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It was all too late

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Everything was too late- the sirens, the echoing screams and the whining. They were all too late. The once elegant exterior of Café Pushkin was reduced to the damnation of concrete and protruding rubble. The small wooden coffee tables were laden across the street- it was an eyesore. The initial significance of the bombing evident; but the dead were losing grip of their souls.
The square was desolated- even crows kept away from the newly formed hellish abyss. I began to realise the magnitude of what I had done. Amongst the suffering and pain propaganda danced in the ears like the words of the devil.
“Odin lider , odna strast' , odno budushcheye (one leader, one passion, one future)” hackled the radio broadcast. It was over riding the pleas of children in the devastation. I was terrified of which cards reality would deal to me- I understood this turmoil was caused from my very own fingertips, but I couldn’t come to terms with it. When the propaganda muted itself; I was approached by a young man nursing a wound in his midriff. He starred me deep in the eye; I struggled to maintain eye contact. Eventually he slumped to the ground. He had been overwhelmed by death; I had been sickened by death.

What I had done was right; propaganda had taught me that. The Russians had killed us like mice in a kitchen; the time for retributions was now, wasn’t it? Regardless, it was done, irreversible. The stench of burnt flesh glided through the grating Russian wind.
As I glanced across the parade, all I could hear was silence; the world had been left lost for words. The stygian sky bowed down on the town- in pity as much as anything else. The silence was interrupted by a soft voice. It was young and lathered in vitality. It was nearing me- I froze into submission. A poorly dressed girl (probably 6 years old) skipped out from the wreckage- dust carpeted her face. Her vitality was cruel- I had just done a job. I felt culpability eating me up from inside.
“Pozhaluysta, ser . Poydem v park!(Please sir! Let’s go to the park!) She wishfully suggested. I was confused and by no stretch of the imagination a linguist. I was a realist and my instinct told me she should be dead.

She was oblivious to my acts of unimaginable proportions- innocent to the fact I was a monster. I didn’t know whether that was comforting or wounded me more. This small town had been hit by an unprecedented scale of damage and trauma. Perhaps the devil had finally answered to the call of autumn. She grabbed at my arm, rubbing her finger over the RAF badge on my sleeve.
She ushered me through the now wilderness and giggled as we went. My eyes began to empty, with it my integrity as a man. I was not a human; I was a persecutor of despair. My vision became indistinct as the tears began to roll. I just walked. Then we stopped. Her perseverance was incredible. This town was large, indistinct- a gleaming example of the communist dream.




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