At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop EPUB & PDF – eBook Details
- Author: David Diop
- Language: English
- Genre: World War I Historical Fiction
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
… I KNOW, I UNDERSTAND, I shouldn’t have done it. I, Alfa Ndiaye, son of the
old, old man, I understand, I shouldn’t have. God’s truth, now I know. My
thoughts belong to me alone, I can think what I want. But I won’t tell. The
ones I might have told my secret thoughts to, my brothers-in-arms who will
be left so disfigured, maimed, eviscerated, that God will be ashamed to see
them show up in Paradise and the Devil will be happy to welcome them to
Hell, will never know who I really am.
The survivors won’t know a thing, my
old father won’t know, and my mother, if she is still of this world, will never
find out. The weight of shame will not be added to the weight of my death.
They won’t imagine what I’ve thought, what I’ve done, the depths to which
the war drove me. God’s truth, the family honor will be spared, the honor of
I know, I understand, I shouldn’t have. In the world before, I wouldn’t
have dared, but in today’s world, God’s truth, I allow myself the unthinkable.
No voice rises in my head to forbid me: my ancestors’ voices and my
parents’ voices all extinguished themselves the minute I conceived of doing
what, finally, I did. I know now, I swear to you that I understood it fully the
moment I realized that I could think anything. It happened like that, all of a
sudden without warning, it hit me brutally in the head, like a giant seed of
war dropped from the metallic sky, the day Mademba Diop died.
Ah! Mademba Diop, my more-than-brother, took too long to die. It was
very, very difficult, it wouldn’t end, from dawn into evening, his guts in the
air, his insides outside, like a sheep that has been ritually dismembered after
the sacrifice. Except Mademba was not yet dead, and already the insides of
his body were outside.
While the others hid in the gaping wounds in the earth
we called trenches, I stayed close to Mademba, I lay pressed against him, my
right hand in his left hand, staring at the cold blue sky crisscrossed with
metal. Three times he asked me to finish him off, three times I refused. This
was before, before I allowed myself to think anything I want. If I had been
then what I’ve become today, I would have killed him the first time he asked,
his head turned toward me, his left hand in my right.
God’s truth, if I’d already become then what I am now, I would have
slaughtered him like a sacrificial sheep, out of friendship. But I thought of my
old father, of my mother, of the inner voice that commands us all, and I
couldn’t cut the barbed wire of his suffering. I was not humane with
Mademba, my more-than-brother, my childhood friend. I let duty make my
choice. I offered him only mistaken thoughts, thoughts commanded by duty,
thoughts condoned by a respect for human law, and I was not human.
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