The Pulse of War

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He walked alone.
Through the dark, unforgiving night…he walked alone.
He had friends and he had hope, he had everything a man would need…yet he always felt like he was being dragged. He was being dragged through life, through this wasteland of a world.
He was being dragged alone.

Stumbling through the dark he ran, panicking. Wiping the sweat and tears from his brow he fell to his knees, the tears of a man who had seen too many horrible things. The tears, that his mind forces from him every night…nightmares that would haunt him, always in the back of his eyes. So he stumbled through the dark, as he always did. He had nowhere to go, never anywhere to go, he felt trapped in this earth. Every new disgusting thing he would see would be warped and burned into the back of his mind, always to torture him later. Blinded by his own madness he prayed the trees would not falter; show the weakness he did every time he broke down like this. Nobody to support him but this earth, the very same being that forced him into this undeniable state of insanity.

Seeming to crawl the rest of the way he reached the river, calm and soft…it seemed like heaven. He spent what seemed like hours just staring at his hands being cleaned, the river was the only thing that could take the blood from it. The blood he reaped earlier in his life, the blood he spilt with an unbelievable lack of mercy. It was the only thing that could bring him out of these horrendous situations. Digging his fingernails in the dirt he pulled himself up to the river, and just stared into it. He saw a dirty looking man; he had a slight shadow of a beard and protruding, jagged cheek and jaw bones. His nose had clearly been broken many times, and his knuckles were unrecognizable. Yet through this whole, rough appearance he had the softest, pale blue eyes you could imagine. Some said he had the eyes of an angel…

Letting out a depressed chuckle he mumbled “Some angel…” and took his eyes off the river. He glanced at the moon, it seemed so peaceful. So far away from this earth…but I guess bearing witness is almost as horrible as being in the middle of this….this…hellhole. Why would anyone make themselves vulnerable to these feelings? Why would someone join the so called “proud Athenian military”? Call me a monster, a murderer, or even an idiot but I am no liar. I signed up because I was ignorant, because I didn’t look beyond us and our enemies. War does nothing but prove to beings, things like our lunar brother in the sky, that we are as brutal and barbaric as we were in the dawn of man. Calmness drifted over him like mist, and blackness enveloped him. He blacked out right there by that river, the river that never stopped. Smooth and fiercely it flowed, for it always knew where it was going.

He lay alone.

The warmth, he couldn’t pinpoint it…a sort of moisture was falling on his face. He slipped in and out of sleep for a few minutes, and then slowly his eyes crept open. Suddenly rolling away he let out a quick cry of shock, before his eyes sat a full grown wolf. The wolf did nothing but stare straight into the man’s eyes—bright yellow eyes that pierced into his mind. Those eyes, they showed more understanding than any human has ever shown. This wolf was something more.

“What are you, beast?” The man slowly approached the cur. “What do you know?” The wolf, not moving an inch, shifted his sight directly west of the two into the woods surrounding the man’s home. Briefly scanning the woods, he noticed a satchel left behind.
”Scouts!” he swore. The wolf howled, almost in agreement and slowly, skulked away not looking back for a second. Letting out a breath of discomfort, the man crept over to the satchel, opened it and discovered what rocked his bones straight to the grave.

“By the wrath of Zeus…not Athens…never Athens!” He collected the proof and headed back to his home; throwing it on the table he explained the mess to his son.

“What quarrel would the Persians have with Athens?!?” The young boy, only about fourteen began pacing in worry. “We have never shown them offense, we deserve no attacks!”

“The gods wish to witness a war, and they chose the Persians as their messenger.” Cursing the gods for his misfortune he headed to his armory. Being a Hoplite in his earlier years he knew his way around a spear. He found his spear as well. ”Hundreds of souls laid to rest by this spear, consider this the deliverer of Hades.”

He slipped on the chain-linked armor of his pants, reducing his mobility. He felt a very disturbing shiver crawl its way hastily up his spine, reaching his mind his thoughts drifted into a different world…a darker world. His boots weighed his legs down, and his breastplate sent reflections of twisted shapes, an object so littered with blood the underworld itself would despise it.

“And now for the grand finale, my grand finale…” Letting out every ounce of breath within his wicked soul he slid that helmet on, he forced that helmet onto his soft head. He headed outside, grimacing with every step…every clinking step of his boots. Writhing within his armor as he walks…every thought haunting him, taking his heart to disgusting places.

He walked alone.





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