I can't believe it's the last day of the A-Z Challenge! Today we're going to Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania in Africa. Among other things, Zanzibar is famous as the birthplace of Freddie Mercury, the probable birthplace of the Swahili language and the location of the shortest war in history, which lasted 38 minutes. It is this last fact which inspired today's story.
Zanzibar, 27th August 1896, 9:00
"It is 0900 hours and there has been no surrender," said General Lloyd Matthews. "Open fire."
Andrew Graves should not have heard the order. He had left his station briefly, just to check on his friend, and at the sound of the general's quiet voice, he turned on his heel and tiptoed back to his post, rushing to arrive before the fire started.
But no gunfire could be heard.
Had the order not filtered down? Andrew wondered as he looked out over the sultan's palace. It was large and sprawling - not as large as Buckingham Palace at home, but large enough to house staff. He had heard rumours from the other soldiers than the new Sultan had a harem. It sounded appealing then, but now all he could think of was unarmed women, sitting inside, eating breakfast, with nowhere to run.
The sound of gunfire pierced Andrew's reverie and he began to load his canon.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to visit, read, comment or follow me during the A-Z challenge :) I've had great fun. All of the entries can be read by clicking on the A-Z Challenge 2012 tag below.