Second Excerpt from Only the Dead by Hamilton Wende
In the following piece, we are introduced to General Faustin, leading his group of child soldiers through the Ugandan jungle, and to Sebastian who is camping alone in the Kalahari and working through a break-up:
A rustle in the forest, a noise in the shadowed silence. Something on the pathway ahead made one of the boys stop and listen. He raised his AK-47 cautiously; the barrel and triangular sight just catching the rich morning light filtered through the leafy canopy. The other boys listened too, holding their own rifles at the ready.
There were so many unexpected things hiding among the trees. All too often they had been ambushed by other bands or government soldiers, which army depending on what border they were ranging beyond. They had even been attacked occasionally by UN troops. They had all seen other boys shot dead, falling as the bullets hit them, curling up tight into their pain like infants, the blood pouring out of their ragged T-shirts or filthy, oversized camouflage tunics, the last of their breath croaking in their throats as they died.