Kony 2012. The inner city my entire life.
When the sun goes down,
And Darkness engulfs the streets,
The Generals awaken and call out for me.
The soldier in me responds.
My first mission was at six years old.
Roaming the alleys, starving, needing food, needing shelter,
Needing my parents to put the pipe down, pick me up, and hold me tight.
Needing my sister to stop letting her boyfriend beat her, come home, and stay for good this time.
Needing time to reverse, bringing my brother back from the grave and dislodging the bullet from his skull.
I would be sure to distract him so he wouldn’t leave the house this time and he wouldn’t be standing in front of that 9 when the shot fired after the deal went bad.
Just needing everything,
Knowing nothing will change.
Body still malnourished, clothes still in ruins, feet still bare, parents still addicted, brother and sister still dead, physically and spiritually, respectively.
Just me and my best friends: Darkness, Desolation, and Despair.
The only friends I’ve ever known.
But done hoping.
With my vision fading, I slumped down in depths of the alley,
Slowly slipping into a sweet abyss.
But from my sleep, I heard sound.
Whispers in the dark, sooth tones caressing the very core of my being.
Two figures slid out of the shadows.
“I am Sloth. Why bother fighting to live this horrible life? Why not sleep, Dear Child. Sleep forever and dream forever, Dear Child. Close your eyes and all will be fine.”
I looked on wide eyed as Sloth’s throat was slit.
Sloth evaporated into nothingness and another figure crouched before me.
“That fool. Listen to me, Little One. I am Greed and, under my guidance, you will never want for anything again. You will have food, clothes, anything you want. Just take my hand.”
I did as I was commanded.
I took the hand and Greed led me out of that alley where I had laid dying.
“You shall make a fine soldier, Little One.”
I smiled up at Greed. My General.
I emerged from the shadows as a soldier.
A child soldier.
The years went on and my General helped provide me with everything I wanted, and therefore became everything I needed.
Under General Greed, I managed to become the number one drug tycoon in my city by my 20th birthday.
I was a prodigy when it came to hustling.
I had it all.
But it wasn’t enough.
I needed more.
So, it was around my 23rd birthday that Generals Lust and Gluttony got into contact with me.
At that point, I became unstoppable.
I expanded my empire from dealing in just drugs, to people, property, and weapons.
I owned my city and my citizens, every nook and cranny belonged to me.
The child soldier turned mercenary.
I’m a one man army.
I’ve got nothing to lose,
Everything to gain,
He’s standing in my way,
Now, he will feel my pain,
Bang. Bang. Bang.
Four new Generals rose the day of my 24th birthday.
General Wrath screamed at me to fire the first shot.
My rival stepped onto my turf, my streets. He deserved it.
General Envy barked at me to pull the trigger a second time.
The kid lying on the ground dared to taint my city with his innocence.
The purity I never had a chance of holding onto.
General Vanity seethed at me to put a bullet between the corpse’s eyes.
I earned my right to be considered the Prince of this city.
Prince of the Despair that fuels my city,
Prince of the Desolation that makes my city thrive,
Prince of the Darkness that holds onto my city,
And onto my subjects.
The Darkness that prevents them from leaving my city and therefore leaving me.
I am supreme within my city. I am invincible. Because I am me.
I want it all!
I deserve it all!
I will take it all!
General Vanity’s twin, General Envy, cooed at me to unleash one more bullet.
I squeezed the trigger.
Damn, outta’ bullets.
I gave a bitter laugh and spat on the victim laid out on the wonderfully disgusting concrete beneath my feet.
I made my way back to the Generals’ sides and they gave words of encouragement for a job well done.
We made our way into the shadows.
The Heavens mourned for the innocent and the skies unleashed the pain upon this cursed plane of existence.
All in vain.
No amount of water, no matter how holy, can wash away the filth that is my city.
I cast a final glance back at the child who had to grow up too fast and saw myself lying there.
A sardonic smile made its way onto my face.
Death by my own hands.
I turned back to the Generals.
They had another mission for me.
But first, rest.
For another night meant another quota of corpses needing to be filled.
My work is never done.