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Independence

by Cailey


Spoiler! :
September 16 is coming up, Mexico's Independence. So, this is in honor of that day. :)

“Revolución!” the cry rose among the people in an eerie chant, which grew louder and more wild as the seconds drifted away. “Revolución!”

I stood hidden on the outside of the crowd, wishing I could just ignore the frantic voices. In this mess of people, faces no longer looked different. Each figure was no more than a silhouette, outlines in the dim light of dawn. Across the zócalo, the town square, the large cathedral blocked out the view of the sunrise. It was out of this building that Hidalgo made his appearance. Immediately the crowd was silenced. Hidalgo’s voice rose and fell almost like waves on a stormy ocean. Each syllable dripped with the feeling of resistance that had driven the people to gather outside this church. He used their anger to bring them to support his cause. Not only his words but his voice, his expression, reminded us of the corrupt government. The injustices that had become a normal part of our lives.

His short speech ended with the words, “¡Viva la Independencia! ¡Muera el mal gobierno!” His cry was taken up by the crowd. “Long live the Independence! And may the bad government die!” I found myself joining in with the cry, and closed my mouth immediately. I wasn’t even supposed to be here watching. Yet, the spirit of Independence had grown to the point where it could not be ignored. Even if my mom wished me to ignore the restlessness that had overcome Mexico, I knew what was about to happen. War was inevitable, and now it was finally here.

“¡Viva Mexico!” the cry rose once more over the air, which was now a dull grey and steadily growing lighter. I repeated the cry in a loud voice before running behind a corner and watching the crowd march away, holding up sticks, machetes, anything they could find that might work as a weapon. My heart pounded, my breath came out in ragged gasps, fear consumed my body, but I couldn’t look away. I stared as the last of the men disappeared from sight with rusty rifles. A few women lingered in the zócalo with downcast faces. How many of them would be widows before the war ended?

A few more minutes I waited, expecting something more. But before long the sun was visible above the cathedral and I realized there was no reason to stay here. I gave the now abandoned square one last glance before turning and fleeing down the cobblestone road to my little house where no doubt my mother would be waiting with her arms crossed and that ever present look of worry and sadness pasted on her face.


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127 Reviews

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Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:29 pm
Incognito wrote a review...



I don't know much about Mexico's independence story, but from the details I have gathered from your piece have made me curious. There isn't much to review upon with this piece being so short. Your grammar was impeccable and I didn't read for grammar.

What I am going to comment on is the passion or lack there of in this piece. You see, for me, this has the potential to be very powerful, almost inspiring. But basically, you just stated what happens. This piece is supposed to emotional, to give the idea what it would have been like when it happened, but for me it lacked that emotion that could have been there. You have the opportunity to let readers live through that moment, feel the words and understand the passion.

In a crowd, you tend to lose yourself, their words and beliefs slowly merging into yours. You wanted the character to go out there because of curiosity. That's good. Now make her a part of the group, feeling the 'enlightenment' and the passion of others. Make her feel what everyone else is feeling. Make it flood through her, making it hit strings. What you have in your story is almost a form of detachment. The thought of shouldn't being there is good, but other then that, this character is just lurking. She never becomes a part of it. If anything it seems like she is almost disapproving of the act. Maybe she is. I am not sure what exactly happened in the Mexican Revolution.

For me, that is what this piece is supposed to be about, mainly a view point and to give an understanding. But it seems almost wishy-washy as if the happenings were neither good nor bad.

I




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Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:39 pm
Adriana says...



Absolutely great! At the beginning I was wondering who was the character, but I think you did great in not describing him because it is not the point here. Instead, you describe the scene and it so real, so true!! Congratulations!




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Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:33 am
JesusFreak900 wrote a review...



The story and the way it was written seemed very tight and concrete, which made it very easy to read and understand. Not to mention that it was just a good little snippet of a story. One question, however, is who is the main character? A little boy running around where he isn't supposed to, or an older man avoiding joining the forces of the war? That made me a bit confused. I could feel the rise in energy and retaliation amongst the soldiers, as well. All in all, I am super impressed.





Memories, left untranslated, can be disowned; memories untranslatable can become someone else’s story.
— YiYun Li