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Short Story - Genocide: The Bricklayer 

2022-04-06  Staff Reporter

Short Story - Genocide: The Bricklayer 
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Ruben Kapimbi

Call me Judas.

First, I frog-jumped a torn-jersey prisoner. Then, a trooper pressed the metal tube of the gun against my sore spine. 

Yesterday, three handcuffed prisoners dizzied after eating some gummy rice. We pulled their swollen bodies into a shallow grave. “We’ll bury you alive,” shouted a trooper. His remarks tricked three bare-chested prisoners to sprint into the hay-like grass. 

Instantly, a trigger-happy soldier sprayed bullets on the fresh-faced prisoners’ bruised backs. “Bolt the rails!” yelled a commander, waving the gun at the scattered steel bars. 

Soon, the war prisoners jingled the rusty steel bars. Then, we lifted a bowl-shaped rail truck and paired its full-moon shaped wheels on the matching rails. 

Later, we pushed the clacking rail truck uphill. Atop the hills, the soldiers served stainless-steel trays of black rice, and shapeable water bottles. However, the growling-stomach prisoners sniffed the soupy rice. Then, I sipped the soppy rice. Afterwards, I gurgled the brackish water. 

Later, the half-starved prisoners pounced on the salty rice and gulped the dishwater. 

The next day, we handpicked four-cornered bricks and carried the mud-spattered bricks into the blast boiler. The scorching sun baked our backs before the soldiers fastened us with metal rings around the hips. Soon the brick-carrying prisoners hobbled towards the heater. 

Meanwhile, the troopers flogged our backs with leather belts. 

First, we lowered the clay bricks into the walled-and-floored blue flames. Then, we spun the blocks with our naked hands inside the boiler. 

The next day, the troopers gifted the prisoners oversized khaki coveralls. In return, I pressed my chest against the commander’s bullet-puffed vest. 

Suddenly, the bloodshot-eyed trooper punched me in the stomach. “Never touch a trooper,” he said, kicking my tummy as I spewed out the cloudy rice. I sank on my knees and wiped my lips on his knee-shy boots.  Later, we bundled the bricks on the blue-and-yellow flame. That sunset, a bright circle in the clear sky cooled down the bricks. 

Next, we piled the bricks on the railway trucks. This time, we pushed the rail trucks downhill. Abruptly, I tripped over a pile of bricks and reddish sand. 

We dug hollow shovels into the mixtures of putty and sand. Finally, we pushed around single wheeled carts and raised up the foundation of the square-shaped building. 


2022-04-06  Staff Reporter

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