View Full Version : Child of the Dusty Grave

March 6th, 2012, 11:00 PM
Note From the Author:
This piece was written a while ago for a project that I do not remember. It was lost until I found it data mining within my computer. Reading it, I found that it wasn't that bad of a piece albeit it has some grammar and structure problems at the moment. If I ever decide to get off my lazy butt, I will probably edit this and add some more to it. For now though, enjoy.

I am youth. Or that is what my body use to say.

Name: désespoir dans la poussière

Nickname: Adam

Born; June 13, 1995

Died; June 31, 2003

I remember my birth. It was a hot day like the other 365 days of the year; nothing special. My head peculiarly poke out into the world for the first time. I wasn’t granted though with the smell of sterile air of a hospital, that was too expenses for us. No, I was born in a shack; that hung a little-bit to the right. The first smell was dust; dry, grained dust. It was the smell that would herald the rest of my short life. My Life… It went in the blink of an eye, didn’t it, yet it seemed to go on for so long.

I was always hungry. It was the norm in my life. Whenever we sat in the middle of our hut, the three of us, we had at most a small light broth soup that was evenly shared for the three of us and, sometimes, a small bit of bread. During unfortunate times we only had the soup, if that at all. We were lucky though, we were able to get by as well as we could; unlike the others.

There were other shacks that encircled ours, our neighborhood. It was the Oasis in the Desert that we lived in. Each shack hung limply to one side or the other. We had water, but it was a small pipe that was given to us from “the pale creatures,” long ago. They said they would return to give us more than that, that they bring us salvation; but they never came after that… We were left to fend for ourselves…

Sometimes, strange groups of men would come into our Oasis and take one of the children. I now know that they were called “militia.” But not then, I was naïve and young. Other times, a group of neighbors would vanish in the dust, never to be seen again. I speculate that those that left in the dust, left because of hunger and ran in desperation out into the desert seeking refuge. Whatever the case, I have yet to see them up here…

During a time when I was five years old, there was a great drought and even less food than usual. The pipe of water would sometimes bring up water, and other-times it wouldn’t. There was a great panic from my memory that I can recollect from. My parents were pushing me by, trying to get water before our neighbors. And the times we didn’t, not only did we not have food but we didn’t have anything to drink. I don’t know how WE made it, because so many died in the drought. I remember, smelling the stench of death all around me. Sometimes, the smell would mix with the dust in the air and intoxicate my nostrils with smells that I cannot describe.

Soon, there were only 25 left of us in our so called village.

A year past, I was 6.

Date: June 13, 2001. 2 years before I died.

It was my birthday. We didn’t celebrate though; what could we celebrate? I was just another mouth to feed. My father told me this to my face on this day. We were slowly eating our soup when my father put his strong ebony hands down to the earthen floor and looked directly at me.

“You know the date?” he told.

“No,” I replied.

“It is the day that began the burden of this family.” He plainly told. “The date that heralds the death.”

“Oh.” was all I said.

He scoffed at my simple replies. “Children only burden this world. Just another mouth to feed with our dust that we’ve collected; I should sign you up in two years…”

Sign me up for what? I would soon come to know the answer.

He returned to his soup. My mother looked at me with glazed eyes, and I looked at her. To this day, I still do not know what her feelings were of me: only that they were pleading me to do something…

To run away? Perhaps…

So, two years went like the dust devils that went by in our desert. It happened so quickly, so... un-eventful… We were eating our soup when they came. The militia. There were five of them, each strong, broad, and as ashen as night. One of the five came up to my family and plainly stated my name.

“Adam,” he sounded.

“I… I also sounded.

“Come,” he replied.

I quickly finished my soup and walked towards the group. Truth be told, I was curious. I wore only a loin-cloth, and my parents only wore cloth that they called “pants.” But these men, they wore garments that I have never seen. Garments that even clothed their upper body, most likely hiding skin that has been scarred. Shiny medallions hang from those garments, glimmering with the sunshine outside.

Suddenly, two of the men clutched my scrawny arms, making sure I wouldn’t change my curiosity.

As we walked out of the front door, I turned around. My parents were still inside, eating. Un-eventful…

We walked a few miles, growing ever so tired. On the journey I bent down and I was slapped on the back.

“Stand up straight,” one of them told me.

And so I did for the rest of the journey.

A time came when I was met with a monster. It was called a vehicle I later found out, but right then it was a behemoth to me. There was a white cloth that over-hanged in an arch on the behemoth. I was slapped again on the back to get in the arched liked structure. I did as I was told, my parents always told me to follow anyone older than me. Even them… I walked around, getting Dust in my eyes. I pulled the flap away and was greeted with other children. They were solemn looking though, seeming to gray the air around them.

I got in, and sentenced my death.

This happened on June 11, 2003. 20 days…

The ride to our destination was the quickest part of those 20 days. We rode for well over for what seemed like ten hours. Every now and then some dirt would come in and make the air in arch unbearable to breathe in. Everyone seldom talked during those ten hours, expect for one child who sat to my left.

His name was Ezekiel.

“How did you come abroad,” he asked me.

“Take up from the dust,” I replied.

“A little vague,” he mused,” but suiting for the situation!”

He pat my back, ensuring a constitution of friendship; a short, but enduring friendship. We laughed our way down to hell. We asked each other where we came from. When that started to bore us we started to do some jokes such as our skin. His was more of a caramel color, and I couldn’t help but mock him about it. He returned the favor by stating that my skin looked like it just came out of an oven.

What was an oven? I asked him.

He told me it was a thing that cooked food over a fire, and if you left food on it too long everything would becoming ashy and dusty.

And so went our trip went like this. But soon enough we were told to get out. It was nighttime, and I could was an outline of different “Structures.”

We were told to move towards the structures. It was a fairy quick journey, only five minutes. When we finally reached our destination, we found out that it was a camp. There was trash everywhere and there was a lingering smell of salt and flesh that had gone rotten. We were told to line to line up and wait.

And so we did…

We waited… and waited… and waited… the air slowly constricting on us.

“What do you think we’re waiting for,” I asked Ezekiel, who was standing to my right.

“Don’t know…” he whispered.

Suddenly, a man came out from one the buildings to the right of me. He was a lion. His main was long, and his whiskers thick. He towered over us like a giant, and we were his snacks. He slowly marched towards us, slowly building suspense. He walked to the front of the line and turned his large frame to us. If it wasn’t for the small tint of caramel in his skin, he would’ve been completely camouflaged in the night.

He looked at each one of us and spoke.

“In 20 days, you will fight,” he began. “And in the end, each one of you will die.”

He turned his back. “Troops, give these Men some guns.”

That was last I ever saw of him. We were each given an AK-47, I knew this because the gun was inscribed with the name. I turned to Ezekiel. “he called us men…”

“I know, don’t have to state was has already been stated…” He turned his head to the ground.

“He said we would die,” I quivered at this thought.


“Then we should get to know each other in these final 20 days.”

He looked up at me and smile. “You’re not that bad of a guy. But I do need to say this, I’m not into guys.”

I was dumbfounded, what was he implying. He suddenly began to laugh at my shock face. “It’s a joke! Now come, it looks we’re beginning target practice.”

He patted me on the back and started running with the others. Everyone missed the target during practice.

20 days pass uneventfully. I only hit the target once on the edge, and it was only once. Our living quarters were better than when I slept at home, but that didn’t mean much. It still smelt like fecal matter, sweat, and a whole bunch of other things that cannot be described. I always felt itchy whenever I slept on the mat. Two days before the fight, after we marched for three miles, I was taken from the group. The man who pulled me took me to a field with two other people in the center.

“Do you see them, over there?” he asks.

“Yes, sir.” I replied.

“You are to kill him…”

And that was the end of it. I cried and I beg not to, but he said I was marked as a dead man walking anyhow. As we approach the two figures, I saw that the man marked for death was another child. He appeared to be only 10, just two years older than me. I was given a shot gun, and told to shoot. I hesitated, but was given encouragement when they said they would make a humiliation in front of the entire group in the camp. And, so, I shot him in the head. As the bullet drilled in his head, a dust storm began to pick. It felt as if, the dust was taking what was rightfully theirs.

In the end, it was un-eventful.

On the 20th day, we went to war with our unknown enemy. Ezekiel was at my side. We had grew in friendship and we made sure that we died side by side. We were told to be men, so we stand up straight. I turned my head Ezekiel.

“what are we made up of?” I asked.

“I heard from some of the men, boys, that we were made up of dust.”

“Just… dust…” nothing more…

“Pretty much, and since we shall die, the Earth shall reclaim the dust that we have taken.”

An abrupt voice came from the distance, it was the man leading us. “Enough talk,” he began. “It is time for battle! The enemy is on the otherside of this plain, and you shall be the first to go. It is a true honor.”

We lined up and looked straight ahead. A dust storm was picking. Ezekiel’s words had suddenly rung in my ear.

The Earth shall reclaim the dust that we have taken…

We were about to pay our due… The whistle blew, and we ran. We ran and we ran. The first gunfire rain out from the opposing side, it had begun. We were men and were reading. But I remembering whimpering as I ran, I was still a boy at heart. Nevertheless, we ran. Another gunshot, my prephial vision had caught someone falling.

One down.

Another shot; two down. The dust storm picked up, I couldn’t see. Ezekiel was still by my side. Another shot; three down. We kept running, it was only when Ezekiel got shot did I stop. I stood up straight and turned around to his body.

He was shot in the head.

Four down.

I was paralyzed, he couldn’t have just been taken out like that. I turned, and that was when my life ended.

Five down…

This was the end of my life. Funny, I was gone in the blink of an eye, and so has this story has follow suite. My life was short, that it barely makes up a few pages. But it is mine, and I am happy to know it is no others. Ezekiel’s story was just as long, he was only nine after all. Yet we have seen what know child should be forced to seen, and this is the reason we died.

We died from seeing mankind follow in folly and falling in corruption. Using their laziness as an excuse to use us for their works, and what end it all was that no one cared. No one cared… We went, and we returned to the ground.

Now, me and Ezekiel look out to see the Earth what it truly is, from this perspective in heaven. All it is, was a dust storm. A storm that encircled the entire circumstance of the Earth. At the heart of the storm was my home, Africa. I saw people being swept up by its wind. Being engulfed in its typhoons, and being taken by its dust devil.

This is the world, this is the life of everything.

But it’s not the heart of the storm that I weep, it is to the west. To a foreign land that I will never set my feet on. There, children play and do things that I have never done or heard of before. They went on about their lives, eating strange foods, and never knowing what lay beyond their boarders. And when the dust storm come to them; sometimes in a rain, sometimes in other forms; they turn their backs and ignore it.

It saddens me, it truly does. For the only thing that I’ve left upon the earth was my soul that has always been connected to the dust. I was born from dust, I smelled dust, so I would be written in it. For after all, aren’t we all just a composition of dust, and we have just taken what the earth has, so therefore we loan our life to the dust?

This is what happened to the first man, Adam. He returned to the dust, and I am a no exception. This what the end heralds for me and for everyone in the camp that I was in. This is the sadden life that each child solider faces.

But sometimes, once in a great while, one person looks to the storm and sees what is in it. They see the tortured lives of us children soldiers; the disease, the hunger, the draught, the cry, the despair. As the dust tear away their vision, I see them weep. I wish to comfort them, but I can’t for I am one of those anguished cries, and I wish not to. For if one person knows of our trials, then perhaps they can make a difference. Perhaps they can stop others from suffering my fate, and the fate of being called a survivor who is scarred for life.

And then perhaps my life will not be in vain. Perhaps, when end comes to ends, this child of the dusty grave can mark his signature and his marking in the dust that he was from.

I am youth, or that is what my body use to say.

Born; June 13, 1995

Died: June 31, 2003

Names: child of the dusty grave. désespoir dans la poussière.

Nickname: Adam

I have returned to the dust, and I have seen horrors that not even a man should see. But it was tell this small story to you, so that others don’t have to follow my footsteps. Please, look out to the storm that lies beyond the horizon. Look, and let not my death be in vain, or of Ezekiel’s, or of any child solider.

Don’t let us be forgotten, like the villagers in my town who left to the desert in a cloud of dust. Don’t be ignorant, and never turn your back away. For even though the storm lies far from where you live, the prevailing winds might just bring it to your door-step, then what will you do. Will you then plead like me? I do not know, and I don’t wish to k now.But I know that can be stop, if you just open your eyes to the prickly specks, and open your ears to the yowling wind.

Just listen, and push the storm away for all!

March 15th, 2012, 07:09 AM
The piece draws me in right to the point where the main character gets shot. Its very smooth even though some of the words are sort of rough in translation. The third time when the word "un-eventful" is mentioned, when the militia comes, is a little awkward, but maybe it is for style reasons?
The afterword where Adam is in heaven is okay, but I like the parts before that much better. Very moving.

March 20th, 2012, 03:52 AM
I enjoyed it, even though it was very sad and moving. It kept my attention and drew me into the story. I really liked the narration style. It was interesting, having him narrate his life. Also, I liked how it was almost poetic in the end.

March 22nd, 2012, 02:31 PM
You should have done a rewrite.....Sloppy throughout. Yet it does have a stylistic appeal from the sloppiness....