I saw the traitor.
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He sat beneath me, eyes fluttering nervously and breathing short and erratic. Tears welled up in his eyes as his fate was proclaimed. The man was a traitor. He had sold us out. He was responsible for the deaths of at least four of our former mates.
Knowing this, I still faltered at the order. The commander pronounced that he would have to die; my rifle suddenly felt a great deal heavier. I did not want to kill this man.
I looked toward my fellow soldiers. We stood in a circle around the traitor, who was on his knees weeping. They looked at each other as though hoping someone would step up and kill him.
Suddenly, there was rain. I felt it on the tip of my nose, and pulled my eyes away to look up at the cloud covered sky. It started slowly, with only a few scattered drops but then there was the sound of distant thunder and the rain came down, with ferocious quickness. Our commander watched us there, his hair and beard damp, shaking his head. He then turned and walked toward a hut in the distance.
I gazed over at Ernesto. He stood watching the traitor silently, his arms crossed. He did not show any hint of maliciousness. Often times, Ernesto’s spirit had lifted our hearts. This man seemed, without hesitancy or doubt, unrelenting in his ultimate goal; our ultimate goal.
Suddenly I felt his eyes meet mine. I sensed his overwhelming certainty, his power, and his experience. I was afraid, he was not. I averted my eyes.
I stared at the mud for a moment, watching the rain hit the earth. I saw myself in the rain. Not just me, but all of us. We were insignificant little rain drops falling toward reality. I watched it intensely, finding myself wondering what exactly I was doing here, out in the mud; in the Cuban countryside. What was the point? I would just die.
He took out a .38 pistol and, pointing the weapon directly at the side of the traitors head, and fired.
The traitor fell face down in the mud. The rain now played a soft tattoo upon his back. . I looked at Ernesto. His expression did not change. Not one bit.
I had to wonder, why could he kill this man when none of us could? It was odd, but I noticed how his face was so set on what he was doing. Once again, I couldn’t help but admire him.
Afterwards, Ernesto simply put his pistol away and slowly walked towards the hut in which our leader had taken cover in. I wondered, as I viewed him crossing the field underneath a breaking rain cloud, what he felt about his cause, now stained by blood, not just of the enemies, but of his own comrades. Would he falter now? I could not say, but from his actions I would think not. Instead, I began to believe again.
I believed in Cuba, I believed in Communism, and, above all, I believe in Ernesto.
I believe in Che.
Insert amusing anecdote here.