I saw him come barefoot and savage, a voice of horror echoed in my ear
Erotic in his rage I saw rusted steel shatter brittle bone. Black Flesh opened up to let life out and new life in
I saw hands raised clutching their worldly possessions in their palm
Limbs and hair detached from the heart and soul that gave them life.
In a moment that lasted an eternity in my head I wrote. Words, words that would define me
Poems or songs, I scribbled them on a page I would remember forever in a land that had suffered more than I could grasp.
No words were enough, and no poem could absorb it, only the eyes of people can tell the story and prove the facts.
Only the eyes of people can explain exactly what happened, in a moment that will stain humanity till the end of time.
The eyes of men women and children that didn’t deserve to witness such horror but by the law of nature had no choice.
Soulless faces with eyes deeper than the abyss of hell. In my mind I wrote and didn’t stop.
My words were from a deeper part of my being where I can justify the worst of humanity to myself
Visions of doing the same that had been done, as justice for all or too simply justify the horror that at least
It was capable for a human to commit such acts and think nothing of consequence.
I fell back to verse, all my life I found solace in words, Hemingway, Hardy, Thomas and Sassoon great poets urging me to write more.
God keep us close that I can smash your rotten skull
And live to see it clot among the tiny shrubs
I’ll take sentry till the sun has bleached your bones
And washed the stained earth clean beneath you
I’ll stay awake until the devil departs your soul
And I will burn the plants dead again that spring from where you fell.
No life shall I let live in your name to rid the earth of the plague that
Boiled inside you.
Only then will the joy of birds be heard again in this hellish land.
Four Thousand miles from home, with only one wish to kill a man I’ve never met.
This was my ambition this was my purpose, this was all I was here to do and I wanted that chance more than anything ever before. I’m squatting with my eyes locked on the small clearing to my left, beads of sweat have drenched my shirt and my webbing feels weightless with the sudden burst of adrenalin coursing through my veins. Hearing footsteps and the snapping of twigs and leaf, my mind races but as the first man enters my sight I feel calm. Bang Bang Bang 3 shots to his torso and he is down. Bang Bang 2 into the second and he follows hard to the jungle floor.
I jump forward and make sure with two shots more to each of their heads as a third charges toward me his eyes bulging in their sockets, his naked torso is muscle and bone shining like oil in the baking sun, an AK47 pointing directly at me and he’s shouting and screaming like a banshee while firing rapidly miss, miss, miss. I am suddenly aware that I am laughing wildly, I engage and don’t stop until I hear a dead mans click. He has covered 20 yards before falling at my feet very dead, I laugh, I laugh louder then I shout, fuck you.
I turn to look at Charlie and he is standing there, all very calm and cool he smiles at me and says “you’re fucking mad Al” in his finest cockney accent. Three down dead, no injuries to us, we’re OK we simmer down have a look around then we can have a chinwag and a wet, we take the weapons and some pictures and leave knowing how lucky we are and how unlucky they were to meet us.
I slept well that night and didn't give it much thought the next day or in the weeks to come, to be honest it just fizzled out in my mind and became another day. I was here and they were not, and we carry on.....
I understood quickly what kind of engine drove me after this and my time in the services was limited at best. I needed action if I was to remain focused without it the blackness that haunted me would return and dictate my days as it had in the past. I had my share of fun and memorable events I left not knowing the scale of things to come in Afghanistan which was just around the corner, though we really thought it wouldn't come off. How wrong we were. But in hindsight, had I used my nine lives already? Only the gods know that.