Phantoms of the past

1

The Japanese arrived on December 13, 1937. We were sitting ducks waiting to be served a crafty blow by the ones who mutilated the innocents over the integrity of their political and cultural beliefs. With guns going gung-ho, they were invisible. They played target practice with the 500,000 of us gathered in a beautiful place called Nanking. My mother told her four daughters not to worry about the red alert. It’s just a game, she said. A game that made us bleed.

My little sisters cringed at the horrors they heard in the neighborhood. Our mother couldn’t protect their ears from ringing with the talks of life and death at the hands of the boogeymen. They can have their discussion elsewhere, she said. I tried to get their minds off of their environment. I tried to be their friend. I tried until they didn’t need me.

I was in school when I heard about my family. Those bastards slew them. All of them were dead – mother, three young sisters, father, grandparents. I had nothing left. I couldn’t differentiate one from another upon reaching home. I cried and cried until I couldn’t. A foreigner took me by the arm and laid his hands all over me. I couldn’t resist. I was tired. He had me all night in a hotel room. He called me his princess and that I was the most beautiful thing he had ever laid eyes upon. He kept on rubbing himself against me. The school was over. But a new one began. “You are going to make me rich. Men…they all have an itch,” he kissed me.

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