Feet like large stones are trampling over us creating waves of dusts now contrasting the off-blue, gray tinted sky. The sky flashing in and out of sight, I am dying, my heart shattered by bullets going too far too quickly, I could not protect her. She is under me, my tears falling like hail creating puddles over her deep burgundy wounds. We were only supposed to get water from the lake, we were not supposed to stay out longer than our thirst was satisfied with cool moisture. But, she wanted to play and I could not reject her large, round, pleading eyes that smiled lovely, longing for just a few more minutes in open sun. Her brothers were not opposed to the longer outing, and so we proceeded to play.
There’s this one game that she and her siblings love to play together because it reminds them of the humans our ancestors witnessed. They would repeatedly glide and slide their tusks onto each other in a diagonal formation, shifting their bodies spherically as to place an added dynamic to this dual. We swore our families, now chopsticks 6,000 miles away, could hear our bullhorn laughs and smiles greater than anything one can artificially carve. I was to dual her next, her whose wounds now oozed out a color like watered-down red wine, when the first bullet grazed her brother’s back.
They kept coming quicker than I could blink and she was falling down in a motion like a skyscraper whose foundation was bulldozed in one stroke. We knew who it was, I can hear their feet approaching with axes and guns clattering with every step closer to my only daughter, her body slowly decaying before my blurred eyes. I kept asking why, why is it that we have to die for our beauty? My mother would always tell me that “humans do not see our people as beings, we are their playthings, we must love and protect each other so that our children’s children may survive” and I told that to my babies. I told them of that and of sick times when the humans poisoned our reserve to have us all dead, I am longing for such a death now because at least it was quick and painless, so I hope. Now, I am dying, slowly and surely, and I could not protect her. Our face will be torn out by axes at the head, blood will paint the fields that rainwaters will wash away by midday tomorrow and we will be made for human consumption; sticks for eating, interior decorations; our skin for piano keys and sixteen balls to shoot into sockets for fun, they say we are made for them and this is why we are dying.
My daughter, my love, my heart, my soul, at least we will have each other. In this last moment, I pray for the sake of my sons and family, I pray for peace.
Nathalie E. Amazan, 2018.