War of the Third Worlds [Micro Flash Fiction]

in fiftywords •  last year  (edited)

Made in Canva

Blood runs through the soil as Jacob lowers, steadying his rifle on the ground. Grains fly into the air with each breath. Rooinekke race up the adjacent hill toward his brothers on the other side. Enemy in cross-hairs. Contracting his finger, he pauses.

This isn’t the way to defeat hate.


Usually, I let the story speak for itself (and generate intrigue for when I post the longer versions), but this time some extra information feels required. A couple of centuries ago in Southern Africa—a British colony, and present day South Africa and Swaziland—a war for independence broke out. Not once, but twice between two factions occupying Southern Africa.

These were the Boer wars. They were wars waged by the Boer—Afrikaans citizens of the colony—against the British. English troops were called the "rooinekke", translating to "red necks", due to the sunburn the British troops suffered under the African sun. The word became a derogatory term for those who spoke English in South Africa.

The wars left a hateful taste on South Africans toward the British for many years after the Anglo-Boer War (the second Boer war). With all the social issues and atrocities on-going at the time and the time after—such as slavery and Apartheid—the hatred and discrimination of English-speakers died but remains lingering. While the story is based on the Boer Wars, it's not about them alone. It's focused on all manners of hatred between peoples and the resulting violence unneccesarily committed due to the irrational.

This isn’t the way to defeat hate.

This 50-word story was inspired by the prompt word "run" as part of the Fifty Word Challenge for this week, hosted by the lovely @jayna. It's a lot of fun, and quite the challenge! Come join us.

Copyright © 2018 Anike Kirsten

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Lovely, sub-plot to the Anglo-Boer War; and not outside the realms plausibility!

Thank you! I wonder how different it would have turned out if there came peace from something like this happening instead.

Hha! Not very (imho) - we humans will always find something to quibble about...

If it's not the Boers vs English, then it's brother vs brother etc.

Unfortunately so.

Wow! I'm glad @negativer linked this to me. I didn't know about rooinekke before this.. It kind of makes me re-think the pride that southerners wear the term here in the U.S.

The story was intense, and quite tangible. I love it.

Thanks, Caleb! I'm not sure why the Southerns are called Red Necks, though. Maybe along a similar premise?

I think it has something to do with sun burn, but I dunno. It would make sense, because it's only June, and I already look like a lobster :P

As someone with very mixed feelings on war, I love this. Even the person behind the trigger doesn't always want to pull it.

I love your pause at the ending... and the great ending! :D

Thank you also for the painless history lesson... :D



Haha, you're welcome. History fascinates me and there's so much story potential from it so I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!

Oh my, @anikekirsten, this is intense... painful... beautifully told. Wow. I truly appreciate the backstory and history on this one. (I always love backstory, and I always love history, but this is particularly poignant.)

As you know, I muffed my account password and am working to recover. Thank you so much for supporting the 50-words challenge with comments while I've been working on fixing this. You are the best!

For the foreseeable future, I am @jaynas-minime.

Thank you, Jayna! And you're most welcome.

You're the first to know. I'm ba-aaack! My account is officially recovered. Yippeee!

Awesome! Excellent news and I'm so glad you got your account back!

I love the story, but also the backstory here, and I think it's a good trend to offer some context and additional perspective for some of these 50 word stories; there's so much extra to be learned from that.

I must say I'm going to agree and do so going forward with the 50-worders. Brings the story to life and it's rather enjoyable to get those thoughts out as well. Sort of like an author's introduction to the novel.

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