They came to our village. I don’t know what to call them. They are not men though. Even rival tribes are not this cruel. Many suspect they are demons sent to punish us. Have we not been punished enough by the scarcity of food and the wars with our neighbors?
They ransacked our home and the homes of everyone in our village. Some of the men tried to fight back, but these demons had tools. They were weapons like none we could make. There was no choice for us but to be bound up and lead away from our family, friends, tribe, and homeland.
Before long they added members of other tribes. Even our rival tribes. We were forced to stand next to each other, walk together, eat what little food we received together. As strongly as we were separated by wars before, we were bound by our hatred for these pale demons now.
We walked, trudging onward for many days. I could understand very little of the other tribes’ languages, much less the curious utterings of those monsters. I had no idea where they were taking us. The one thing I did know was that I would not be happy again.
When we could finally see the waters they brought us into a structure. The days I spent there were the first days I had not spent walking like some animal tied on a rope all day in many weeks. I heard them laughing often. It echoed through the huge structure and made it even to the remotest places. Only a demon could laugh while we starved, while we were pushed around like a lion rounds up its prey, while we suffered in this way.
Many of the women were taken advantage of while we were kept by the sea. I was one of the fortunate ones, who escaped that pain, but I witnessed it many times. From those women they took everything away. Their homes were gone. They had no family. They even no longer had a name. But most of all, their sanctity was taken. That is the one thing that caused many to lose their will to survive.
Now we are here on this boat. Shoulder to shoulder. They loaded us like fruits to be traded. With all the flies buzzing around in here, you would think we were quite rotten fruits. I don’t know how long I have been lying like this, but it feels like I have been here for years. I tried to roll on my side early on, but it is impossible. The ceilings are far too low and we are far too close to each other. No doubt they did that intentionally to keep us under control, even though many have lost the desire to fight. Those who wished to escape jumped off the boat as we were coming on. I am sure of their fate, but prefer not to think about it as my brother was one of those brave enough to dive into the waters.
There is the smell of dead flesh not far away. I have tried to hold my breath and ignore the overwhelming perfume of death, but it is no use. Being stuck here has given me much time to think. Often I have thought that the man who dies may be a lucky soul indeed. I have thought many times about how sweet death would taste. For now I can only continue lying here and hoping for the better.