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  • Writer's pictureHarun Shabazz

The Horsemen

As the warriors’ thirst for blood and treasure grew, the sparks from the racing hooves of steeds threatened to set fire to the windswept plateau on that far side of the world. I stood paralyzed watching the Mongol horsemen obliterated whole nations in their path leaving in their wake sun bleach bones scattered among the empty ruins.

Along the riverbank, I could hear the sound of galloping horses bearing down on that hapless village. I heard the battle cry of a roving band of tribal raiders,

The breaking free of herded animals from their pins,

The hurried footsteps of those seeking cover,

The wails of women,

The sobs of children,

The grunts of men attempting to defend their people,

The crashing of primitive pottery against mud floors.

I stared into the carnage unable to blink, unable to turn away as mothers fell to their knees at the feet of the invaders, begging them to spare their children's lives. Young boys were measured against the linchpin, and if they were taller than a wagon wheel, they were executed with the exception of conscription. Frail girls were suffocated by the crushing weight of men—raped until their wilted bodies were no longer pleasurable to the monsters that violated them. Tribe after tribe was conquered along an expansive empire where the sun never seems to set, where millions lost their lives from one generation to another—a lie perpetrated by the people of Genghis Khan, his confederates, his sons, and the sons of his sons to come.

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