A Flash Fiction
|With the moonlight at its brightest, the open field and the wilderness at the far distance look bathed in shades of blue, and even the strong night howler blowing across the little girl's face as she walks the field as if in a trance.
I watch the little savage, the flawlessness of her movement, and the steadiness of her jaw. Everything about her pretends at something. Someone who has just seen the stars take the fall and Heaven painted crimson, and goes about as if she has not a care in the world.
Three weeks of riding long and hard deep into this hell-hole, and we still didn't understand the natives. At a distance, few of the men from our battalion are busy doing the digging. A lot of shouting, and singing, with the strong odor of mud and dirt from that direction. Death is not hygienic, and we need to keep the air clean. A lot of digging needs to be done, and the trenches need to be dug deeper this time.
The girl is holding a dark brown box, wooden and fragile. She has busied herself taking out some rag dolls and laying them down carefully onto the ground.
And she does that very slowly.
I hear a drunk Spaniard croaking, his voice phlegmatic, and from the corner of my eyes I watch him gesturing towards the door leading inside the dilapidated building. A woman follows.
My jaw stiffens. Being reminded of a woman in the heat of the battle, producing a knife from her clothing and closing in with surprising agility, as I pointed at her and aimed, my mind soaring with deadly possibilities.
But something did hamper my finger, burning like dark coal against the icy cold glint of the metallic lever. There was no decision, no thinking on my part. The trigger just didn’t go. I remember the eventual sound of the blast, deafening roar of a double barrel, and the sight of my commanding officer unveiling before me as the woman went downward.
His red face perspiring and intense, his eyes wide and looking back at me. A spiteful glance sending the chill down my spine. I would do well never to get into such a tangle ever again, now secretly vowing to be more decisive come the next town.
My chain of thoughts broken by a low humming sound. My hands fumbling as I lit the darn thing, shaking - there is a tremor in my fingers these days that I don’t feel too good about. The little girl has begun to chant in a slow, low tone, and she speaks in a language we do not cared to understand.