Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Soldier's Conscience

You ever wonder why you don’t hear any grandiose, romanticized stories about Empaths? Why we’re not some fetish worthy trend crazing through society? It’s because we all end the same way without exception. We all commit suicide. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The day lay sizzling between earth and sky as we held to our posts, protecting the missions, sometimes their men, and holding secret the results till we were able to deliver them to the appropriate personnel.

The latest entourage was returning to us, some twisted “Prodigal Son” fable turned into a small militia of bad asses.

Time stretched out to accommodate the sudden explosions, the combinations of men moving too fast and too slow all at once. Fire, firing, smoke, dusty haze kicked up by black polished boots.

Then, it all went quiet… my eyes couldn’t focus on anyone around me, it felt like there was liquid fire in my lungs, suffocating me and burning me inside out. I looked down out of reflex.

“Yep, blood,” chuckled my mind ironically to itself as I crumpled in on myself. “Doesn’t hurt too bad, babe, don’t worry. Sorry though.”

She woke up gasping for air, sweating in the cool morning of a barely beginning summer, tears streaming down her face, hands clutching her searing chest.

Her mind was stretched beyond her limits and the effort of reeling it back in was excruciating.

Too much, he takes too damn much. She felt the sobs building up, the tears scratching at her eyes, reminding her that she was an overly emotional creature of relatively silly constitutions.

“Just a dream, just a dream, that’s all, just a dream.” She kept the mantra playing. “He’s fine.”

Then everything began fading back into mist as she fell back onto her pillow, suddenly unable to continue her hold on consciousness.

The morning came too soon, as usual, her nights were getting longer, the dreams were getting worse.

Just dreams, just dreams.

She was a married woman now with a child to dress and feed before school. These silly notions were supposed to subside, she’d been told, as age filed her imagination down. that’s the gist of what her parents had always insisted, at least, she’d eventually grow out of the dreams, eventually balance out the tyranny of emotions tearing her apart day to day.

Love to fucking know when exactly it is I’ll be a grownup and this crap will stop.

Not being a morning person had its drawbacks, especially when the night was long like last night.
Just a dream, just a dream.

The day wore on with out incident, and continued on in peace for another week or so more…

Blip…. Blip… Blip… Blip…

God, it’s bright.

I felt like I’d had way too much to drink, memory was foggy too.

What the fucking hell happened?

I tried to ask the question and just about gagged. Panic started rising as my blurry vision started focusing properly. Grungy white walls lined sectioned off into miniature coffin lines, men bound and bleeding in those small beds, tubes running in and out of them.


I laid there for what might have been hours or minutes, I couldn’t tell, before a nurse came in and checked on me.

“God, he’s awake” I heard before she halted mid step on the way to my bed from the one before me and hurried out of the room.

That’s probably not good…

Then things were getting fuzzy again. I think I was coughing but the crap in my throat was interfering. I could feel something trickling out of my mouth.

Blip… Blip… Bleep…

I don’t feel so good…

She woke up sputtering blood and all over her son who seemed to have snuck into her bed at some point during the night. Pain was tearing at her chest and throat.

God, no, just a dream. Please be just a dream. Please be sick. Just let me be sick.

As the worst of the pain began subsiding, she let herself fall out of bed. Her legs were jello. She managed a slow crawl around the corner into the bathroom on her elbows; she didn’t want to get blood on the carpet. She pulled herself up onto the counter, her strength slowly returning as the dream faded back away.

Soaping herself up, she replayed the mantra grabbed a washcloth and some stain spotter and returned to her bed. She wiped her son down with some baby wipes and carried him back to bed.

She changed the bedding, threw the bloodied khaki sheets in the wash and sat back down on her bed. She felt exhausted, anemic, and dizzy.

I just want to sleep.

The predawn sky gave way to the turquoise placental pigment present at any bloody birth. The day was to begin in the midst of the nightmare.

Just make it stop. Sleeping’s over rated, just make it stop.

So the dreams were held at bay by the young day and she thank what powers might be for the mercy of it.

Fuck, it’s hot.

I was covered in sweat, and though the breeze on my skin felt cool, my insides were boiling. I wanted to scratch my skin off, go back to the ocean I loved so well and throw myself into its icy depths. So fucking hot…

She was tossing and turning again, bathed in a hot sweat, gasping for air. Too fevered to be unconscious but in too much pain to be conscious very well either.

The covers were kicked off and the white silk stuck her like cobwebs. Grasping the bed sheets beneath her, she tried to clear her head, to clasp onto one thought and hold it in place just long enough to reorganize reality by it so that the universe would stop spinning out of control.

Then, suddenly, there was a breeze upon her skin, and a peace in the air. She opened her eyes into a dream.

“Babe…” I was dreaming, but I still had to ask, just to be sure I was dreaming.

She turned, the blue silk caught and carried by the sea that held her in its shallows. It was as if she was in pain, the shadows in her eyes, the mouth falling open instead of asking the questions floating in her head, something was wrong for her.

Then she was in my arms, all over me, around me, she was everywhere, she was my world and I lost myself in that desperate kiss. The silk slipped from her as if it were indeed part of that ocean, receding with the tide.

“God, I’ve missed you.” It was a whisper, damp with saltiness I couldn’t tell were tears or ocean. We fell to the soft sand and loved each other in the light of a Cheshire Moon.

Best dream I’ve had of you in a long time” I said, as if it were an inside joke with myself. She lifted her head off my chest, a frown on her face and a caution in her eyes.

“Are you safe, love? Are you well?” Seemed an odd question for a dream, made me remember the hell I’ve been in.

“Sure, baby,” I laughed, “don’t know too much about what’s goin’ on, actually. Had a fever for a while, what bits and pieces I catch of the doctors when I’m awake don’t sound good. Is that what this is,” I asked pulling her close, “Heaven?”

Her frown deepened. “I don’t think this is so much of a dream as it isn’t, love.” She pushed up off of me and brought her knees up under her chin.

“I’m losing you, I think.” It was not a statement she wanted a response to, but I just couldn’t help myself.

“No, you’re not baby, I’m right here.”

This is some weird ass dream.

I don’t think it’s a dream. And I am losing you. I can feel you dying, don’t you get it!” She shot up and walked into the water, tears falling into the sea. I noticed as she stood there, naked under the mischievous moon, the sharp angles of her figure.

Shit, she’s lost weight.

She didn’t have much margin in that area. She looked like she could blow away in the breeze.

“You look a little like hell yourself, love.” She whispered with just a hint of a smile.

I’ve had a rough time of things, nightmares, even during the day. All of you. You’re leaving me. I can feel it, love. I can feel you fading away from me.”

She was about to do something, I could tell. She had that way about her, she would decide something at the most random time and her life would just flow after it. She was forging one in her mind right now, you could feel the fires burning deep and hot behind those tear filled eyes. This was not going to be good.

“Babe, I swear, I’m fine. A little knocked around but I’m fine.” I was desperate to convince her.
"Never, ever, lie to me." It was a soft whisper, and a certain disappointed anger seemed to sizzle the air around her.

But this is a dream!

“I don’t think either of us can take this. Not this strain. I have to choose between you and our son, it feels like.” Tears were washing her away, streaking down her face, erasing her from the scenery with each little trail they blazed, the ocean rising up around her, climbing up her legs onto her torso.

“No, love, it’s not. Not anymore. You’re dying and I can’t keep this connection going”

What the fuck?
I’m leaving you, love. I’m sorry. Please, come back.”

“Goddamn it, woman, what the fuck kind of sense is that?” I yelled, but all that was left was the crashing of her watery shadow upon the beach. Sea foam swarmed about where she had stood, tickling at my toes.

What the hell just happened?

No comments:

Post a Comment