By Jess Charle
I came into being in a desert. The dry heat greedily sucking the moisture from my body. The high sun baking deep into my flesh, slowly cooking me. There was no shade I could see. No water. My throat swelled and my head throbbed. I tried to step forward, to save myself, but I was already too weak. I fell forward. Sand filled my mouth and nose. It grated into my eyes. I tried to blink but it made it worse. Loose sandpaper tearing into dry flesh. I tried to breath but there was no longer air, only sand and heat.
I came to as a flash of cold shocked my body awake. At first it was a reprieve, but as ice water replaced the sand it rose into my nasal cavity with an intense burn that overwhelmed me. I looked up to see a circle of light above me, diminishing quickly. I tried to swim towards it but the water was thick and my muscles stiff and uncooperative. I remember that I no longer felt cold as I took my last breath. My lungs grew heavy as I continued to sink.
I came to on a battlefield. Explosions, some big, some small, some massive, surrounded me. The wet dirt below me was dark and I realized it was the blood of my comrades soaking into the ground. I looked up just in time to see a bayonet plunge into my chest. I heard the crack of my rib cage as the blade sunk deep. The solider, whose face blended into our surroundings, just one of many forming a hive of destruction, pulled the weapon from me. It made a slick slurping noise as it freed itself from my muscles and tore my skin. A hot wetness covered my stomach as I fell to the mud, half earth half blood. I watched his bare feet, calloused and scarred, run from me towards another man as I drifted out of consciousness.
I have died 100 times. I do not know who I am or who I was, if anybody. I do not know what I am or if I’m anything. Maybe I am death itself. Or maybe just its plaything.
Some deaths have been short and others have felt like eternities. I once came into being only to feel a sharp pain in my chest before fading back into nothing. I awoke bound and gagged on a metal slab. A man stood above me and smiled. The blade in his hand glinted fiercely in the bare bulb above his head.
I sit here now in an unknown place. It’s like a hospital except no one is sick. Just old and no longer useful. I’ve tried to ask my attendants where I am. I try to tell them of my past, warn them of my never ending future. They tell me I have dementia, that I’m confused. They tell me more but I can feel the information slip through the weakening net that was once my memory. It’s becoming harder and harder to breath. My fingers ache as I type this, each stroke of the keys vibrating harshly through my thick, twisted hands. Angry veins bulge from the thin skin. I do not recognize these hands, yet my thoughts move them slowly across the keyboard. A woman is here with a pitying smile and a cup of weak tea.
I don’t have much time. I know what death feels like and it’s coming for me yet again. So I turn to you dear internet.
Find me. Save me.
I love the deaths and the visuals of the battlefield especially. Something so dark and gritty about describing war. I think it was also cool that the last death be so slow and drawn out by making them an elderly person. Good job!~
I’ll follow you and check out more of your work 🙂