Sacred Irony

He walks. Smoke and fire fill the scene. The dirt is blackened by the heat of hate. He runs. Loud explosions acutely resonate in the inside of his ears. Each step becomes mute as sounds and sights leave him completely helpless. He stops. He can’t stop. The camouflage clothes contrast against the battlefield and bullets fly everywhere, looking for a victim on the horizon.

A body is lying nearby, facing the soil beneath it. The golden strands of hair blend effortlessly against the porcelain skin. It reminds him of his love and of the summers at the beach long ago. Before the war. Before death strode around and killed at will. The blood pooling around the missing legs ruined the perfection in which the fallen warrior laid.

He laid next to the body, instantly becoming oblivious to everything around him. With the cries of war and the red liquid now staining his own uniform long forgotten, he pressed his forehead against the corpse’s. Its blue eyes glimmered in the light and its soft hands became warm with his touch.

It was not a corpse. It was a lover, a love scene, a romance unbound by time, Earth or death. He imagined them walking in the soft warm sand, hand in hand, on a summer afternoon. He imagined the birthday parties in which they would get drunk and not remember what had happened, only that it had been the happiest hours of their lives.

Pain distorted the images in his head. A burning sensation sprouted along his arm. A bullet had barely missed him. It was time to go. But, to leave the love of his life lying in the dirt? Like it was nothing? Like the moments they had shared – the years – as if they had not happened?

He pressed his hand against the cold cheek and stared into the oceanic eyes blankly staring back at him. He turned to corpse around so that it would stare at the beautiful floating marshmallows for eternity. But it had cheated. It wore the wrong colors, the wrong rectangle: the wrong flag.

It was a betrayal like no other. Tears poured down his face, rapidly landing on the corpse. It deserved no cloud watching. It deserved none of his love. It had never deserved to be alive. He kicked it.

It.

He walks. Smoke and fire fill the scene. The dirt is blackened by the heat of hate. He runs. He crouches down for safety, bloody corpses lying next to him. He takes out the picture of home, his reason to live. Staring back at him, his wife.

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