Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Writer Wednesday: Excerpt of "Thou Shalt Not Kill" by: Theresa Oliver
Excerpt of Thou Shalt Not Kill
by: Theresa Oliver
I forced my gaze away and grabbed some of the backpacks, using the knife to cut off the shoulder straps. It slid through the fabric like butter. Once I had a few, I quickly carried them back outside. Derek and Trevor were on my heels. The man that Jada knocked out was regaining consciousness. Quickly, Scott hit him in the back of the head with the butt of the gun, too. He was out cold again.
So much for that.
Within minutes, we had their hands and feet bound. Then, we carried them inside: Derek and Trevor took one man and Scott and Brolin took the other. Within minutes, we had them safely inside. We took them to the supply cave, away from the others. Jada, Scott, and Trevor stood guard. Brolin went back into the back caves to check on Lisa.
Jada started undressing the prisoners. “Help me, guys.”
“What are you doing?” I asked, horrified.
“What does it look like, Casey?” Jada said sarcastically, rolling her eyes. “We need their uniforms, just in case. Besides, they can’t run as far in their underwear.”
Somehow, I didn’t think that would stop these men, but Jada was right. We needed their uniforms, just in case. Struggling, Derek and I quickly undressed the limp insurgent. It’s harder than you think, undressing dead weight. The uniform smelled of man’s body odor, with dirt smudges over it. We could wash them in the stream and they would be fine.
“What are we going to do with them?” I asked Derek in a low voice, as Jada went into the other room to undress the corpse in the front room.
“Casey, we have no choice.” Derek said with hard eyes. “We have no choice.”
I stared into his eyes unbelieving for a moment as the realization set in, understanding the implications of his words, watching the man we just undressed. “Well, if we’re going to kill them, too, then let’s get it over with!” I yelled, my voice full of sarcasm. I gripped the hard wooden knife handle tightly within my grasp.
Derek grabbed me by the shoulder, spinning me around. “Casey, don’t.”
“Why not?” I yelled as fresh tears coursed down my cheeks again. “We already have blood on our hands!”
“Look, Casey, this is war,” Derek said in a calm, soothing voice. “Yes, ugly, terrible things happen in war, but they drew first blood.”
“Okay, so now we turn into Rambo?” I was being sarcastic, referring to the line from the movie.
Derek nodded his head, “If we have to … yes.”
I nodded as the reality of war sank in. Hard, cold, and knocking at our door.
Then the words Thou Shalt Not Kill ran through my mind again, but what other choice did we have? They came for us, we didn’t come for them. It was them or us, I thought as I wiped the tears from my eyes. “Okay, then when are we going to do it?”
“Probably after dark.” The look in Derek’s eyes was unfathomable, suddenly older, like what just happened had aged him over night. I could tell that he did not want to do this any more than I did. I needed to accept it and stop being a baby.
“Okay,” I nodded, trying to accept and let it all sink in.
“Come here,” Derek said. He gently took the butcher knife, wrapping his hand around mine, then pulled me tightly to his chest. “I know this is hard for you. It’s hard for us all.” I nodded into Derek’s shoulder, willing myself to understand. Why couldn’t life be simple again? How did everything become so complicated overnight? Then I realized just how lucky I had been all my life. People in other parts of the world lived with the reality of war every day. I only had it for a few days now. We just didn’t know how lucky were.
Join Write More Publications, online, 6-8 p.m. EST, Friday, June 21, 2013, for the book release of Thou Shalt Not Kill by: Theresa Oliver, the first book in her Thou Shalt Not Kill Series. Lots of fun, giveaways, contests and prizes! See you there!