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Smoker's Moon (standard:Psychological fiction, 1159 words)
Author: Leif TannerAdded: Mar 20 2009Views/Reads: 1867/868Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A view of the battlefield in the mind of a soldier
 



Slumped from exhaustion both pyhsically and mentally, a young figure
feels the the jagged edges of the rocks stabbing into his already body; 
though his mind is too far gone now to offer care at what pain is dealt 
for him anymore. 

Through the cooling evening, he doesn't move, not a muscle, even as the
daylight slowly fades away and the shadowy darkness of night quickly 
rolls through the canyon, bringing to life the demons of the night. Yet 
not once does the thought of caring bring him to break from the 
mindless stupor that has set in where the pain and horrors of the past 
day are still very much real to this poor soldier. 

As the hours pass and the cold night sets in fully, bringing the
stiffling humidity of the day down a few degrees, the Moon's 
pock-market face appears in the heavens, as though God has finally 
arrived to carry the souls of the dead away from everyone who cared for 
them during the living years. 

With his eyes gazing without reflection, he sees the Moon, from all its
beauty and love, looking back down on him, a toothy grin, as yellow 
with plaque as an orphaned child, holds the head of an eagle, who's 
blood dripping tears cry a river of sorrow on humanity's battle ground. 
With no thought of the sight beholding his eyes, the soldier made no 
move, remaining silent and still, like the flesh from a rotting corpse 
picked by scavenging vultures. His energy drained and want only for the 
dark recess of an infinite slumber. 

Miles away, where the scene of slaughter saw unfathomable evil, fires
still burned. The pieces of modern warfare machinery smouldering and 
dead soldiers returning to the heavens from whence they fell; their 
bodies slowly succumbing to rigamortis in shallow trenches that would 
bear no name or rememberance. 

Each fire telling a part of the larger story as they crackle away with
cries from the tortured souls of the dead caught between the World of 
the Living and the World of the Dead. Some still experiencing the pain 
they felt as they had been left to die after the general evacuation and 
some left with the pain of not knowing they were even dead. But the 
sadder calls to hear were the cries of agony and despair from all the 
enemy soldiers who were captured, imprisoned and subject to the more 
mental anguish of torture to accompany physical pain. 

And in the mind of this self-defeated soldier, where the cries of
assistance from the dead and dying resonate sharply, clearly, there 
exists a memory, clear and piercing through the black clatter like a 
lantern dangling from a tree branch. The uncompromising horror of life 
being snuffed in the merest instant of a ticking watch and where there 
lives an eternal feeling of remorse that he cannot evict. 

With his back against the cold rocks and not twenty yards from the
canyon, a face skewered with concentration as hands, covered in 
cracked, drying blood,  trembled as another soldier struggled to keep 
ahold of a pen for that one last stroke on the page. Papers filled with 
loving words and truthful feelings; confessions of the soul that mean 
more for one instant of life than all the years put together as the 
shells continued exploding near and far and the trumpets sound and the 
muskets fire of the renewed attack. Tears of unrequited acts plaguing 
the author with real affirmation that no more shall he see the 
tranquility of peace. With the soldiers advancing, four by four, a 
quivering glance at the future that will not exist as that crafted 
spherical bullet jettisons from the barrel and sails the air with ease, 
finding a home in the neck of the fearful. One small choke and a pull 
back of the head, the letters to home glide to the ground and find 
tearful stains of blood and mud to pool in. 

Through the stench and decay of burning flesh and unanswered pleas of
remorse, a black and twisted General walks astray among the mounds of 
despair and ruin, gnawing the end of a cigar and smiling with decayed 
teeth like death. Medals of varying importance adorning his relatively 
crisp uniform: a hard day's work for one who sends others for the 
fight, without the conscience or burdon to contend with. 

His slick, oily hair groomed neatly and eyebrows of bush leaving for
nothing but a thawed relic of prehistoric times, he watches an attack 
then circles the command tent, awaiting news of the moment that 


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