Sam took another drag of his cigarette. He closed his eyes and let his tongue play with the smoke in his mouth before he exhaled smoke rings in succession. He sighed heavily, his hand falling limb by his side.
There was nothing for miles but dry savannah plains. The wind howled and tossed up a dust devil, which spun around violently quickly dissipating when it rammed into the acacia tree. Birds in a neighbouring tree quickly took off, leaving a persistent chirping from the brood of chicks in the nest.
Sam’s gaze turned to the vast, sunny and cloudless sky. It looked perfect, untainted and bold. Sam’s gaze was locked on the sky, his mind draining all thoughts, his breathing getting deeper and deeper, his cigarette dropped from his hand as he kicked his feet up in the hammock and swayed away.
The chics slowly grew silent as birds flew back to the nest. The only sound Sam could hear now carrying him into a deep trance was the whistling of the wind and the sound of the strain of the tree branches as he swayed in his hammock.
Side to side, side to side, the hammock swayed slowly sending Sam into a deep slumber. His mind taking him to a place of complete peace and calm. His breathing heavier and longer between breaths. Suddenly the birds flew away again, the instigator of the fear unknown, invisible. The wind begins to steadily build, whistling louder more violently, dust being kicked up by what looks like tens of hooves. A group of men wielding rifles mounted on a team of horses.
Sam was deep asleep oblivious to what was only a few minutes away. Faster, and faster the mirage now faded and the stern and furrow-browed faces inched closer and closer tossing up and down as they galloped on their horses. A wheelbarrow leaning precariously on a shed door falls with a bang startling Sam awake.
He turns and quickly raises his head to gauge the source of the sound only to turn and see the forthcoming hostiles.
“ARANAA! ARANAAA!” Sam yelled as he ran barefoot into his cottage. His sister was nowhere to be seen. There was no one in the house. Sam ran straight to her room, back to the living room and still, he could not find his sister. He ran to his room kicking on his boots and a jacket. He ran to the shed outside and pulled out an axe from the hook on the wall. He ran out towards the oncoming gang of hostiles.
One bandit raised his rifle shot it in the air, Sam fell to his knees. They shot again, this time aiming two inches on the ground from where he was, Sam wet his pants sending the bandits into a fit of laughter. Ridiculing him as they dismounted their horses, Sam grasping the axe tightly across his chest. He felt something cold and heavy pressed hard against his temple, his eyes darted to seek confirmation for what he already knew. They were going to kill him.
Just as he closed his eyes to say a prayer, he heard a crack of a gunshot, followed by a shriek and a violent thud to the ground. Sam quickly turned, it was Aranaa his sister, coughing out blood violently. He attempted to stand up to run to her, he was tackled to the ground as he clasped the axe firmly, he just kept screaming Aranaa’s name.
The men laughed harder.
“Want to die like that little whore you call your sister?” the man who seemed like the leader demanded.
Sam was angry, clasping the axe so hard, his veins started to show, hissing through his teeth, saliva oozing out as he pushed the nozzle pressed against his head. He growled. Another man slapped him across the face. Sam swung his axe, stopped in mid-swing by two hands clasping the throat and shoulder of it.
He felt a foot kick him in the gut. Sam coughed so hard from the pain he keeled over and lands on his knees again.
“I asked you a question. Want to die like that bitch of a sister of yours? Running away with my money and refusing to work for me. That whore owed me!”
Sam tried to fight back, shoving the nozzle of the gun again, which goes off, almost deafening him as he tries to stand and yell.
“You’re the whore! Beating up my sister and turning her into your slave. She was brave not like the coward you are!” Sam managed to muster.
A gunshot rents the air, Sam falls to the ground, holding his stomach with blood oozing through his fingers. A second shot rents the air and Sam falls backwards, a clear shot through the front of his skull.
“What are you doing Henry, I was talking to the man!” The leader asks nonchalantly.
“David, I am hungry and I was tired of his righteous bull shit anyway, let’s go eat.”
The men mounted their horses and rode away leaving Aranaa and Sam in the scorching sun for vultures to devour.