A Village: Memories

A Village: Memories

A Story by lrigD

Memories of what he used to be were everyone.

He paused, standing at the top of the large rock that hung over the river. Ahead of him, the trees finally cleared out and he could see a village, lying peacefully in the afternoon sun. The round houses were made of clay with a thatched roof. Some of them had been painted white, but most of them had retained their original, terra cotta colour, though lightened from the sun. He could tell that they had been standing there for a while; the houses were battered, some of the thatched roofs missed parts: and yet the village gave off a sense of safety, the thought that once you entered, you were sheltered from the outside world.

He remembered afternoons in his childhood just like this, sitting somewhere with his friends and just watching the village, talking about many different subjects, but always with their eyes on the village. Watching. Checking.

His village was not dissimilar to this one. A collection of houses near a river, small, simple houses with no electricity, no gas, nothing. But to him, it had been the world.

He remembered the school, where he dutifully sat through another day of lessons almost every day. He remembered going home after school to eat, then gather outside to meet his friends; they would wander into a garden and steal some of the ripe fruits, running away before the owners could catch them; then, at a distance, they would eat them, all the while having a sense of togetherness.

He remembered their mothers, gossiping near the water while they were washing clothes; sometimes, they listened, coming as close as they could without being discovered.

Or they would play soccer with a ball that continuously broke, a ball made out of not much more than plastic bags tied together. At times it was all they would do; play, play, play until their feet hurt and they were out of breath.

And, when he was older, he remembered watching the girls by the water, seeing how gracefully they moved, their long hair moving with them as they bent to wash the clothes. He always loved their hair, loved the way they nonchalantly waved it back or tied it in a ponytail; and, when they were even older, put it away under a headscarf, always teasing with just a little bit of hair.

As a little boy, he had loved watching his mother do her hair like that every morning, just distractedly taking care of it while several of her children clung to her.

Nothing changed back then. Life went on, and he slowly changed from a boy into a man, almost without noticing. But one day, he had hairs on his chin, he had uncomfortable feelings to deal with and an increasing desire to see girls again, the way he did when he was twelve and just discovering the opposite sex.

The man sighed, revisiting memories of moments long by. The place he called home now was situated in an anonymous apartment block. He hardly knew his neighbours; he had introduced himself when he had first moved there, but had never really seen them since. It wasn't really his home, anyway; only a place to stay while he was in the area.

He shook his head; he had no time to dwell upon these things. That life was past, and he had willingly chosen a new one. There was no use to going back to the way things were.

Sighing once more, he stood up straight, mentally cataloging every strategic advantage, every house in front of him.

Then, he slung the gun over his shoulder and descended the path that would lead him to the village.

© 2010 lrigD

Author's Note

Sometimes I long for a world like that village... in peace. Please give me your opinion!

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Added on March 28, 2010
Last Updated on September 6, 2010
Tags: men, hunt, village, childhood, memories, adult, man, boy, attack, army




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