Shouting. Was it close? It was close, I could feel the breath hitting my face.
Didn’t understand it. Could hear ringing. Were my ear drums busted? No, it was Arabic. Fuck was I captured?
Tried to move my hands, cable tied.
I managed the strength to look up at my surroundings. I was trapped. Shit there was a camera, it the red LED light was piercing.
I looked behind me, Taliban flag. A hand slapped me my face back to facing the front. Fuck Fuck Fuck, I didn’t want to go like this.
We had all seen the videos when we were shipped over to this shit hole. Give us an idea of the consequences if we were captured, but it was more to build hatred.
I had tried to imagine what it would be like… Now I knew.
Only Arabic echoed around interrupted by a crying moan.
More like deep sobbing trying to be choked down in the distance. Risking another boot in the face I looked up to see a boy, can’t have been more than 10 years old. The AK-47 weighed his thin shoulders down, an oversized toy.
I too felt like crying. I choked back a sniff.
“Hold it together, Kant” someone said in the background.
Holy shit, did I just hear English?
Another voice stated “Shut up. Your time will come Colonel Richards…”
Richards, my CO. I was filled with joy that I wasn’t alone, but that was soon replaced with dread as I realised he in the same position.
The front of my collar choked me as the back of my shirt was yanked up, bringing me up to an upright kneel.
The full scene became apparent to me. There was Richards, strapped to a chair, his blood stained stubble twisted as he gave a toothy grin.
“We are in deep shit, Kant.”
I remember asking him when I was maggot, what being in deep shit was. He told me I better pray never to find out.
Should’ve prayed harder.
“Allah Akbar!” A synchronized chant called out.
A lone man talked to the camera in Arabic.
The ranting seemed to be over, a machete was produced.
Mom. Ah shit Mom, I’m sorry.
Would she see the video?
A hand ripped at my hair.
A whispering voice emitted from a hooded Taliban.
“Lower your head, it will be easier, american dog.”
“Don’t you do it Private, keep eye contact with me that an order.”
The arab swung around and hit the colonel with the butt of the machete in the mouth.
“Fucken’ Pigs” he murmured as he flexed his injured jaw.
“That’s it” the Head Taliban gestured to Richards “Him first”
They started lifting me. An anger arose in me, those fucken amateurs.
“Fuck you. I’m first. YOU FUCKING PIGS, I’M FIRST.” I shouted.
The colonel let out a brief laugh and clapped his shoes together in a lonely applause rocking his rickety chair as we swapped positions.
“A commendable effort young Kant, but we can’t spend all day playing musical chairs. I am first. You can thank me in hell for your extra time on this miserable earth.”
“Are you ready to die Colonel Richards?”
“DIE!?” outburst Richards from the rear.
“I’ll never die,” laughing with a tremendous roar, the seat buckling to and fro from his great mass.
A butt of a rifle collided into the side of his face, “Isn’t that right boy?” he shouted to the frightened kid.
“He’s your son isn’t he?” Richards said to his executioner. The Taliban turned to his son and murmured something in Arabic.
“I’ll be in your nightmares forever, kid”
“Shut up dog” the boy muttered in a meek voice.
“So the little sand nigger can talk english? I’m never going to die, you’ll wake up in a cold sweat to my screams for the rest of your life.”
“Be quiet!” the taliban raged as he smashed a end of a rifle into his forehead so hard it split the skin.
Richards just laughed, spluttering blood on the rug at his feet.
“Traumatized… just like me. You never forget the horrors you see, I’ll be glad for rest.” He relaxed his neck.
The machete fell down. He swung his head to the side, the blade clipped his ear.
“Ow fuck that tickled!” he shouted, “Okay, Okay get it over with” He lowered his head in defeat.
I tried to turn my head look away but a boot stamped on my head.
“SCUM” the taliban shouted as he swung again. This time he rose his to meet it.
At the impact of the blade a blend of the Colonel’s teeth and blood exploded as it sunk into the back of the mouth splitting the cheeks.
A silence smothered the room, with only a slow gurgling sound coming from Richards collapsed throat, laughing even in death?
The executioner groaned as he struggled to pull the machete out of the wound, his jaw tightened on to it.
Using both hands he wrenched the blade upwards, in a motion similar to opening a tin can swinging the skull backwards like a grotesque pez container. Richards was dead.
Cursing as he spat on the mutilated body.
I closed my eyes but couldn’t ignore the smell.
The man at the camera shouted in frustration and there was an overall
“You are lucky, your turn is tomorrow” The Head Taliban left me and tried to comfort his son.
He kept vomiting till he was dry gagging.
He would never forget what he saw and neither would I.