Sunday, November 29, 2009

Battle Recouped

I breathe in the smoke. I walk in the fog. The battle has ended. Confusion is the victor. I stumble around with ringing in my ears. The bodies of my fellow soldiers lie around my feet. Forget trying to connect the moments past, the bombs broke them far beyond repair. History for me is reshaped. Maybe the earth’s history as a whole is shaken by a single gunshot. The structure of my life will never be the same.

I’ve walked miles now. Still lost in this field of pain. Still lost in the thoughts that are in me. I now know the ringing came from my thoughts, not the bombs around. The pistol feels molded to my hand. My grip is loose and lifeless yet the gun does not fall. The weapon is a part of me, or am I a part of it? I don’t know anymore; it’s been too many years. The consistency breaks when I enter the trees. Soldiers are running towards the field I have left. They are where I can’t see, only where I can hear. My heart sinks as I know what fate they are falling into. But I still can’t stop moving towards something else, something I do not know, something that draws me stronger and yet weaker than anything that has ever touched me before. I forget the pains inside my head. I walk into the light inside. The war has touched me in a most oddly freeing way.

I am Beckard Thomas and I am a warrior. I have long forgotten what side I fight for; I now only follow orders blindly. My gun fires with the deadliest of accuracy. Through my obedience and superb fighting skills I have acquired one of the highest ranks a foot soldier in this war machine can hold. This accomplishment is something I am neither proud of nor care about. My hands have taken lives far surpassing any number I would dare count… yet I don’t stop. I still follow orders. Or I should say I did follow orders. Now I walk. I only walk; it’s me alone with my metal hand of death by my side… and the staff. I didn’t remember it being there, my memory had long since lost its credibility to me and in turn it had lowered itself down to an almost unusable level. The staff was merely noticed by me when I leaned up against a tree and felt it pressing against my back as if to say “I’ll annoy you until you remember me.” I did remember some things about my past but they only came to me when I focused most of my energy on recalling those events. And still there were some parts of my life that I have never fully seen and some parts I don’t want to see.

Who am I? Am I Beckard Thomas? What was I before? During this war I had time to forget all that I was. I left my vague and jaded memory to rust in rest while I killed the memories of others. I let all the moments blur into a black haze in my mind. I had nearly forgotten how to recall them when my gasping mind reminded me.

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