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Beneath the Darkening Sky

by Majok Tulba

The rebels measure each boy against an AK47 rifle. Those shorter are left behind. Those taller are taken. Eleven year old Obinna is taller. We feel mankind’s inhumanity brought to life for us through the voice of the boy soldier. The writing is easy to read and beautiful. The content is powerful, gripping, horrific, violent and explicit. This novel is illuminating; as innocence is stripped away what kind of creature do we become?

Extract

White dust wraps around him as the pebbles dig and dig. The back of his head opens, and it's red for less than a moment before the pieces are painted grey. Each little stone takes a piece of him with it, less and less and less. Landmines don't kill you, they eat you.
All this in an instant. Boom! The cloud and pebbles are huge and high, taking up all the air in front of me. Out of the cloud flies a grey dust-painted half-person. One leg and his stomach fly off the road. His left arm sails over my head. The wind from the mine kicks me backwards and I land on another boy.

Parallels

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
 

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