Then the Soldiers Came

Posted on June 6, 2016


“We were going to be there—hundreds of us, maybe even a thousand, from all over the Mixteca. I went, la vieja—my wife and the children no. We were on a bus and just past Nochixtlàn soldiers stopped us—hundreds of them, armed. They made us get off the bus—a revision—they said. Then they said we were under arrest, that they’d found ‘munitions.’ Munitions! Marbles, little marbles and a few slingshots! They said the buses were stolen, which was a lie, a total lie! They marched us into a dry cornfield and forced us to lie down. They stomped on us, kicked us if we moved. I thought they were going to kill us. We were there for hours. Finally they let us get up, get back on the buses, but they wouldn’t let us through, they forced us to go back. The next day we heard about the assault, the burning buildings, all that. Then we couldn’t get the Popular Assembly radio station any more, just the government stations.”
“You and your novia, were you there?” Humberto wanted to know.
“She’s not my novia, just a friend. Sì pues, but we managed to hide—climb a hill, get away from them.”
“You should make her your novia. She’s really pretty.”
“’Berto!” his mother scolded. “That’s not your business!”
“It’s okay. And in truth she is very pretty.”

From WHERE GRINGOS DON’T BELONG, by Robert Joe Stout
available as both a print book and ebook through Amazon

Posted in: Fiction