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Man Down

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Everything was moving fast, kaleidoscope images strung on a brittle heartstring soon to be snapped. All that could be heard was the yelling, the yelling of men blurred together- the yelling of one, or of a thousand. The ash fell like snow in slow motion, coating bodies lifeless with sorrow.

Everywhere, things were broken, discarded like a child’s toy left forgotten. All around, PEOPLE were broken; teddy bears with stuffing come undone, except there was no Santa Claus to stitch the seams. Blood ran like wine, none letting the cup run dry, but that couldn’t quench the thirst of a madman.

Right and left, we dropped like stupid bugs ready to be squashed from the muffled book that went flying through our hearts in a silent cadence that would have scared us less if it wasn’t so quiet. One by one we fell, a chain reaction with no hope of a reversal switch.

Faithless hands stretched towards a sky stained red for hope of impossible redemption from a deity unknown. A single whispering shot was fired, and without mercy for those it pierced, it ripped through all in its path of misery. But there was only one target the metal cloaked Hades was meant for, and sure enough, it reached its destination, like a fatal train pulling in on schedule without delay.

The target looked down with faint surprise as the single piece of metal tainted with the blood of his brethren ripped through his chest. He viewed a single crimson flower bloom on his chest that looked like an artist had splattered paint on the canvas of his body, feeling no pain, only dim acceptance- but acceptance of one’s death lasts but a second or two in the field of battle.

The earth spun like it was revolting against itself, and the target fell to his knees, hands resting on his bleeding broken heart in a final prayer as if that could save his dying soul. His knees crumbled, and he fell to his face, the lowest he could get and lower. The very soil itself was wet, run red with all the lives spilled of all those who fought.

Nothing was fast now, everything slow as his beating heart, like the world was stuck on a not-so-fast forward, or like a skipping movie that jilted and jacked from one scene to another. The targets eyes grew blurry from death and he could almost imagine that like a cartoon, they would soon become x’s. The random thought blew across his mind like tumbleweed, and he had the strange urge to laugh, and so he let out a strangled chuckle- but maybe he shouldn’t have.

The shrapnel in his heart tore through pliant flesh like it was tissue, then his death chuckle was ended, and no air was left for him to breathe.

Everywhere, we dropped like stupid bugs ready to be squashed from the muffled booms that went flying through our hearts in a silent cadence that would have scared us less if it wasn’t so quiet, but the target was the only one who mattered. But then he didn’t, and he joined the countless range of men dead- because he was man down.

And he wasn’t coming back up.



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