War of the Third Worlds

Fiction, Micro Flash Fiction


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 unnecessarily committed due to the irrational.

This isn’t the way to defeat hate.

 


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