So, there we were. Camped out there in the middle of the goddamn desert, dog-tired after a full day of wandering around looking for the enemy in any cave or hole we were unlucky enough to come across. Dozens of fucking caves, a couple empty villages, not one goddamn spook in any one of ‘em. We were getting restless, cagey, we had all this built up energy and day after day there was no fucking release. Just wandering in the desert, getting more and more disparate and god-fuckingly tired every minute.
See, we’d been trained from day one to find the enemy and eliminate the enemy. Seek and destroy, get out that anger. We knew what they did and it was our job to make ‘em pay. And for a while there, we did. We had a few months of good and proper seek and fuckin’ destroy. We were taught the philosophy that there are no innocents in a warzone. And brother, this whole fuckin’ country was a warzone. Basically, we thought we had it made. It looked like endless days of finding nests of these fuckers, shakin’ ‘em up, mowin’ ‘em down, lettin’ the world know that we will not be fucked with.
It was good to have an outlet.
But times changed. It looked like the enemy dried up some. We did our job a little too well. And then we got the call from up top that me and a couple of my boys were being sent out into the fuckin’ wastelands to look for any rogue factions or recruiting areas or some such shit. Fuck, we were basically just looking for targets. Doing what we were trained to. Find the enemy. Destroy the enemy. We were good at that. Real fuckin’ good. There’s a couple of villages back there in the warzone who’d tell you that if they were still capable of pushing the fuckin’ breath out to make the words.
And that was that. Day after day of not one fuckin’ glimpse of the enemy and our blood was fuckin’ boiling. It’s like breaking an addiction, going that long without killing after having it pounded into your fuckin’ head ‘til it’s like a second-fuckin’-nature. When you’re that good at killing, you start to feel like it’s your obligation to yourself and your creator.
So there we were, camped out there in the middle of the goddamn desert, exhausted and going crazy from that goddamn urge in our bloodstreams. No sounds around us for miles and miles, no caves, no tunnels, no holes in the ground. We figured it was ad good a place as any to set up camp and get some rest for the first time in a few days.
I’ll tell you though, it almost felt like being back home before wartime. Me and the boys all laying out under the stars in our standard-issue sleeping bags, talking shit and passing around one of the bottles we took from some town back in the thick of it. We talked about the battles, we talked about home, we talked about our respective girls.
Really, we just talked about stupid shit that held no honest meaning or consequence for any of us since, and we all knew this, at that point there weren’t many real emotions left in us.
That’s when we heard it.
We were all having a fake laugh about something no longer relevant, and when we stopped laughing we still heard someone makin’ noise. I don’t think we had ever been that fast to grab our weapons and face whatever the fuck was out there.
But we waited, and we watched. We might’ve been killers, but stupid mistakes had been made before that resulted in the death of some of our own. So we waited for this babbling fucker to show himself.
And out of the dark, here comes this sandnigger with his arms outstretched, wearing a white robe that I could swear was shining and some kind of glowing headdress, babbling a mile-a-minute in Arabic or somethin’.
We figured the fucker had a bomb strapped to him under that robe, and we didn’t even want to think about what made that headdress glow. Shit, we didn’t really have the opportunity to think about it. As soon as we saw that it was a sandnigger comin’ at us, instinct kicked in and we did as we were trained.
I would be a fucking liar if I was to say that after all that time waiting it didn’t feel great.
We emptied our goddamn weapons into that fucker and he stopped glowing real quick. After he fell, we went and checked out the body and we had ourselves a good laugh when we saw that we had somehow put a single bullet through the center of each hand and foot. He had a real peaceful look on his face though, what was left of it. Kind of like he’d been here before…
And we were slappin’ each other on the back, riding the adrenaline, and the sky fuckin’ opened up. Like a huge white crack across the night. We saw that and we fuckin’ took off to a good vantage point.
Four horsemen came riding out. Four tired looking figures, riding tired looking horses. And pulled behind them in a funerary chariot was a beautiful Anti-Christ in an impeccable suit.
He left the chariot and looked down on the guy we’d killed. The Anti-Christ shook his sweet head and gathered the corpse up into the chariot’s elongated back.
They took off back into the white. The sky sealed up piss-yellow and faded back to the dark and the stars.
A voice like a chorus of burning pipe-organs said, “There is nothing left to try.”
Things haven’t been the same since.
"All the Same"
Copyright: © 2010 Josh Myers
Josh Myers has spent the past three years selling hot sauce in New Hope, Pa. He lives in Lambertville, NJ where he spends his time alternately reading whatever he can and griping about the state of things.