War: 8.19.1930


They were harvesting.

I heard them singing, their voices raised in song, joyous laughter in between verses as new lyrics were thought of, old and better times remembered.

I kept pace with them, off to one side, and moving through the shadows. They did not look for the likes of me. They were, from what I could gather, medics, and red cross men. Those individuals blessed with a sense of selfless devotion. It made me smile to hear them, though I knew they would soon be at some battlefield, prepared to gather up the wounded and the broken.

I was, unfortunately, mistaken in this belief.

When they reached the end of the trail, they stopped, and so too did I. I had been using their movements to hide the sound of my own, and so I waited to see what direction they would go off to next.

Ahead of us was a small stretch of No-Man’s-Land. Corpses dotted the earth, and here and there, I spotted movement from those who the medics would gather up.

Sitting down, I laid the BAR across my legs and waited. There was nothing else I could do.

I watched them move out to the closest man who, in his pain, was attempting to crawl away from them. I shook my head, saddened at the poor soldier’s plight, and then cold rage filled my belly as a medic stepped forward, knelt down, and thrust a long, thin knife into the wounded man’s neck. The blow slew the man instantly, and as the medic stood, he paused to slice off a lip from the freshly made corpse. He popped it into his mouth and chewed contemplatively as a pair of men loaded the corpse onto a stretcher.

They were not there to save the wounded. They were there to harvest them.

I heard other wounded beg for mercy, and I saw that mercy ignored. A few tried to feign death, but the medics, their noses were too well-trained to fall for such a ruse.

In silence, I adjusted my position, chambered a round into the BAR, and began my own harvest.

I did not kill a single one, though I shot each of them through the spine.

As I sat and lit my pipe, I watched the wounded crawl to the medics and exacted their vengeance.

It made for a pleasant sight.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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