For Lamel’s Sake  (Short Story = Fiction = Did not happen)

I’m Eskator.  I come from a village called Feyatos. The village besides us is Malego. They are the worst creatures that walked on this earth. Any atrocities you can think of, they did to us. Stole our land. Raped women and girls. Murdered people by the the thousands. My sister Lamel was killed and mutilated by them in front of my eyes. She was only 5 years old. How cruel can cruel be? I was eight years old then. I did not cry. I did not wail. Instead, I boiled from the inside. All of my sadness was sublimated into anger. I was furious. All the time. Every night, I would go to bed with fir burning in my chest. The face of Lamel’s face the night she was murdered haunting me. As I grew up, all of this wrath was channeled in a very systematic pragmatic way.

While my peers were busy playing soccer or dreaming about becoming doctors or engineers, I had one overwhelming goal in mind. To spill as much Malegian blood as possible. So I joined the para-military Ifsay pretty early on. And I practiced, practiced and practiced. Their training was very intense. I stood out even though I was very young. While my peers were exhausted by the end of training, I wanted to run more, shoot more, and fight more. I didn’t feel like taking a break. You see the hate I felt towards Malego was unreal.  It gave me a tremendous amount of energy and focus. Very little of that energy was squandered on depression. It was fury through and through. In a bizarre way, I hated Malego more than I loved my sister Lamel.  

Aside from my stamina, I became famous for my shooting skills. Thirty years pass and I became the single most important sniper in Ifsay. I  successfully assassinated 52 Malego me. I was the pride of Feyatos. After every successful hit, I would go to the dead body and leave note on it. It said “For the sake of Lamel”. The feeling that I has when shooting was ,strangely enough, amazing. The sound of the bullet was sweeter than music. The rush of adrenaline I felt while focusing on the target was more enjoyable than soccer. Everytime I left the note, I felt  relief like I finally paid a debt. Every step I took was dedicated to my sweet Lamel.

On May 20th 1980, I had a very important target to take out. Regis Vynalok. He was the most important chieftain in Malego. Killing him would be a severe blow to the village. I hid in a deserted house in front of his home and I waited for him to get out. He finally did. That was my big moment. I took a deep breath. As I was about to pull the trigger, something unexpected happened. His daughter, A very young girl , maybe 5 or 6 years old caught up with him and he held her between his arms. I stopped. “Oh come on. Not now!” I whispered. It was apparent from their body language that she was only kissing him goodbye. I thought I could wait a minute or two. A thousand ideas rushed through my mind for those few seconds. “Those bastards killed Lamel. Why shouldn’t I kill their little girl. Let them feel the pain I felt.” I never killed a child before. I found myself moving the target from her father’s head to the girl’s head. It’s as if another power was controlling me. Then, for the first time. I could clearly see her  face. She was looking in my direction.

The surprise I got hit me like a brick of stone. In a very eerie way, she looked extremely similar to Lamel. The same freckles, the same long black way hair. The same wide innocent smile. The whole scene was surreal. It teleported me to the night Lamel died 3 decades ago. I could now see Lamel’s terrified face. I could see the murderers as well. Only this time, I was one of them. A very disturbing realization: I turned into the monster whom I dedicated my life to destroy. I felt sick to my stomach. I won’t do it. I held down my weapon. As I was waiting for her to go away, another disturbing thought crept. What will happen to this family after I kill that man. I never felt like that before but I felt sorry for them. I even felt sorry for the father. My heart sank. As a proud Feyatosian, I should never feel any positive feeling towards Malegonians. But I did. And I could not deceive myself otherwise. It wrenched my heart. Now I didn’t want the girl to leave at all. She finally did leave. 5 seconds went by. I focused again on his head.  He was on his way to his cat. I had about 30 seconds to get the job done. I tried to force these new feelings out of my head “This is Malegon. The village that  killed and raped your people. ” Then a thought it occurred to me. It was  a very obvious one that I should had have  a long time ago. But for some reason, it took 30 years to arrive. “So did we! So did we! So did we!”. I felt like someone had plunged a dagger into my chest. I tried to fight it “Eskator! But they killed way more than you did! Their massacres are much bigger than our massacres!” That thought teleported me again to the past. But this time, it was to the times when I fought with my brother and mom came to settle the issue. He would always say “His punch was a lot stronger than my punch”. That moment was comical and tragic at the same time. Hilarious and disastrous at one. Simultaneously glorious and pitiful.  It opened the floodgates. I felt childish. I felt that all those years of seeking revenge  was shamefully similar to the petty fights I had with my brother. And the rationalizations we created to allow ourselves to sleep at night after killing people unmistakably similar to the ridiculous excuses we my brother and I told our mom when we fought. I wanted to silence these thoughts. There was little time left. So I did what I had to do. I went to leave him my note. But this time I gave it to him in his hand. It read “For Lamel’s sake and for Lamel’s lookalike sake”. I hugged him then. He looked at me with his mouth wide open. And for the first time in thirty years, I cried mourning Lamel.