The Aftermath of War

The rain has settled, the wind is still. Peter is standing behind a tree two feet of his best friend’s corps fanning off flies that were lured by brain fragments and intestines. He scans the field for other soldiers and finds nothing-nothing but body parts and military equipment sporadically scattered all over the place; mutilated torso at his left his- decapitated bodies at his right. Questions and thoughts are racing, “Am I next? or the last man standing?” The sight of his friend’s exposed organs upsets his stomach. Saliva forms at the back of his throat; he gulps to stop the vomiting. Suddenly his life flashes before him. Visions of his wife and daughter impose water to fill his eyes. Tears and sweat are running down his face. He licks his lips and tastes the salt of his flesh snapping him back to reality. Suddenly he hears footsteps behind him and without delay, he turns around armed and ready to shoot…but no one’s there. He turns back around only to be confronted by the barrel of an AK47. His body and soul are paralyzed. No more thoughts. No more questions. His peripheral vision is blurred. His eyes are fixed on the bullet as it slowly approaches his brow. Before it attempts to pierce his skull, Peter jolts awake drenched in sweat. He quickly scans his face and frantically looks at his hands for reassurance of his existence. 3:00 am is on the clock. His wife’s hand gently brushes his leg. The voice of his drill sergeant replays in his head. “At ease.” He kisses his wife, takes a deep breathe and goes back to sleep.

Journal Comments