Part 6: Children No Longer
There was no telling what Sammy would do next while we were at Sensei’s dojo all those years back.
He was the most fearless of us all. He would talk back to Sensei and was capable of enough forethought and agility to predict where Sensei’s infamous Bamboo stick would fall and jump away. During some nights he would sneak to the village down below and bring back meticulously detailed stories of his romanticizing of girls who, going by his account, swarmed him every time he showed up at the village. Better yet, he would bring us a basketful of gulab and other delightful dishes that were specifically on Sensei’s forbidden list.
Today, Sammy is shivering in a corner, his long dirty nails and falling white hair prominent like an admonishment. Life and duty has not become him at all.
‘He is…a Binder…’ his voice cracks as he whispers.
‘I know what he is.’ I interrupt him.
‘Far as…duties go, he is our exact opposite.’
‘I know what he…look, Sammy I need your help, okay buddy? I need to find this guy. I need you to help me find him, and kill him.’
Sammy shakes his head furiously, pulling at his ears and wails, ‘No! No! No! Can’t go back, can’t. Won’t. Can’t go back. Martha, Teo, Frings, dead…Nacho, Ukwe dead, dead. All dead. Can’t go back. Go away!’
‘Yes Sammy, that’s why we need to get you back in tip top shape, so we can go kill this bastard. For them!’
I pull his arm from his face but he shoves me away with such violence and power that for a moment I think I see the fire back in his eyes and am tempted to recount to him his misadventures from his teen years in the hope of fanning the spark. But I hesitate too long and the moment soon slips.
‘Death. Darkness. Can’t go back. Won’t. Go away!’