abt

; lyht leaves the eyes—expelled by a relentless laesr of poignant realisation that reality is but absurdism x impossibility.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

furious giants

Bazookas are scary things, MC thinks. There's enough dust in the air to smog an entire village. A giant bounces on a dusty sofa not far off. More dust. MC suppresses a cough.

The year is 1952, and things are going nowhere with the military conflict. MC sees no end to the explosions. The hostility. At night, MC and his platoon mates share stories about what it was like to be back home. How many siblings they have, and how hard their fathers hit their poor mothers for cooking rice a little bit too sticky. Sometimes it's funny stories.

SC told them a story about how he cooked his first family meal and nearly blew out the kitchen. He was about eight years old, and the blast had been just as big as the recent one in the nearest village. The same number of casualties, too. His father had been so angry, not because of the fire, but because the rice was too sticky.

They all laughed about it over smokes.

MC angles himself above SC's dust-dredged body. "You don't look very good," he says, "man I hate bazookas."

"You and me both," SC says, coughs elaborate and loud. There's probably shrapnel in his lungs. He tries to laugh, but ends up coughing for a good three minutes. MC hovers over him, puzzled. A movement to pick the clumps of dirt out of SC's fringe. SC is squinting. "We're going to die."

"Just as well. If you live, your daddy is going to kill you when you get back home for cooking shitty food," he says. SC manages a laboured bark of laughter. If the war were a fashion statement, they'd be the poster children for body modification. Dirty tattoos, big fat keloids. Piercings.

"D'you ever wonder why we're doing this? I mean, doesn't it seem mad to you?" SC asks. MC wants to put a finger to his lips, cut and bruised, get him to shut up. Run some water over his blackened cheeks. Of course it's mad. The world is a mad place.

"The world is a mad place," he says. "But it seems really interesting!"

MC has to shout, because just beyond their line of sight, a stream of jets are heading their way. A giant thuds his fist against a tabletop not far off. More bombs.

"It's so interesting, I want to learn all these different cultures from all these different places! India! France! The rest of Asia!" MC rolls off SC and lies down beside him, flinging a careless arm over SC's torso. His lips are at SC's ear, but the dying man can barely hear a word he's saying. "But I'll never get to because we're going to die in this war!"

"What!" SC says, eyes shut tight now. The pressure from the planes warp the skin of their faces. "I can't hear you! What!"

"I don't know which of us will die first!" MC says, resting his head in the hollow of SC's collar. "I love you! I love our platoon!"

SC seems to have heard, turns to MC and shouts back, "If I die and you're still alive, try and tell someone that I don't want anyone hacking my body up! Especially not my balls!"

"Okay!" he agrees. SC smiles, eyes lidded.

"I love you too!" SC says. "Did you ever find my arm!"

"No! I'm sorry but I never really bothered looking for it!" MC and SC are holding each other, keeping the conversation casual, light. Cries for help can be heard every so often, but other soldiers are huddled together in groups on the ground like they are, waiting.

"You can have mine!"

A giant flips a game of Life! over, game pieces scattered all over the floor. As it happens, the pair die together, instant.

Dust clouds settle, blanketing a garden of dead soldiers.

writing exercise. practicing atmosphere.

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