He stood and watched the sun rise above the desolate highlands. He stood on tired, blood stained ground, with tired blood stained feet while he watched the sun. It crept over the craggy mountains, fearful faced. Fearful of sights it might see, afraid of facing what might have happened in the night. Its light crept down the slope towards him, and the tired ground welcomed the slowly waxing rays. The man‚Äôs face absorbed the pale light and the scant warmth it brought with joy. It pricked his body amiably and he gave an exhausted smile to his friend, the sun.
His only remaining friend, the sun was, the sun and his old friend death; for the rest lay about him. They lay soaking in their own blood, just as his boots soaked in their blood, in that which the thirsty ground did not have the appetite for, at least. But their blood mingled with their enemies‚Äô; for they had sold their lives at an exorbitant price.
Indeed, not one of the enemy had the pride of announcing their victory to their comrades whom they left at the camp, they all lay limp, left dead and dying in those desolate highlands.
But who can call that a victory, losing lives to cause lost lives, it is all just killing and dying regardless of result.
But such is the nature of a war, a mathematical equation where not quotients and factors, or the highest multiples you can think of, or the lowest common denominator, are thrown in; but young lives, and the end of such, of the destruction of good, and the lowest possible regard of life being the goal for which we must strive.
Curse you, death and your games.
A lament cried by men of old: Why do the young fall, and the old linger on?
A cry to be cried by old men who bury their sons, as no one should have to. A cry to be cried by old men who watch the world they built for their children disintegrate before their own eyes. A cry to be cried by successive generations of old men until the end of wars.
But wars will only end when they reach a point of no return, when the lowest possible regard for life is attained, when there is no one left to fight even themselves.
But suddenly, in his peripheral vision, a movement caught his attention. Clawing hands unrelentingly kept their grasp on life, desperate lungs heaved, they surrounded a desperate heart which beat out for the sole purpose of survival, of life, and living for what it has to offer. Hope sparked in his heart; hope of companionship in this morose scene. Hope that not he alone had cheated death this time. His head spun and his legs worked, carrying him to a form barely moving, lying inert on the tired ground. He looked down, and kicked the head of his last surviving enemy.
Curse you, death and your games.
He kicked again. Plant hope in a weedy patch, to have the life choked out of it. He kicked again. Plant promise in a stony pit, to be scorched by the sun. He kicked again. Cast joy onto a barren path, to be swept away by the devil. He kicked again. But throw into the good soil, death, torment, inner pain, and every conceivable kind of hurt, to grow up and thrive, as any young, healthy; twisted and evil little plant should do. Again and again his foot swung, and finally, the skull of that unlucky soul gave.
He raised his head, and with unseeing eyes glared at the rest of the dead. Their glassy eyes stared right back at him in his guilt; and their limp fingers pointed accusingly in his direction. He ran a misshapen hand through filthy hair caked with mud and blood. When was it, how long ago, at what point in his life; did death begin to creep in? To fill his mind, and his heart, to turn a beating, living heart into a cold unfeeling block of ice. Was it when they had first put a gun in his hands? When they taught him to fill a gun with commissars of the old tricksy trickster death? To aim at a man and send that cold communique?
Whenever, however, death had crept in, whispering in his ear and rubbing his icy hands over that once beating, once living heart, rubbed a callous over a heart that used to love. And now, death whispered in his ear as he crushed the last spark of a life once vibrant and alive. He felt nothing; and despised himself. He despised himself, but even more despised those who had taught him to forget to love. To forget to appreciate life; in essence to forget to live.
But however tempting the thought may have been, he knew that to lie down and die among his friends in his affliction of mind and soul would do neither them nor him any good. And so he shouldered his troubles, sucked them away deep inside of him into the not so watertight lockers of his soul, and willed himself to live on, if in despair. A life of killing can hardly be called a life; but it was the only life he knew, and he knew only to return to it.
Oh death, you and your games.