Graphic Content Warning: Some may find the content and some of the language of this piece offensive. Please read with an open mind, or not at all.
Author Note: This was the entry I submitted to an online writing challenge. The task was to write about the image that I’ve included in this post. There were some limits on word count (700 – 7,000) but other than that authors had a free rein to tackle the picture any way they felt. Naturally most wrote about the honorable, strong, and heroic soldier that the image undoubtedly shows. Naturally, I wrote about a drug-addled megalomaniac. Naturally, my piece wasn’t selected in the top 3 submissions.
“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity”.
I like this thought of the Chinese man with the name of Sun Tzu. It is true, in fact, that I am liking more and more of his thoughts the longer I am in command of the Revolutionary Forces of Freedom.
It was in the midst of chaos that I took the opportunity to seize command from Bishaar. When we battled with the UN Peacekeepers he allowed himself to be captured. He was stupid to have thought he needed no-one close to him, no second-in-command, to protect his legacy in the event of his demise.
Do not believe that I was alone in my effort to answer the call of opportunity. Maxama had similar ideas.
It was easy to take care of Maxama though. Even his own brother hated that fat pig fucker of a man. It was not difficult to turn his little band of ‘friends’ against him with promises of stronger positions should they agree to side with me.
Even his own sister-in-law was willing to help remove him. Certainly she needed the divine strength and bravery that only the smoke of the brown tar can give. She and I found euphoric strength together before I sent her to his hut. Her brown eyes glittered with the bright red fire as she left.
The fat bastard was so easy to manipulate, she told me afterwards. She didn’t even need to remove her dress. He was taken at her fawning and by her expressions of wonder at his greatness. She told me that he was so eager for her that he had almost spilled his seed all over her hand the moment she first touched his dirty cock.
All she had needed to do was pretend she aimed to please him only. She told him that she knew her husband, his very own brother, was not destined for the great things that he was. The fool had closed his eyes and leant back in his seat as she took him in her mouth. His neck was naked to the blade that slit it from side to side.
She had returned to my space to smoke some more in reward for her efforts. She had told me that the blood from his severed neck had shot across the entire room. She laughed deeply as she described it. She also told me what I already knew…
All the time she was with the fat pig pretending to want to please him she had been thinking of no-one but me. She readily spread herself open to me that night. And begged for more afterwards too.
Her husband remains pleased that it is due to his wife’s regular visits to my chambers that he now holds an important position amongst the Revolutionary Forces.
As I sit here now to capture my thoughts in this journal I think of the reality of the future when my words will become quoted like the ancient Chinese one. I shall include my words in here now, and they will become the words of future warriors and great leaders. The words of the warlord.
Warlord. That is what the imperial media call me. Rebel. Pirate. Murderer. Drug lord. These names they use too. But it is Warlord that I prefer.
They believe it to be negative, a bad thing. They do not understand that as the lord of war I become greater than they can imagine. The people know of my name. They utter it in the hushed voices of prayer. They worship me because of that name.
They fear me because of that name.
I am the Warlord. These are my words. And this is my picture.
The picture is good. Great even. A great picture of a great warlord.
It will be good when it is enlarged and placed in the frame above the desk. It will look good when the people place it on their walls and gaze upon it each day.
I look strong in the picture. Strong and powerful.
If you could see behind the glasses you would see the red fire of my revolutionary righteousness blazing in my eyes. If you could see my eyes you would be incinerated by the heat of my life force. You would fall upon your knees and give thanks that you are under my guidance and protection.
In the times that follow they will put my picture on everything they can. The people will make my face as recognizable as they have the other great revolutionaries. My strong visage will become the Che Guevara of my generation. Stalin and Saddam; Osama and Mugabe; even Gaddafi too will be relegated to the foothills of history because of this picture. It is good indeed.
The helmet was my idea.
A statement of righteousness against the imperialists and their counter-revolutionary forces who have tried to stand in my way. I took it from the severed head of a man who had been sent to stop me. A man who believed that his orders to rescue the journalist would be easily achieved. He and his comrades had learned that they were destined to fail before they had even begun their doomed mission.
I knew that they would be coming soon after they rejected the last request for payment for her life. I told her at the time that her government and her capitalist scum employers felt that her life was not worth the $4 million I had requested.
I was not surprised that they had declined to pay for her protection. I could see in her eyes that she too was not surprised. She had already lost hope and had given up belief in her liberation long before. Her eyes were dead. Had been for many weeks before then. It made no difference how often I allowed her to join with me in smoking the tar of strength. The fire had gone from her.
She had given in to her fears and had sunk too far down to be of much value to me anymore. It was obvious that her people had also realized that she was not even worth the price of a few mortars and some tank shells for their ‘peace-keeping’ efforts.
Thanks to the wise Chinese warrior, I was ready when they came.
Sun Tzu has said that “He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious”.
I knew that they would be coming for her. I lay in wait for them with great prudence. They were arrogant. They were mindless in their belief of assumed victory. They paid for their lack of prudence with their lives.
I look now upon the journalist as she lays slumped in the corner of the room. She is skinny. Ugly to me. Her once clean white skin is dirty, befouled with the blood and bile that she has been unable to avoid. Her once blonde hair is matted, filthy. The swelling under her eye has receded little since I last noticed it.
The underwear that covers her small breasts is torn and tattered. A purple bruise shows through one of the rents in the fabric. The old pair of soccer shorts that I gave her to wear when her briefs became unusable are shit and piss and come and blood-stained.
She looked a little better two weeks ago when I allowed her to take the picture. I promised her that she would be left alone for a full week if she took a picture that I was pleased with. I was generous in allowing her 10 days of relative solitude in return for the magnificent portrait she produced.
I wanted to include a cigar in my mouth – a token of respect to the great Cuban revolutionaries that had gone before me. She had suggested that it would make me look less serious. She had suggested rather that we take the picture at night and use the lights of my rocket trucks from behind for better effect.
She was right. It made for a better picture. A noble, strong, legendary warriors’ picture.
I was pleased with the results. My generals were pleased with the results. My followers were pleased with the results. That night we had a great celebration. The alcohol flowed freely, the Afghan tar burned its’ thick smoke. My men sang and danced and fucked and then danced some more. I was pleased.
I allowed the woman to experience my pleasure at her photograph that night. She told me that she was grateful to have been graced by my cock, but I sensed she was being less than sincere. She was saying the words she thought I wanted to hear, but she wasn’t feeling them.
Even so, I am a man of my word. After she had been blessed with my warriors’ seed deep inside her belly, I allowed her the solitude I had promised.
That was ten days ago. She is no longer of any use to me now. In the morning I will give her to the men who want her to enjoy as they wish. She’s not to my taste at all, but I imagine there are amongst the troops some who have no problem with skinny, lying and insincere white bitches.
I am not a heartless man though. Before I send her off I will fortify her resolve and her strength by letting her have the tar. I will inject it directly into her veins where its’ raging fire will fuel her.
If she survives the day, I will do the honorable thing and end it for her quickly tomorrow night.
Then I will have her delivered to the doors of her embassy, a copy of my picture placed upon her corpse.
And from then their own media will make sure that my picture will become the face of revolutionary struggles and freedom fighters across the world. They will make me the great warrior I am destined to become.
I shall not have to do much more than that and I shall be victorious. For it is as the master warrior has said: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting”.
[I have tried to find the origin of the picture without success. I will happily give credit to the originator if and when I find them.]