Short Story (No Protection From Dejection)
Hi everyone, I have been slowly working on a short story. It is completely fictional, it does not include any specifics such as place, time, race or language (it's written in English though). It reflects certain situations that ARE occuring around the world, it's up to you to decide the where and who. It has two purposes, entertainment and on a lesser plane, awareness. I don't pretend to be an expert, i just wanted to showcase the viewpoint of those who are innocent in the struggle for power that is Warfare. I am very welcome to analysis and critique, so if you have any suggestions that you think could improve the story, please let me know. Warning before you read though, some of the descriptions may be a tad graphic. So, anyway enjoy..... (hopefully there is no word limit here)
No Protection From Dejection:
The guttural howl of an engine punctured through the calm veil of night, a pattern mirrored by my own beating heart as I regain my consciousness the slowest way possible for the newly awoken. Raised voices, heard above the unhealthy clatter of the engines, are shouting urgent commands, using our fast paced language and twisting it into a barely coherent mess of monosyllabic garble. Yet the one message that is discernable is the sheer panic. I spring from my sleeping space out into the bare hallway of my home. I stumble slightly as my eyes struggle to focus and I painfully rebound off what is likely the most hated wall in existence. In my current state it occurs to me that the speed I’m travelling is probably unsafe, but the need to get out is too strong. Still half-conscious from my slumber, my clouded mind doesn’t register the impact of what’s happening around me and all that’s driving me is a primal sense of fear. The gun shots snap me from my mangled thoughts into reality. A ragged scream echoes through the night making my blood race faster through my veins. I steal a glance out the makeshift window in the kitchen, just as a spray of arterial blood coats the glass, droplets collecting together and racing each other down to the sill. Then I’m moving again, fear spreading through me, turning my limbs to ice, but the fire of my heart instantly melts this away and I correct my movements. I’m out the doorway now, and I’m greeted with the broken bodies of my friends. Screams and keening ring out from all around me, some cut short midway, all drenched in piteous despair. An insatiable fire attempts to quench its thirst on the blood and homes of the villagers. The offending vehicles responsible for the irregular growling sounds are visible to me now, surrounded by men armed with what appear to be rifles. Their faces are ensconced in shadows that flicker occasionally due to the fire, but I imagine them as grotesquely misshapen. Dashing between buildings to avoid being sighted, I try to regain my bearings and fight down the panic that’s threatening to incapacitate me. I press on, my footfall thundering on the dirt, sometimes unsteady on the occasional clumps of grass. The gloom is aiding my escape as I make my way through the disarray of corpses, but running full pace with my vision limited to a few meters is disconcerting. I’m funnelled down an alley between two rows of neighbouring shacks. I can hear shouting all around me and distinguishing between friend and foe is sometimes difficult, but I assume the horrid chanting is the enemy, and the groaning, screaming and shrieking is the remainder of my village. Before I break cover from the last shack in line I sneak a safety glance behind me and that’s the first close-up sight I get of the invaders. The three of them are armed with the same weapons as the men around the vehicles, and the moonlight illuminates the reflective barrels as they are moved into a ready position. But that’s all I dare notice before I break cover and start to run again. The invaders shout and curse me as I run. Fear lends me its energized hand and pushes me forward; the men behind me are burdened by the weight of their weapons, while I am burdened only by despair. It’s not long before I lose them in the maze of winding streets and the night cloaks my movements. My bare feet make a mere whisper on the dusty path. I dare not slow my escape, and the screams are shut off one by one, until the only sounds I hear are the occasional bullets exploding from a barrel that end another life and bring forth the blissful silence. Dawn is slowly breaking and revealing hidden gory details. Bodies punctured by chunks of metal, a mother’s discarded body, shielding a child unsuccessfully. I try to stifle the scream but am unable to, and it erupts from my throat, a chorus of the saddest song playing especially for this scene. I curse the invaders; I scream my rage at the lord, so eager to judge, to deem this child’s life over before it has fully begun. I scream until my vocal cords cease to work and I start choking on globules of blood. Recovering from my coughing fit and buliding the courage to once more emptily gaze at the bodies, I examine the mothers face for a sign of how she died. I am comforted, in a morbid way, for I see the clean shot through her left eye, partially hidden as she lies. Her child too was killed quickly, their blood pools together, forever entwined and inseparable.
My family and a handful of others were lucky. We sent them away, to live free from the fear that enslaves us. They are liberated from this carnage, anxiously awaiting a reunion with their families that now will not come again in this life. It has been close to a year since I, myself, sent my family away to the farthest reaches of the valley to exist peacefully in our neighbouring village. A year of separation, panic and loneliness. But necessary. Observing the two shattered bodies at my feet I bite down on my tongue and my teeth sheer through the tip, leaving the taste of copper and a lingering oppressive sadness in my throat. This latest massacre is an extreme example of the dangers that have plagued us. Constant fear, the ever-present menace of imminent death, of merciless slaughter for politics, this was no hell in which to raise my child.
His vision wavered, painting the landscape grey with swirling yellow lights dancing at the corner of his vision, eager to play. He embraced the numbing cold that spread from his wounds. Of course the soldiers had shot him; he could not outrun the bullets after all. His heart continued to pump his blood uselessly through the gaping holes in his side, it too co-mingling with the vermilion liquids of the woman and child and he fell in an awkward heap beside them. The last thought he had was of his wife and child, how it could have been them lying stricken beside him and how selfishly thankful he was that they weren’t.