Agape: In Search of Universal Love
from the novel, The Lodging for the Rose
Rolf. A. F. Witzsche

Story 2 - Shoot Them!
page 13

      Ursula told me that she had hugged herself to the ground behind the compost heap. She said that she could hear the woman who had helped her, hushing her children. She was hiding nearby with three little ones. It was the children's voices that gave them away.
      The radio crackled. "'I have three children and a woman here,' a man said. 'Shall I let them go?'"
      "'Shoot them,' the radio crackled back."
      "'Shoot children?'"
      "'Little rebels grow into big rebels,' the radio crackled back. 'Kill them!'"
      She said it was terrible. She heard the bullets enter their bodies. "It's my turn next, that's all I could think of," she said. "Then a boy panicked, who was hiding in the field beyond the fence. He started to run. Immediately his mother ran after him. She hadn't gone ten feet. I heard the crack of a gun; the woman jerked and stumbled forward reaching out towards her boy with blood now pouring from her face. Another crack followed and the boy fell to the ground; and then another which brought the woman to her knees, still reaching out to him. She was shot three times."
      Ursula had tears in her eyes as she spoke. "No one can imagine the intensity of emotion that wells up in the face of this horror. I would have cried had I not fainted when the last shot tore into the woman's head."
      She said, it was very still when she came to, but she couldn't move. She could barely believe she was still alive. The squad must have passed her off as dead. She couldn't move a muscle out of sheer fright.
      She had remained motionless, painfully so, until dark, then crawled out of the garden into the open field. She didn't dare stand up, not until she saw one of the other survivors stand up, and then a second one. The rest were, evidently, all dead.
      She said she went to the house for her camera, but couldn't make herself go in. She backed away from it and started to run, to get away from this place. She kept running until she was exhausted. She ran and walked all through the night, until finally, by dawn the next day she was able to cry again. She cried mostly for the boy and this woman who had saved her life.
      By noon she came upon the squad truck again. She found it bombed out by the wayside. Bodies were strewn through the bushes. She couldn't look at them. She didn't stop. She just kept running. All that mattered to her was to get to Honduras alive, and she prayed that she would have the strength for it.
      Later, she slept for two days. A farmer had found her in his shed, who had at first thought her to be dead.

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 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, Canada