Children Not Soldiers

The people have elected a new president. The first thing he did was conscript children into a school for future soldiers, and not a single human rights organization found out. Selena was one of those children. She was twelve when soldiers at school picked her up from school, rode a chopper, and disappeared. They brought her to a garrison along with hundreds of children like her. There, she met friends she'd do anything to protect.

chmcast · Urban
Not enough ratings
25 Chs

The Historic Day

Christmas is probably my worst time of the year. I had no animosity toward the holiness whose birthday is being celebrated. Still, I do have some problems with how we celebrate it.

My name is Selena Garcia, eight years old and the eldest child of two, my father; I have no idea where he is. I do remember, though, that I had one until I was four. How I wish grandma is still alive. She's a bit grumpy, but she's very generous, unlike my uncles and aunts, who are very self-centered and condemnatory. So here I am, sulking inside my room, listening to their voices wherein I, alone, am the topic.

"…that kid is very arrogant," said the spouse of my favorite uncle. "How did you raise that kid, France?"

"…she talks back to elderly people so easily. How rude she is!" said another, my godmother.

"…she deserves how Elric treats her. If it was me, I'd pull her tongue out."

"… she has your husband's war freak attitude. She can't be tamed!"

"…Elric is a drug addict. If there's someone who should all of you condemn, that's him," says my mom, and I heard chuckling.

"… he's mental. He can't help it," said an uncle. "Put a leash on your daughter, France. Or we will."

How could they be so insensitive? Elric had been hurting my mom since forever! I can't just stand around doing nothing just because he's my uncle. If I could ever have the chance, I'd kill the guy myself. No one hurts my mom, and I live to tell the tale. And these people seem alright with it. How? Why?

Because it's not them on the receiving end of the pain, so they're free to talk.

Had they experienced being suffocated by a pillow while they slept? Elric, my uncle, did that to me.

Had they received his solid kicks when I alone defended my mother from his wrath?

Had they been slammed against the wall simply by standing in his path?

Do they know how it feels like to sleep with a small knife under your pillow for somewhere around lurks a monster?

Had they experienced taking a bath only to have someone bang on your door until it opens?

Had someone tried to choke them to death only to be saved by a neighbor's 911 call?

They're probably wondering why those haven't scared me the least bit. If there's something those treatments did to me, they only amplified my hate towards them. At first, it was mostly fear, and then out of the blue, it transformed into overwhelming fury.

My list goes on, and all of it had something to do with life and death situations. I'd give anything to beat the crap out of that monster.

"Your mother just left. Oh yes, I'm gonna kill you. I'm going to start with your nails."

Yep. Elric tried to kill my nails first. What a sight would it have been to wear natural black nail polish if he got through me?

They have no idea what kind of hell I'd been living for the past five years of my life. That even in my sleep, I take caution. What's a nice siesta feel like? I'd give my bicycle to know. I am eight. Do I warrant this kind of treatment? For my relatives, I do.

I don't get why a kid should respect someone just because he's aged. Respect is not for free. Respect is earned through deeds. Even if you are a kid or an adult, it will be the endeavor you've done for you to get respected. If age is all it takes to be appreciated, then should every child respect the criminals who had raped, robbed, and killed the innocent?

If only the adults knew how sure of themselves they'd been. If only someone could advise them how wrong they are. Most adults aren't easy to respect and difficult beyond belief. Simply because there's no one older than them telling them what is right or wrong anymore, some adults had gone off course. Physically, they aged. Mentally though, I doubt that.

They do horrible and unreasonable deeds, and then they talk of respect? I am pretty impressed by how foolish they've gone.

A knock woke me out of my bitter reverie.

France, my mom, entered the room. Jerry, my four-year-old sister, tailed her inside. My mom is the sort of mom you see in movies who's very delicate looking and weak. Even her demeanor is slave-like. Some say I look like my mom. But there is an air of misery in her that sometimes I hated to look at her. Unlike me, even if it doesn't show, there is no sign of strength or zeal in her. She's the epitome of hopelessness. And I, her eldest daughter, had made it my lifelong mission to protect such a fragile thing.

"Seena, Seena!" Jerry called and leaped on my bed. "Let's eat."

"You've been cooped up here for a long time. Your cousins had long arrived," Mom said. "Don't you want to see them?"

"If they want to see me, they're free to enter my room," said I and grabbed a pillow and embraced it. "I don't want to see how the elders see me."

"Dear, don't be like that," my mom said. "They'd love to see you."

I snorted. "I heard your conversation. They hate me. Always have, always will."

My mom shook her head. "That's absurd, dear."

Oh yes, she'll assume that. I am cooped up in my room four walls away from their palaver. It's not viable to hear anything from inside my room. But the distressing part is, I can.

Years of watching out for the horrid creature lurking around trying to kill me, my sister, and my mom, walls apart, is enough to strain your ear up to their limits. More than once, I almost died being trapped in his element of surprise. I vowed to every creature on the planet that someday, no one would be stealthy enough to catch me by surprise. The pull of self-preservation began having its toll on me, and now I have the ears of the beasts.

"Just let me be, Mom," I said lethargically. "I am not hungry anyway."

France nodded, and Jerry offered to bring me food. Had I known that my nonattendance would cause a lot of upheavals, I would've gone out? Not!

My uncle Elric, and my godfather, Lelio, barged inside my room and started to nag.

I looked at them dead in the face. They had no idea that I couldn't hear a thing. My head chose to be too preoccupied with the Japanese horror movie I watched an hour ago. And then, I saw Elric try to grab me, so I stepped back. They had probably realized by now that words won't work on me, so they're trying to inflict pain. So much for discipline, huh? Why can't they just die and disappear forever? I pushed them out of the way and ran out of the room. Then it was pandemonium. For when they tried to catch me, my bigger cousins wanted to stop them.

"Father," said Michel, my cousin. "Leave Selena alone. She's just a kid!"

"Stop," said one of my aunties. "You are scaring the kid!"

But they still continued to pursue me. In the end, they got me cornered. Lelio slapped me on the face says, that's for running away when they were trying to be diplomatic. If that was their diplomacy, now, I really am looking forward to what their dictatorial approach would look like.

My Christmas gift was a bloody lip. I paid badly for avoiding them and how… How in the world would I try to revere such creatures?


Days passed, and it was back to normal, Elric trying his best to hurt me. After yelling at him to leave my mom alone, he snapped at me, and I ran. I hurried back to my room and locked the door. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Bam. I closed the door and kicked the bamboos in place. The banging began. He started forcing himself inside the room again. Too bad for him though, I've been saving most of my allowance to buy tons of bolts for security purposes. There are eight locks, including the doorknob. Aside from that, I had smuggled two bamboo shoots inside the house and into my room which lengths are enough to get the door barricaded from door to wall.

"I'm going to kill you!" he yelled. "I'll make it slow. Painful. I'll enjoy every second of it!"

"You've been saying that for what?! Four? Five years?" I yelled at the door. "Don't make me laugh, uncle! I'm starting to grow tired of your empty threats."

But, oh boy, those threats weren't empty at all. For most of the time, I look at the mirror and find a beat-up, bruised, and ugly stranger staring back at me.

I was shaking.

Fear. Fury. Self-pity. Helplessness. Despair. Sadness. Excitement.

And then the banging on the door ceased. And although I was shaking in every negative emotion I could name, I sighed in pity. Elric will be destroying my windows next. Would you try to throw rocks and knives at me? Would you try to bathe me with boiling water? Would, what? Spray mosquito killer through my broken windows to suffocate and poison me?

I knew he was outside my room now, standing in front of the window, staring at it in defeat. He didn't do anything but stand quietly, which brought a cocky smile to my lips. I put a layer of my kind of Christmas decorations. Thick layers of barb wires welcomed his sight. I doubt he could still stick his hands on the wholes he made; else, he'd get grated by the rusty pinpricks.

I listened to his leaving footsteps. Scared for my mother and little sister's safety, I pricked my ears and followed the sound of his footsteps around the house. I heard the tapping of a basic phone's keypad. I frowned. This is one odd gesture. I lay down on my bed and listened. Then, he made a victorious grunt which I heard him clear even though he's a few feet away, walls apart.

In the entirety of the five years I've been with this demon, never had I considered him as the conspiring, cunning hooligan. He's more like a nut head bully who does nothing but hurt others. That time though, I knew. I knew he was planning something.

Then the day came when two of Elric's friends sneaked into the house. My mother had left to buy food at the grocery store. It was also the day when my hands were drenched with somebody else's blood.

The historic day of my first kill.

Hi, I'm about to start writing on this platform. One day, if you ever stumble upon this story, I hope you get to enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

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