The Boy | Teen Ink

The Boy

April 1, 2016
By Kati312 SILVER, Parede, Other
Kati312 SILVER, Parede, Other
8 articles 0 photos 19 comments

The man that took my life was no older than ten years old.
The boy that pointed his rifle towards my throat and pulled on the trigger under the heat of the melting sun, had soft cheeks that had never seen a razor. But as I gulped to fight for my last breaths and looked into the eyes of my murderer, I saw those of a man older than I, a man that had seen far too much.

Lying there, behind the sparse blades of dying grass, I watched him wake to a yellow inferno. Any hints of darkness had ebbed away, and with it, all softness was lost. He had been left only with day and a heart that beat to the rhythm of booming gunshots. I knew that if I didn’t leave, soon he would steal the breaths from my body, and make the blood pour out from my veins. So I stayed, and I watched. Maybe, he would steal the pain, and maybe, he could replace the silence.

The sun was still blazing over our scorched skin as it begun to sink into the distant trees. Something so beautiful, yet so dreadful. It was almost ironic how this being was so potent, yet had the ability to touch, to burn, to scar. The nearer you drew yourself to it’s beauty, the more of a threat it became.  It had left his lips dry and cracked, like the land we lay on and each swallow with the sensation of glass running through his throat.
The only moisture in his body was in his watery eyes that blurred his sight in the singeing heat, creating visions of imaginary mirages.

I watch, as his mind trudges through layers of consciousness. In his sleeplessness he is drunk on the silence of his own thoughts. For days it has seeped into his pores, dowsing his mind in its thick toxicity. The use of his thoughts died out long ago, and left those fatigued neurons to die, along with his will to live.
He opened his aging eyes and tensed his body as he braced himself for the loud booming noise he had been hearing for what felt like forever, but all was quiet. Instead, all he heard was his own slow breaths, and from behind that pile of weeds, mine as well. Startled branches cracked under the feet of walking corpses in uniform surrounding us, the loud cries of women in villages far away, protective wolves over their cubs, crackling gunshot, flies buzzing around the dried blood caked onto his face. But in that second it was just me and the boy, and we were silenced by the moment. The silence was a poison, gnawing at our insides. It hung in the air like a suspended moment before falling glass shatters on the ground. It was like a gaping void that searched to be filled, with anything. It it’s nothingness, a cruel underscore of the lifelessness of our cold sore bodies.
All I could see was his face, but I knew what the rest of him was. It was skin and bones, fed by a diet of starvation. A large shirt hung almost too his knees, torn and painted by splatters of crimson. Trousers cinched tight by a belt made of thin frayed string. Feet blistered and barefoot, his toes calloused as if they had been walking on hot coal. A gun hung loosely over his thin shoulders.
With each fraction of breath, he becomes more alert, as do I. I know what is to come. He hears them coming closer. The gunshot becomes a pounding in his ears. Men and women screaming, a blur of the green of their uniforms and their red blood in the distance. And suddenly, he looks at me, and seemingly becomes closer, his thinking clears, remembering why he is here. The scars on his scalp are a sickening halo. He wipes his brow, the salty stench of his own sweat pouring down his face. With hands rough and cut, a pain rushes through his body. He remembers. Picking himself up, feels the hot metal of his gun. He puts his finger on the trigger, blinks a few times into the sun, and turning falls on to one knee towards me. I can feel the darkness coming over me, an end to the pain. With one last breath, as I stare into the face of my savior, the face of my merciless executioner, it suddenly all becomes quiet. The darkness that was shrouding the face of the deep holds far more than just the absence of light. Thick and heavy, interlaced with a stench of abandonment and broken by the screaming silence of sorrow, as my life dissolves into ashes, it is just me and the boy.

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