Tunnels of Death

Jod Selovic frowned when he heard the radio news, at dusk of July 1995. British Foreign Minister Malcolm Rifkind asserted that Bosnia-Herzegovina was now safe and peaceful. He stated that Serbian soldiers would not attack civilian anymore.
“Crazy,” Jod Selovic grumbled. He glanced at Dean Milovic, his man who was preoccupied with weighing the gold that he looted yesterday from dozens of Bosnian female rape victims bodies in their barracks.
“You heard that, Dean? No more war? No more? Ha… ha… ha….”
Dean cackled. “Who could possibly stop us from smearing this beautiful land with blood? Even all the damijan in this country have been red in laments…”
“Listen, I have a new tactic. More brilliant than Ratko Mladic!” Jod cut in.
“Really?” Dean raised his eyebrows. “What is it, Commander?”
“You’ll find out,” Jod affirmed. “Come!” He got up and headed to the field behind the barracks. Dean hurried to follow. The blast of whistle was followed by several summons to the whole army. Activities soon stirred around the barracks. Strong, robust soldiers came to one meeting point : Commander Jod.
“It’s time for instruction, drinks and injections!” Jod said to roughly five hundred of his soldiers. “Dean, prepare them!”
“Aye, Commander!” Dean shouted. He quickly divided the five hundred into twenty groups.
Jod watched as he pulled at his pointed nose. The “health injections” and “fitness drink” would help his soldiers to perform stronger than any bura wind. Bold and savage.
***
Srebrenica after dusk. The ruined town was two giant corpses enfolding unidentifiable human bodies. Even the air was dead. The remaining ruins of fragle buildings became a place to sleep for those who had lost their homes. Silence, coldness, accompanied by the sounds of night insects.
“No, there’ll be no more slaughter. The UN has guaranted it…” the voices consoled themselves in night’s embrace.
The silence broke instantly when the sounds of tanks, bombs, granades, and weapons tear up every town corner.
The people of Srebrenica, who had not been able to close their eyes, not even for a second, panicked. Suddenly the ruins and bunkers where they took shelter were bombarded! Deathlty screams, hysterical shrieks and moans made the red night weep. The people ran erratically, never having the chance to take or protect their family. To meet the Serbs meant death with deformed bodies. So without thinking, hundreds of people rushed into the woods outside Srebrenica. It was the only safe place from the Serbs although, it wasn’t impossible that they became pray to will beasts!
One by one day droved to the ground, as bullets and grenades found them before they could reach the forest. Most wear infants, women and the elderlies. Explosions. Fire everywhere. Smoke climbed high…
Jod Selovic can ran swiftly as he spewed bullets from his long-barrel rifle. And when blood sprayed and pudled on the roads, satisfaction thumped within him. In front of him were no humans. Only wild animals who ran to save themselves. He was shooting ship and cattle. And the chickens in tow. When a tiger passed in from of him, he shot it repeatedly. Animals ran in the dark night. Jod would not let them get away…
“Dean!” he called.
Dean grained. “Commander, how many did you get?”
“I’m a sniper! A sniper, Dean!”
Jod kept hunting. Sheep dropped dead. Chickens sprawled. Their means sliced into everything, even the moon. But they never touched the Jod’s heart or those of his men.
The hubbub of the Serbs soldiers enjoying their hunting was not muffled by the patters of their steel tanks. Not long after, as he wiped his forehead many times and gulped down a bottle of zilavka. Jod gave the command to stop the ‘hunt”.
“Commander, we haven’t finished!” the soldier protested.
“Let’s burn down the woods!” yelled the others.
Jod Selovic raised his hand. “Get back!” he yelled. “We’re going back!”
Dean Milovic and hundreds of other soldiers left the place with half a heart. Usually Jod told them to finish their job. Including finishing off every soul of every Bosnian, not one missed. No eyewitnesses. But now…
“Commander, can you explain all this?” Dean admonished as he tried to catch his breath.
Jod smiled, his chest still heaving. “I’ll explain later. After a drink and another injection in the headquarters,” he said later, coldly, as he refilled his gun with bullets.
***
Nine at night at Srebrenica. They all couldn’t believe Jod’s explanation. Tonight they would besiege the UN post beside Srebrenica!
“We’ll plunder their food, weapons, even their uniforms!” Jod affirmed. “If they threaten us or try to figt back, we’ll kill them!”
“But why… I mean why we have to take their uniforms?” as soldier asked.
“Stupid! Use your hand when you talk. We’ll take over their duties to ‘protect’ the citizens.”
Jod laughed hard. He reached for the “fitness elixir”. As he drank he kept laughing, explaining his plan.
Dean Milovic’s eyes beamed. The others grinned or dropped their jaws…, Some shivered. Ah, all of the soldiers who knew Jod, knew he was telling the truth. Jod and his boss, Ratko Madlic, were like cunning soul snatcher twins!
“Dean, divide them into groups! It’s time for the drink and injections!”
The red barets grouped themselves in an orderly manner. They were ready to receive their drinks and injections. They always felt fresher, greater and stronger, after receiving them.
If you only knew, Jod thought, that the injections and drinks were only to destroy your humanity, just like mine. Because war was a field pf slaughter, by those who were not human. That was what Ratko Madlic said…
In less than a hour, roughly five hundred soldier marched into the UN Post, Srebrenica.
Jod was amazed when the UN “protector” officers widened their eyes in fear when they faced his threats. They even voluntarily give up not only their clothes to him, but also all that they had.
“The world shouldn’t come to know about your cowardice. If you spek of this, we will return. And remember well, if that should happen, it would mean that you have smeared the UN’s reputation on the international stage. Soldiers, take all the food, weapons, and medicine!” Jod ordered.
The leader of UN army was stripped down to their underwear. He shivered in fear. His men lined up facing the wall with trembling bodies.
“Put them on!” Jod yelled to Dean as he threw him a UN soldier uniform, complete with the blue beret.
“Hup!” Dean caught it as he laughed. He quickly threw other uniforms to the Serb soldiers. In an instant, the Serb red berets had changed into UN army blue berets!
“Commander, I haven’t got mine!”
“Me too!” said several soldiers to Jod.
“Where are your reserve uniform?” Jod yelled as he lifted the UN leader’s face and grabbed his undershirt. With his chin almost touching his chest, the middle-aged men pointed to a cabinet. Angry. Afraid.
After all his soldiers changed into the headquarter building. Around two hundred soldiers was forced to be crammed into a small space that they gasped because they had difficulty breathing. Then arrogantly Jod locked them from outside.
“Let’s blow them up!” he shouted.
Dean and other soldiers widened their eyes. The unfortunate army who heard Jod’s booming voice screamed and pleaded. “Mercy, don’t blow us up! Don’t kill us!” they wailed. “Please, have mercy!” they howled again.
Jod smiled cynically. “Cowards! Dean, move out army! Leave them like fish in a small aquarium… Ha… ha… ha…”
***
Jod and his army went on the original road, to the place where thousands of people ran to save themselves a couple of hours ago. Now it was three in the morning.
Not far from the woods…
“You in the blue berets, move to the front!” Jod ordered. The soldiers arranged their rows without a sound.
“You in our original uniform, hide yourselves behind trees and bushes!”
Then Jod and his army continued their trek to the woods. Jod’s trained night eyes caught flashes of people who hurried to hide themselves. He heard muffled cries.
“Hello… hello… can anybody hear me? The woods is now under the UN army! Don’t be afraid, we’ve come to help. Hello, hello…” Jod’s friendly voice echoed to the woods.
Slowly, the citizens who was shivering out of fear, hunger, and pain peeked from their hiding places. The not long after, they started to appear. More and more. Their pale faces werea little brighter at seeing the blue berets. Some even dropped to their knees, tired, in front of soldiers.
“Hello, hello, is there anyone still hiding? We’re the UNarmy. We’ll take you to the refugee camps.”
Hundreds of people, young and old, children and women, rushed to leave their hiding place without a single shred of doubt.
“Alhamdulillah, the Un army has come…”
“Yes, we’re saved…”
“Ah, I can’t take this anymore.”
“Hasanovic! Gervka! Get out, help’s here!”
“Do you have any piece of baklava, my child’s hungry…”
“But where are you talking us?”
The citizens who felt they were saved sounded happy. Jod took a long breath. Two more tasks and the game was over.
Dean moved quickly. It wasn’t long before he returned with news. “More than five thousand. Around five hundred died under our previous attack,” Dean half whispered.
Jod looked to the left of the woods. Thousand of people sat and waited their next fate. He was only that. His conscience was not stirred at seeing the clear-eyed children who constantly watched them. His heart was frozen when he saw the women and the elderlies restless and upset. “Drinks”, “injections” and Serbian military doctrines has forged him into Jod Selovic, the commander of soul snatchers. For his homeland, for his people, he had chosen to be a heartless man.
It seemed no one among the Bosnians was suspicious. The uniforms, the tronton trucks, all showed the characteristic of UN soldiers. Those soldiers had also given them bread and drink.
Jod still stared at the people. “Dean, tell the platoon commander to separate the men and the women!”
Confused sounds was heard when Jod’s men divide the Bosnians.
“Don’t, don’t separate us! Our father is old!”
“Ivan, Ivan my son!”
“Nuraa! Nuraa…”
“Shut up! Men, get up on the trucks! Quick!” Dean yelled.
“Change your clothes with theirs! Hurry!” Jod ordered.
The Serbs who hid behind the trees and darkness of night suddenly appeared. The civilians screamed hysterically. Several people tried to run away. In vain. Their fresh blood colored the night once again.
“Take off your clothes! Take off them!” yelled the red pet Serb soldiers to the men. The sound of gunshots pierced through the night. Then a dawn party started. The Serbs forced the civilians to wear their uniform. And laughing they changed into civilian clothes.
Jod Selovic frowned again. His nose twitched. “Carry the ‘Serb’ immediately. We’ll slaughter them on the roads! After that we’ll invite the reporters. We’ll give the world proof that our soldiers have been slaughtered by the cruel people of Bosnia-Herzegovina!”
The citizens was gripped in fear, but they tried as hard as they could to resist the fear and pain. Because one move could mean death!
“Dean, finish off the women and children! Party on, ‘UN soldiers’!”
The soldiers laughed. The fear of townspeople peaked. More and more!
“Aaaaaaaaa!”
“Separate the pregnant women!” shouted a Serb, cackling.
Dean raised his eyebrows. “Do you think the fetus male or female!” suddenly Dean faithful long sword flashed and split open a pregnant women’s stomach.
“Nooo! Allaaah!”
“Damn, you’re right…, this fetus is female! Ha…ha…ha…!”
The pregnant woman fell to the ground, covered in blood, with a split stomach. He threw her fetus to the air. Then immediately several soldiers looked for other pregnant women. Oh, how they thirsted for entertainment! Of cours it was no entertainment without any betting!
Death screams still pounced the night, slicing the moon.
Jod Selovic’s eyes gleamed as he watched the pool of blood blackened in darkness, not far from him. His last duty now was to take the Serb-uniformed Bosnians and slaughtered them in several places. Yes, he knew some good places. The barracks, the streets, or churches? All the same.
Jod stared at the grey sky. If he could, he would make the sky crack and bleed.
He laughed hard. Harder and harder until morning.
***
Cipayung, Agustus, 1995
Annida Magazine, 1995
Terminology :
Damijan : mosque
Zilavka : a kind of a alcoholic drink

Silahkan komentar, senang bisa berbagi :-)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s