One war; one soldier; one's duty to the Flag
|Slumped from exhaustion, both pyhsically and mentally, a young figure feels the jagged edges of the rocks stabbing into his already blood-stained uniform; though his mind is too far gone now to offer care at what pain is dealt for him anymore.
Through the cooling evening, he doesn't move, not a muscle even as the daylight slowly fades away and the shadowy darkness of night quickly rolls through the canyon, bringing to life the demons of the night. Yet not once does the thought of caring bring him to break from the mindless stupor that has set in; where the pain and horrors of the past day are very much real, even now, to this poor soldier.
As the hours pass and the cold night sets in fully, bringing the stiffling humidity of the day down a few degrees, the Moon's pock-marked face appears in the heavens, as though God has finally arrived to carry the souls of the dead away from everyone who cared for them during the living years.
With his eyes gazing above, without reflection, he sees the Moon, from all its beauty and love, looking back at him; before a sight of beauty, now one of ugliness as a toothy grin, as yellow with plaque, holds the head of an eagle, who's blood dripping tears cry a river of sorrow over the canyon. With no thought of the sight beholding his eyes, the soldier made no counter-move, remained silent and still, letting the breeze wash the flesh from a thousand rotting corpses waft into his nose.
Miles away, where the scene of slaughter saw unfathomable evil, fires still burned, the pieces of machinery smouldering and dead soldiers returning to the Earth as spirits from whence they were taken in earthly form, from the shallow trenches that would bear no name or rememberance.
Each fire burning on the battlefield on the horizon telling a part of the larger story as they crackle away with cries from the tortured souls of the dead, caught between the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead. Some still experiencing the pain they felt as they were once left to slowly die, and some left with the pain of not knowing they are dead. But the sadder calls to hear were the cries of agony from the enemy soldiers who were captured, imprisoned and subject to more mental anguish to go along with their physical pain.
In the mind of this self-defeated soldier, the cries of assistance from the dying, there exists a memory, clear and piercing through the black clatter of post-war, like a lantern dangling from a tree branch in the eye of a storm. The uncompromising horror of life being snuffed in the merest instant of a ticking watch and in which there lives an eternal feeling of remorse that cannot evict.
Along the battered trail, a nameless soldier with hopes and dreams skewers his face with concentration; hands trembling as he struggles to keep hold of a pen for that one last stroke on the page. Papers filled with loving words and truthful feelings; confessions of the soul that mean more for one instant of life than all the years put together...
Shells exploding near and far, as the trumpets sound and the muskets fire. Tears of unrequited acts plaguing authors with real affirmation that no more shall he see the tranquility of peace. With the soldiers advancing, four by four, a quivering glance at the future that won't exist as that crafted spherical bullet jettisons from the barrel and sails the air with ease, finding a home in the neck of the fearful. One small choke and a pull back of the head, the letters to home glide to the ground and find tearful stains of blood to pool in.
Through the stench and decay of the burning flesh and unanswered pleas of remorse, a black and twisted General walks astray among the mounds of despair and ruin, gnawing the end of his cigar and smiling like death. Medals of varying importance adorned his relatively crisp uniform - a hard day's work for one who sends others for the fight, without conscience or burdon to contend with.
His slick, oily hair groomed neatly and eyebrows of bush leave for nothing but a thawed relic of prehistoric times who watches an attack then circles, in the moment of greedful hunger that satiates the pains that cannot be vanquished. This senseless want for war and destruction, where the victor inevitably runs astray to be entombed in personal quest for deliverance that never comes, is a constant reminder to the General of what wars truely brought those who fought this day.
Fading from time as easily as an old memory that's forgotten through the chaos and confusion of a battered mind reeling from abusive alcohol and starving personalites. Where the past and present collide in an explosion of happiness and horror and the physical battle ends long before the mental anguish of those who cry that live on through the day; chattering all night long.
But the words that are heard, speak not of revelance, nor rationality, but the growing concern to be heard and action which bases itself on the social equivalency of a rabbit in hunting season. A flash of life, far different from reality that encompasses the peace and happiness which once was lived in this battle-scarred waste of paradise; now but a decomposing ocean filled with the relics of forgotten souls.
When once he wore a proud young face, where glory was hoisted on his shoulders for the generations of the future, a childish innocence accompanied the pride through the trek of life which disregarded the dangers of youth for immortality of a soul without heart; and where the star-studded blue crossed red banner hung like a shining beacon in the night, for hope and support and the ideals of a nation divided - leaving the blood of a nation that would be spilled coldly and mercilessly for generations still.
Now, to be brought back to the reality of life in a shock that witnessed the prophetic Moon with a tale so drenched, the fallen musket rifle returns to life. One bullet, no prayers, and the lifeless returns to the deep slumber from whence it was born.