Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bloodless Days

Bloodless days.

I have visions of my brothers dying in the streets; I lay wounded unable to move inches from the line of bullets skipping off the cobbles stones. 

I can’t take my eyes off of the spark the little pieces of stone that explode into a puff of dust each time a bullet hits skips looking for flesh to tear. It stings my face making my eyes water from the dust and sharp splinters of rock.  I smell the dust the metallic coppery ozone scent from the bullets like hot wiring.   My ears ache from the sound of the guns the rockets. 

Men run past ignoring me for dead taking killing rounds from the defenders falling where their lives end. Bullets continue to rip their bodies as they lay dead in the street.  I was lucky I fell out of the line of fire from the machines guns, others not so lucky.  Blood is everywhere; slowly flowing down from the high point in the center of the street.  There two of my men lie dead or soon to be dead their bodies jerk and flop like rag dolls every time a bullet finds flesh.   Blood slowly flows making its way to the side of the street with a curb of stone; three large streams, innumerable small creeks of red gleaming in the sun sparkling in a myriad of blinding flashes.  All the running blood comes together at the curb and forms a river just inches from my eyes.  It’s mesmerizing watching the life flow by me; sometimes damning up behind a piece of rubbish making the  blood form a small red pool, then flowing, racing along into the nearest storm drain. 

Just at the limit of my sight I see my comrade’s blood eddy behind a small piece of debris inches from the drop into the sewers; making a small whirlpool, a vortex of swirling blood, it sucks in other pieces of debris from the street into the storm drain.  A drifting piece of torn brunt drapery slowly floats from above leaving a trail of white smoke as it lands in the flowing blood taking its place among the dust and splinters of exploded wood; it makes two full circles and drops through the grate. 

Whiffs of smoke from hundreds of small fires slowly drifts in and out of smashed windows swirling around the support beams of street level family owned shops then vanishing into the shadows.  I see ghosts, movement in the smoke filled depths of the shop across from where I lay.  The smoke is heavy inside the buildings, trapped by the lack of breeze and internal fires. Heavy machine gun fire rakes the buildings front filling the street with chunks of plaster and dust; a spent crushed and twisted bullet slides across the cobble stones bouncing against the curb shooting straight up and lands so close to my face my eyes can’t adjust to see it clearly. Again I smell the metallic coppery smell of death.   A deafening boom then instant crack as a tank shell breaks the sound barrier, then another ear splitting boom when the tank shell hits above me and across the street above the shops into the apartments of the people who use to live here.  Huge pieces of cement fall from the building smashing the corpses of my men in the center of the street.  Furniture rains down, cups, plates littering the stones.  Three men dart out of the gloom and smoke of the shop across from me; running for their lives.  I pivot my eyes and watch as they all three are cut down by machine gun fire; twisting tearing clothing hides the brutal rip of flesh.  Their bodies hurled yards down the length of the building’s face before dropping at the opening to the alleyway.  Smoke whiffs up from the bodies as tracer ammo catches clothing on fire; it dances in the air twisting in a tight column and then blows slowly around the alleyway corner.

My eyes catch movement as a body from above hits the cobble stones with a sickening hollow wet sound.  His head is turned towards me as eyes open and he looks into my eyes being just feet apart.  We both lay where we fell; starring into each other’s eyes as the clamorous sounds of the battle rattles in our ears. He begins to say something but doesn’t have the time as a machine gun bullet explodes his head in pink spray; mists of foggy pink drifts down the street towards the smoking bodies. 

I hear and feel a deep rumbling that I’ve only heard from a distance before.  It continues over the next few minutes getting louder and louder until it’s a roar the street shakes and vibrates with its movement, little dust devils dances in my face twirling dancing moving left then right, their height growing as the monster closes in on where I’ve fallen.  Turning my eyes to the limits up in my eye sockets I can just made out a large form that belongs to the rumbling monster.  The tread of its chains chew the cobbles stones chipping them grinding them to a fine powder.  The T72 Russian tank is making its way down the street looking for anything to kill.  Smoke turns to diesel exhaust as the tank nears where I lay.  I realize that the street is blocked across from me by large chunks of concrete; they lay between me and the building on the other side of the street.  The most open area is on my side of the street, where I lay unable to move.  The beast stops just feet from my head, the barrel of the tank has already passed where I lay; I’m choking on diesel fumes and the fine dust that the tracks are carving into the stones.  My eyes are watering; my eye lids are gluing together with the toxic exhaust fume filled dust.  I must have passed out; the explosion from the main gun of the tank blew my ear drums out.  I woke to T72 tank treads four inches from my face; a blur of steel passing within inches of my face, the tracks riding the edge the stone curb, edging along closer and closer to the top of the stone curb cutting a grove deep and expanding towards my face.

Two months later.

Ggggrrrraaapppphhhhh… Ggggrrraaapppphhhhh… Ggggrrraaapppphhhhh… God I hate that fucking sound…

What are they doing?  I can’t see but it’s coming from over my head.  Oh cutting a fucking onion… Ggggrrrraaapppphhhhh…Ggggrrraaapppphhhhh… damn sound makes me crazy, how does cutting onion make me so crazy………… stop….that sound I don’t know what it is but it’s bad; it hits me deep in my soul.  It’s something that I’ve heard before; sometime, somewhere in the fight for our Country I’ve heard that sound; god I can’t stand that sound.  I’m hungry, but that sound just makes me want to kill that fucker making dinner; another scrape and I’ll slit his throat.  I can almost see from my bed as he moves to cut another slice from the onion.

Who would want to kill the fucking cook?  I must be totally crazy to want to kill the guy that makes the food to fill our stomachs.  Ggggrrraaapppphhhh… Ggggrrraaapppphhhh…Ggggrrraaapppphhhhh… fuck me…………..  I have no idea why that sound makes me so crazy.  I just want it to stop.  God damn fucking Ggggrrraaapppphhhh; I’ll kill that fucking ass hole…………..fuck him I hate that……………stop, stop STOP……………. Fuck, fuck, FUCK….. It’s got to stop…………

A face in my face; the nurse gives me another injection to soothe the demons.  It’s decided to move my hospital bed further from the opening of the kitchen; a favored spot with most of the wounded. 

I’ll sleep now, the world is turning a funny color of grey; things will be better tomorrow or maybe the day after.  For now it’s just sleep and hopes of a bloodless day.

From the Ramblings


1 comment:

  1. Very intense. A barrage of imagery and sensation that rips through the reader like bullets. It seems an interesting illustration of PTSD, or general trauma, at least.