In the little town of Oloitokitok, Omwami had awoken early with the first gray light of day breaking the darkness. He had to see her, he had promised and fulfilling it was better than paying the debt. But why wasn't everything right? Why wasn't his heart at peace with the beautiful mystique morning? At one point, he almost retreated to his house. It was lonely at the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, but safer. That house was eerie, with bees swarming at the base of the fireplace in the living room to give it a sense of life. But he kept walking; he had to settle their scores once and for all and move on.
The forest was thick and unfriendly, a second home to this patriotic Forester. He nurtured these trees, protected them with his life from deforestation, especially by the neighboring Tanzanian firewood traders and charcoal burners. The sound of their power saws at midnight gave him sleepless nights in a row. Each time he had to rise from disturbed sleep, grab his riffle and torch and accompanied by forest guards, trek into the middle of the dark and dense forest to capture the midnight tree-mongers. It was a dangerous endeavor; sometimes confronted by wild animals and armed, aggressive tree-mongers. But forestry was his passion, his source of livelihoods.
A sudden strange and fearful feeling took possession of him. The muscles in his body tightened and hair follicles rose as a grip of danger crept into his body. Something was terribly amiss.
Then he heard them, footsteps from his left. They sounded distant at first but as he approached the familiar border line, they became clearer. They were many...but why weren't they speaking? Were they after him or just some lone by-passers? He froze in his tracks, peering through the maize plantation to have a clearer view of who they could be. "He's around here...we'll get him." he heard on of them say. He had a heavy unmistakably Tanzanian accent. Around here...get him? he wondered to himself as he tried harder to see them. He did. They were armed with machetes. Omwami was not expecting any company, at least not of armed Tanzanian men.
Out of uncertainty, he stepped out of the shadows. These men were none of his business. Three were seated and one standing, leaning on the border pillar with his feet crossed into no-man's land. By now, Omwami's palms were clammy with sweat of fear. He hoped they would recognize him and go by their business, whatever it they were up to and he, relax and proceed with his epic journey. He was the areas Forester and everyone recognized him. They should recognize and salute him as usual, he thought to himself, though his body remained tense. They saw him and rose to their feet. The heavily built smoking chimney dropped his cigar on the ground and stamped it with a frightening sound of his soldier boot.
A jolt of fear hit him. His throat muscles tightened into dryness. Like a jerky, old fashioned film, his limbs began to move and he started to move away. One step back, two, three, his eyes never for a second leaving the source of his fear. From their looks, its him they wanted. It was too late to break into a run, they had already reached him.
"Here comes the sonofa****!" one roared, his broad shoulders giving him the appearance of a charging bull. "It's me, the Forester from Oloitokitok..." he uttered, words escaping him in disbelief, his right finger pointing the Kenyan land. "Is something the..." There was a blow to his forehead. The chimney's fist must have been made of iron.
His brain reeled, his knees buckled and the ground came up and hit him with horrifying force. Another blow followed as he fell to the ground and rolled over to their feet. He kicked and twitched, and then a boot stamped his stomach. Thank God his supper had been light, he would have thrown up. But his intestines were coming up. He could feel the pressure in his eyes. They were liquid, tearless yet crying, terrified and silent, imploring for mercy. He found none.
The first machete cut landed on his forehead, slicing it like a watermelon, at the center of his face. His eyes bulged with terror; blood trickled from the corner of his mouth forming a stream with the one from his forehead. His mustache was wet with blood. He fervently transmitted pleas for mercy, grabbing the feet of two of them, bringing them to the ground with a thud. He had to break free. He had to run. Someone had to help before they could finish him. His body shook with terror and pain but they did not stop. His assaulter, would-be assassins performed on him a postmortem in the open mortuary, without sterilized knives in front of his own country. He was in no-man’s land. No laws applied here. The cuts kept coming, raining on his head, slicing his body.
On hands and knees, he crawled closer to his own land, leaving a trail of blood in the soil. He tried to touch his face-a gory mess. “Help me!” He screamed, “For God’s sake help me!” The spinning could not stop. “Finish him!” The ring leader commanded.
He couldn’t take it. Darkness was beginning to creep in his mind. In the matter of fact, they would be kind to enough to slay him. “Spare me please!” he croaked as the last cut came aiming for his neck. He bent his head, bringing the sharp blade directly to his chin, slicing it mercilessly. It hurt everywhere. He lay there, unconscious, as they dug soil and covered his body on the flat ground.
He was buried, without a coffin, without a grave. His thoughts began to run to her as his mind slowly shut. Goodbye daylight, welcome darkness.
"But how did you survive!?" I asked,obviously shaken by the story. "But am here." He replied.