.
After that, I had to agree to work for the terrorist organization Spire for the same reasons.
I can’t believe I was stupid enough not to see the connection right away. Either Spire is run by these beings, or behind the scenes, they’re manipulating the people who do run Spire.
The disease, or whatever it turned out to be, was highly specific in targeting anyone with XX chromosomes. Within a year, every woman, every little girl, all of them had died. The XY chromosomes didn’t get a free pass either. Over 75% of them…of us died as well. .
It was that cloud the Earth passed through. It defied chemical and radiological analysis, so at first we didn’t realize how devastatingly fatal it was. It had drifted into our solar system, and our planet had the misfortune of being in the portion of our orbit with which it intersected. The first deaths occurred only weeks after contact.
A world population of over eight billion reduced to just less than a billion, all male. The last time the Earth held just a billion people was at the beginning of the 19th century.
But most people probably thought that moot since without women, the human race couldn’t reproduce and repopulate. The little boys born before their mothers died would be the last generation. That’s what most people thought.