Synopsis: Beyond War
| main| home |
Half a scream from Tim. Then nothing.
Two meters down the line, a straight line of sight from behind the concrete - darker than an alley now in the rain. Nothing moving, but... wet. The air smelled wet, like it was about to rain.
To my right, the seargeant raised his weapon, something stepped on the ground. It made a wet noise. No rain. Concrete floor of the trench line. Drains in the wall. Still - it was wet.
I looked right again - the sergeant was gone. His rifle on the ground, the magazine beside it. Less than a second passed. I looked back, still darkness, then behind me - left-flank. The men there and how fast they could reach me if I screamed the only thought on my mind.
Something moved past me. I didn't even see it. Just felt the change in the air. Not fast. Nothing is that fast.
The ground smelled wet. Looking down I could see footprints going past me. Footprints on the concrete in blood. Fresh blood.
Then came the screams. Bodies flying through the air. Less dark. Flung like rag dolls. Thrown. No exposions. Just the sound of their fear as they hit the ground. It was playing with us. Not even killing us. A few broke into a run as they clamoured to their feet. Another - thrown over the line - ran in a panic toward the enemy line. More afraid of what was in the trench than being cut down in the open.
I kept waiting for the shot. He made it all the way to the line and into their cover. As if they were waiting. Tim?
Then as the sound sounds stopped, that wet smell. The same presence. A voice, beside me.
"You did well. Let me help with that."
The night turned blue, then green, then reddish orange... everything changing colors. Flicking from color to color. Suddenly - I could see. See as clearly as day - the man standing beside me.
"Now go home."
I didn't hesitate. I ran. I could not and did not imagine staying there another minute. And then I recalled. I was in that trench. The first night. With the other men. It was like a fog had lifted and I could remember - every detail - the same man, standing, staring, looking closely as I lay against the wall.
He put his finger on my eyes, and said, "Boo"... and everything went dark.
As I ran, the color of my own men silloette against outlines and dials, numbers, words...
I reached for my helmet, instinctively trying to pull it off, trying to stop the weird images guiding me away - around the sentries, past the guards and rear-line... away - home.
My helmet sat in trench, where I left it... my hands against my head, and the symbols and images continued even when I closed my eyes as if there was nothing there to shield them.
I can see. Even with my eyes closed, I can see. And so can he. No! That's how he saw the men in the second bunker, and in the right... it was my eyes.
I just kept running. Nothing I could do. I was one of them now. Even if just my eyes.