Throwing Stones at the Moon


Earlier this week, McSweeney’s published an excerpt from the next installment in its Voice of Witness book series.

In case you’re unfamiliar, Voice of Witness—which also functions as a nonprofit—produces works that call attention to social injustices carried out on international and domestic scales. Through collected oral histories, the books empower their subjects by exploring the personal effects of the aftermath of these injustices.

From Throwing Stones at the Moon: Narratives of Colombians Displaced by Violence:

As a guerrilla fighter came over to finish me off, I acted like I was dead. Then another guerrilla came and told him, “Don’t shoot anymore—the army will hear us. We have to retreat from here.” Then they left.

My entire right leg felt warm. I looked down and saw that my pant- leg was ground up. I felt high. I couldn’t feel my body and I heard a weeeeee sound in my ears. I told myself, Hang on, hang on. When I took off my shirt, my belly was full of bullet holes. My left arm was dead; I didn’t feel anything when I grabbed it. I couldn’t walk or defend myself, and I thought, God, don’t take me away yet. My children are really young. Don’t take me yet, don’t take me yet.

Rebecca Rubenstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Midnight Breakfast. When not reading books made of paper, she can be found thinking aloud on Twitter. She resides in San Francisco and maintains a healthy relationship with the fog. Rebecca is Interviews Editor Emeritus for The Rumpus. More from this author →