Last Song of War

May 26, 2010
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Don’t scream. Pain is nothing compared to what you posses. Don’t show them fear—you don’t need to fear them.

They throw me to the ground. I taste dust—the same dust I am composed of. The taste is bitter and I spit it out—it’s now a mud-like substance and some of it sticks to my chin. My hands, arms, legs –they ache with bruises and scrapes.

My weary head is yanked up by the hair. Some of it is ripped out of my head and I can feel the blood drip from my scalp. A scream rises in my throat but I keep my mouth firmly closed.

A glob of spit hits my face and I close my eyes. That show of hatred is so common that it doesn’t faze me anymore. I look at the person-turned-monster it had come from. There is no malice in my eyes. He turns; only a human can give him the look I am giving him now and I am not human..

They are angry at my show of humanity and the one with a fistful of my hair tugs harder. I briefly see a shadow and my world bursts into light, then sudden darkness. I see blurry images surrounding me. Behind these, clearer than anything I’ve ever seen, are the most grotesque things anyone on earth has ever beheld. Their bodies are mangled and their gray, decaying skin barely clings to their visible bones. The worst part of them isn’t this, but their eyes. Huge and fully black. This black is so deep that death seems to be portrayed in them.

Yet I can tell that these gangly creatures used to be beautiful. They used to have life instead of the living death they are wallowing in.

These things are dancing around the men, encouraging them in their deeds. When they look at me, their eyes are so full of hate that I start to feel fear. I am looking into the eyes of my real enemy; the one I am fighting a war against.

The men, actually the prisoners of war, are no longer blurry blobs and the things disappear all together. I know they are still there, watching me; I feel their extreme hate.

I sit painfully up. A metal-toed boot connects with my ribs and blood shoots into my mouth. I cough and it flies. My breath is completely gone, but somehow I manage to continue coughing.
So much pain; from my ribs, my head—everywhere. There must be as much blood streaming from my wounds as there is inside my veins. A shrieking laughter, seemingly from thin air, sends chills through me and causes a violent shaking.

The men see this and laugh. They seem to think I fear them and it gives them joy. This laughing is drowned out by the inhuman cackling of the enemy. Fear creeps up my spine and I shiver again.
I open my mouth and sing, hoping to stem the fear.

“Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me—” I cough up more blood, noticing the angry confusion on the men’s faces. Gaining what little composure I can, I continue.

“—so. Little ones to him belong.” I am interrupted by a roar from the men, which is drowned out by a terrified shriek from the invisible creatures.

Still, I sing, feeling strength seep into me. It is not the kind of strength used to lift weights, but to lift hearts.

“They are weak but he is strong.”
Stones start to fly at me but I am numb to pain; numb to fear. They shriek louder.

“Yes, Jesus loves me.”

It’s getting hard to see—hard to breathe.

“Yes, Jesus loves me.”

Somehow, I am lying on the ground again. When did I get here? The things are still shrieking.

“Yes, Jesus loves me.”

Everything fades away.

“The Bible tells me so.”

A warm, golden light embraces me and I smile.

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