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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-11-12, 03:33 PM
Romero's Own
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False Innocence

1100 words not including title

I could feel my lifeblood flowing from my wounds. I pulled my hand before my face and saw, in the dim light, the crimson blood that covered it. I knew I was in bad shape. I could feel blood pumping from my head but that wasn’t the worst. The worst part was that I couldn’t feel my legs.

I lay back my head and it fell into the thick mud that was sucking my body under as I lay there dying. I doubted they would ever find my body, the mud I had fought upon becoming my grave. Maybe no-one would even look for me. I was no-one, just one guardsman among billions. And I was dying, like millions of my kind had before me. I never saw the enemy that had shot me down. All I had felt was the pain as the bullets ate away my lower body and knocked into the mud.

Maybe it was a blessing. With the blood in my eyes I never saw the enemy surge forwards and slaughter my platoon around me, wicked blades cutting the young and innocent men I had known for so long. Somehow I survived, but I almost wish I hadn’t. Now there was no-one to end my suffering as I lay there, dying.

My eyes grew heavy and I could almost see death, like some dark cloud descending upon me. I gave in; there was nothing left for me in the mortal world. My eyes closed and my fevered and dying mind flung me into a warped dreamland from whence I would never return.

I knew what I would see even before the darkness cleared. The sun was shining, just like it had been on that day so many years ago. I had seen this sequence in my nightmares near every night since it had happened, I could remember every detail. I looked around me and sure enough saw the cursed squad that used to be my own.

To my left ran Cooper, his uniform as clean and smart as it had been the day he died, the vox-caster slung upon his back. I could see his lips moving quickly, barking orders and information. It made no difference.

I turned to my right and like I knew I would I saw Lucas running. He turned to me and smiled, like he had every night since he had died. A tear came to my eye. Lucas had been my friend since I was no more than five summers old and I had to watch him die a thousand times.

Just ahead of me I could see the tall figure of the Seargent. Seargent Thompson, known as the Bear by his platoon for his strength and determination. It was said that when he had something in his mouth there was nothing that could make him let go. I watched with dread as his head began to turn back to me. I tried to look away but I couldn’t. My eyes were drawn to the man who had taught me all I knew.

Thompson’s head exploded in an instant. Blood and brains splattered across my face. The suddenly headless corpse crumbled to the ground like a ragdoll.

I turned to Lucas only to see his smiling face urn to one of excruciating pain. I could only watch as the gunfire cut him nearly clean in half, his blood and guts spilling forth as he fell forwards. I heard myself cry out and throw myself to the ground. I landed hard upon the stone streets of the village.

I looked across and saw Cooper lean forwards only to spin backwards and pirouette. Although I knew the truth I could not draw my eyes away from the spinning man. And then I saw once more the deep bullet wound that had near ripped his shoulder clean off. He was dead before he hit the ground.

I shouted again but with the death of Cooper I was all alone with no-one to help me. I scrambled to my feet even as gunfire rained down around me. I ran towards the nearest doorway, arms over my head to try and protect myself from the red-hot death that was raining down form an unseen enemy.

I dived forwards and slid into the small doorway that at least provided me some shelter from the gunfire. I looked out across the blood-stained street, littered with the bodies of my friends and comrades. They were all dead.

I took deep gulps of air in an attempt to gain some control over my frantic heart that beat so fast I feared it would break through my chest. I managed to slow it to at least a point where I no longer feared a heart attack and listened. The gunfire had stopped and the village was once more still and silent as the grave.

Over the still air I heard high voices. At first I suspected some foul alien but upon listening to their words I realized I could understand them. They were talking in the same tongue as I did myself. It was then I realized that I faced children. It had been a child that had shot down Lucas A child that had wiped out the rest of my squad. My mind whirled.

My training demanded I avenge my comrades to the best of my ability and that would mean moving to attack these child soldiers. But my heart was screaming that they were just children, they couldn’t have any idea what they were doing. However my mind was quickly made up for me.

I heard footsteps approaching and flattened my back against the rickety doorway I was sheltering in. I peered out and saw two small children, neither more than 11 summers old, walking along the street, clutching autoguns in their hands. I watched with held breath as they approached the bodies of my squad.

I saw red when one boy leant over and spat upon the corpse of Lucas and laughed with his friend. Not a simple childlike laugh, but a laugh of pure malice. These children knew what they were doing, and liked it.

When I woke up I was lying in a hospital ward. I later learned that I had been found beside the bodies of two infant children. No-one ever looked at me in the same way again. My simple innocence was lost that day. And that day would plague me for the rest of my life.

My dreams slowly drifted to deep sleep. A deep sleep I knew I would never wake from.



The Silent Lions Chapter

Winter Falls

Darkness

Give a man a match and he will be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

Last edited by Romero's Own; 12-11-12 at 10:51 PM.
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