Winter 2011 • Vol. XXXIII No. 1 FictionJanuary 1, 2011 |

Yalla!

This story is a work of fiction from conversations with "Lost Boy" Michael Majok Kuch. Juet, Sudan, 1988 Loud booming wakes me. I open my eyes. The inside of the hut is pitch-black. If I need to pee, I'll have to crawl to the door on my knees. Another loud boom. Bursting light. Flames shoot up. The thatched roof is on fire. I'm five years old. My mother rushes toward me holding my baby brother, Cholthii, in her arms, shouting, "Kare! Run!" Outside, fire covers the sky. More huts are burning and people are screaming. I start to run then stop. Jeeps are lined up, and men in robes lean out of them, holding rifles clutched to their chests. I'm not wearing any clothes, and I'm barefoot. The ground isn't wet, it isn't raining, but trails of lighting-like flashes leave people moaning on the ground. There're so many bodies, I can't tell who they are—my tall broad father, his forehead scarred in the Dinka ceremonial pattern, or my mother, her tongue fluttering against her teet

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