September 09, 2012

Shades of blood

Palette #4 was composed of these 5 bars: Black-Brown-Orange-Red-Black. Writing exercise was that the story had to be based on the Palette (#4) given to me. This is a fictionalized account of what happened in Dos Erres,which is something you will never forget. I imagined Dos Erres to be composed entirely of Palette #4. Story told from Oscar's point of view. Apologies to Oscar.     

As I enter the village of Dos Erres, I only think of the bloodshed this village has seen. I have been told that nearly 200 people were pulled out of their uniformly colored houses in this now-empty town one fine morning. The military persecuted its own people, wiping out villages. Dos Erres still carries that smell of death, so far removed from the cheerful hope in the streets of my Boston suburb. Now that I am here, I struggle to remember what spring looks like in Boston. Thinking of bright flowers seems too disrespectful of the dead.

When I first got the call that I may have been one of two survivors of the brutality of decades past, I insisted that the prosecutor fighting for justice was mistaken. But Sara had shown us that she was right. And they need me to continue the fight.

A simple DNA test proved that my family lay buried in this well in the forest. All the skeletons have been moved and now wait for their day in court, while the well still carries faint imprints of bone and the walls are the color of dried blood.

I could have been here, but my ex-father had been one of the few soldiers to take home a three year old boy to make me his own. I had never gotten to know him for he died soon after, but this well needs me to confront the happy stories of my grandmother's brave soldier with the reality of a brute who enjoyed obeying the orders to kill.

My real father puts his hand on my shoulder. I feel nothing, no recognition comes from within.

I met him an hour ago. He has not stopped crying. He looks the part of a man that turned to alcohol to bury the feelings of guilt that he was in another village when his family perished. The warm liquid in his glass did not dim his cold, painful existence. And now he had me.

Should I be grateful that my adoptive father saved me while killing the rest of my family?

My unasked question echoes through the well while the stranger next to me sobs softly. 

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