One day, I was substitute teaching in a Grade 8 class and a young lady asked me to enter her short story contest. She then handed me a slip of paper that read: Dead by Day, a Murder by Night. I accepted the challenge. Two weeks later, after much deliberation, this is my result. My story is inspired by the story of Omar Khadr, the Romoe Dallaire child Soldiers initiative and Scott Horton’s podcasts
It was 11 pm on an ordinary evening at Guantanamo Bay prison camp and the captain was determined to get a confession from a Yemeni teenager who was captured by U.S. Marines during battle. They suspected him of throwing a grenade that killed an officer.
“Go get Nasr out of his cage, that dirty little sand nigger is gonna admit to what he done. Were gonna make sure he fesses up tonight.”
Soon, the guards return with Samir Nasr, a 15 year-old-boy in shackles. He wears a prisoner jumpsuit and a hood over his head. They hastily remove the hood, causing shock and his pupils rapidly dilate. The brightly lit room is all a blur until his eyes adjust to the light. He is in shock. He had been kept awake for 36 hours in order to confuse and disorient him.
“Step forward and sit on the chair”, say the guards. He hesitates too long to process the order. Both guards strike him on the thighs with their batons and he falls to his knees. “Get up, little brown rat.” they say as they pick him up and sit him in the chair.
The captain begins to speak: “We know you tossed that grenade on July 12 that killed lieutenant Rob Gomez. We just need your confession. The youth reacts: “I did not do it.”
“It’s electro shock time boys.” They attach clips to his skin and to his metal chair, then begin to apply 150 Volts using a power supply box, causing him to convulse.
“Did you throw that grenade that killed Lt. Gomez?” The captain shouts at him. He begins to answer his adamant denial: “I did …”, unable to complete the sentence, he cannot utter the word: “not.” before he falls unconscious. “There’s his confession. Did we get a clear recording of the confession?”
The guards place a pen in his hand and move his arm to mimic his signature on a form. “We have the evidence of his confession, we can schedule his firing squad.”
They return the unconscious youth to his holding cage by 2 am. By daylight, he is dead due to internal bleeding from the artery in his right thigh that burst open when the guards had clubbed him.
The good citizens of the USA will never have the satisfaction of having vengeance for the killing of Lt. Rob Gomez that a firing squad can bring. Unfortunately, Samir Nasr had to go ahead and die before they could get their revenge on him with a proper execution.