One Man’s War

When the blood ran off his hands the war was over, and he turned his eyes to the vast, burning wasteland that marked his wake. He sighed and wiped the dead from his face, the gristle and blood falling inconsequentially onto the crimson soaked earth.

It was time to go home.

He stared at the horizon, a statue slowly sending shadow spreading with the sun’s descent. Then he ran, pounding steadfast past corpses, leaping nimbly across the eviscerated, hurtling on the tips of his toes as an avalanche of putrefying meat and rusting paraphernalia of war filled his field of vision, sending nanotech bullets into the hordes of over-ambitious scavengers tearing at the decay, reeling himself up a sheer cliff face as highly militarised alien technology silvered through the effluvia below, loping through the healing country past the bursts of wildflower and dancing insects that push from the vibrant grass, falling in a dream that shakes him awake on a cold cave floor, brushing his fingers ecstatically on the rippling wheat rolling on to the horizon that flashes as the sun sinks from view.

The thatched cottage, luminous in constellation light, sent out waves of warm heat and scent. He sank to his knees, the long strobe of days heavy on his flesh and soul. His eyes filled with the light. His voice was hoarse as he yelled at the golden vision that seemed magically there, his leaden legs finally propelling him forward to embrace her in a whirling hug sparkling with tears and litanies of love.

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…contrived visions…

she peers through the stalks and brushes the cornsilk from her cerulean gaze with golden hands…small green boys caper in the tall rushes under a bloated red sun…a lagoon boiling with silver ripples as dark things twist in its depths…line of labor in the desert, plucking burning bushes to be thrown in long yellow bins…a trail of bubbles etching a line of blue breath as the fish god passes through its medium…orange men with long slender wings gambol above a watery marble, trailing their fingers through the russet clouds…black basalt is the relief which outlines these small, fur white people ascending the mountain…girl children with sad eyes huddle under weak shelters as it rains green frogs and blue snakes…a field ruined by grasshoppers and the wheat’s ward hangs from a tree in hopeless abandon…its corrugated steel rusted, its timbers rotted, its plaster and paint peeling, its streets and windows cracked, its buildings and stores crumbled, its soul decaying like the corpse on the road into the city…a hum of computer in an empty room that smells of morning coffee…roaches desperately race across linoleum, a black flag at their rear…shoes, countless matches and mismatches, fill the warehouse with a musky smell…candles gutter as the black nights blows through the red drapes…women weave baskets from the slender hairs of yellow-eyed cattails that root and lap at pond’s edge…songs that echo through its drafty streets, and a long dead philosopher asks if a tree can be heard when it falls with nobody around to hear…blue and orange turtles leashed to a sapling with bright yellow string trundle in a circle as the laughter of children echo over the hill…neon squirrels flicker through the park at night…old men sit on knurled steps to reminisce about the green days of youth and sip tea in a cloud of smoke…tin cans and aluminium kitchenware on small paraffin stoves splash ethereal blue on the walls of the cardboard shanty…the circle of stars, through the quickening ever-rushing fall of night and swell of day, wobble as the years pass…lazy dust in the lethargic bedroom…thin and bent, his spectacles reflecting monitorlight, he taps slowly at the keyboard