I suddenly appeared in a tank. The infantry was getting ready for battle.
The commander handed me a large gun. I examined it and I couldn’t figure out how to use it… it was almost taller than I was. I noticed my brother with me. I believe he had a large sniper rifle.
I was also handed a pair of goggles. Putting them on, looking through them while pressing a button on the corner. Night-vision, heat-vision, scanning the fellow infantry through the eyes of a professional killer.
What was I here for? The question knocked me out of my trance.
The commander ordered me to suit up and move out. Others had ran out of the tank. I saw a suit in the corner, supposedly it was somewhat bulletproof. I put it on, and I suppose I was supposed to feel safer, but… the feelings of killing and being killed were all around me. Though thankfully, it was diluted by being in the tank and not witnessing such horrors.
Why was I here? I couldn’t shake the question. Images of my brother witnessing me getting shot in the head froze me in my place. My brother was gone, though. Where did he go?
A song triggered in my head.
“on’t bother killing, don’t bother killing
it’ll make you sick
it’ll make you SICK”
One of my favorite songs. It’s what I needed to finally make a path and go down it.
Shots from the tank’s turret filled the air. The light was almost blinding. Then, the sound of flames coming from the only window in the machine. Flamethrowers, from outside, cooking everybody except me.
I saw a couple of men yelling in pain, running around on fire. I waited, well after the sound of the flamethrowers stopped.
And I finally came out of the tank. But, to my surprise, a man with a knife stood in front of me.
He was black, and wasn’t wearing a uniform. I asked him if he was an enemy. He threw me the knife, which I didn’t bother to catch and which landed behind me. He then pulled out a sword, stained with some sort of black substance, and pointed it in my face.
I grabbed it on reflex. It didn’t cut me. I ran my hand along the blade and it wasn’t sharp.
Then I decided to run.
I was in a large field, filled with tall stalks of dead, yellowed grass. There were groups of other people, based on the way they dressed I realized that they were African. They didn’t look hostile, but I kept running. I saw an exit in the far-away trees and didn’t look back. A path made of tall rocks extended before me, and I leapt on them, unconcerned about where I was headed just as long as it was in the direction of “the fuck away from where I had been”.
I ended up on the outskirts of a city, climbing into an abandoned building. Somehow I’d started near the top floor. Not wanting to be easily tracked, I opened a window and hopped onto the ledge of a different building, closing the window beind me. Finding a spot to scan my surroundings, a slanted piece of roof, I grabbed onto something and watched.
Below me, at the end of the street, a band was singing the praises of marijuana. A few buildings from there, a group of men were standing in front of what could have been a bar. Other people were walking about, yet it wasn’t a booming city by the looks of it. By the feel of it, the whole place felt a bit desolate.
But the band playing below me gave me a sliver of hope. Mixed into a boiling pot of uncertainty, but, at least I felt safe.