Subscribe News Feed Subscribe Comments

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Long Way Gone

A Long Way Gone Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

I am pushing a rusty wheelbarrow in a town where the air smells of blood and burnt flesh. The breeze brings the faint cries of those whose last breaths are leaving their mangled bodies. I walk past them. Their arms and legs are missing, their intestines spill out through the bullet holes in their stomaches; brain matter comes out of their noses and ears. The flies are so excited and intoxicated that they fall on the pools of blood and die. The eyes of the nearly dead are redder than the blood that comes out of them, and it seems that their bones will tear through the skin of their taut faces at any minute. I turn my face to the ground to look at my feet. My tattered sneakers are soaked with blood, which seems to be running down my army shorts. I feel no physical pain, so I am not sure whether I've been wounded. I can feel the warmth of my AK-47's barrel on my back. I don't remember when I last fired it. It feels as if neefdles have been hammered into my brain, and it is hard to be sure whether it is day or night. The wheelbarrow in front of me contains a dead body wrapped in white bedsheets. I do not know why I am taking this particular body to the cemetery. ------Ishmael Beah

Ishmael Beah is a former Sierra Leonean child soldier and the author of the published memoir, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.

Link to the website: A Long Way Gone

My high school friends have begun to suspect I haven't told them the full story of my life.
"Why did you leave Sierra Leone?"
"Because there was a war."
"Did you witness some of the fighting?"
"Everyone in the country did."
"You mean you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?"
"Yes, all the time."
I smile a little.
"You shoulld tell us about it sometime."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What Fresh Hell Is This?

What evil could lurk in the human heart to cause so much terror on this earth? Are we dealing with brain-washing, weak-minded followers, or the bowels of Satan?
Need a refresher?