Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blink; Whisper

It was obvious that trachea crushed beneath elbow, but no chances are taken. Silencer jams into throat and teeth scrape gun-sight a millisecond before sinew and fluid from spinal cord splatter onto the wall behind. The shadows were perspective, and no enemy would share the view.

Hands move in silhouette, speaking a language known only to the blurred outlines signaling acknowledgment. Dark shapes of what should be men appear under encroaching starlight and the fresh kill is carefully dismembered and discarded in nearby piles of trash. But what manner of men would act in such a fashion?

Devoid of thought, these shapes knew only one thing: an objective had to be met. They were here to stop a murderer, and the irony that they themselves were murderers in the eyes of whatever God or gods they believed in was not lost on them. But killers, be they state-employed or simple criminals, always exist on the fringes of society, and they would sleep well tonight.

Stealth is shed as the sun finally sets. Shadows take their rightful place as masters of fear and rush their adversaries. To the awaiting enemy, floating Cheshire grins create a sense of horror as the blurred outlines fail to even bother with pulling triggers. One man momentarily tastes the metal of a rifle stock before he begins a slow death choking on his own teeth and tongue. Another never even looks up from his freshly-lit cigarette as a well-placed thumb and forefinger violently rip out his larynx.

Guttural screams finally raise the alarm, and the enemy camp springs into action, only to fall amid ballistic spitting and noises that vaguely sound like rubber bands flying through the air. Those smart enough to remain still in attempts to listen for their attackers fare no better, as pools of arterial blood from cleanly slit necks will reveal under tomorrow's rising sun. Though there is no scythe reflecting moonlight, the presence of Death is unmistakable. Pure and unadulterated. Remorse forgotten with the loving smiles of wives and children left behind many months ago.

Their objective lies in the dark, believing himself to have an advantage. The stars and the moon should offer at least a warning glimpse of the unknown assailants. Such would, no doubt, be the case, were the assailants now not crawling on their bellies as snakes in the grass. Mother Nature makes no judgment, and her creatures are the most efficient killers, second only to those men who are able to cease being men when the need arises. There's almost a hiss as a dark outline rises behind the objective and places a black blade against throat.

The objective begs for his life. But shadow takes neither prisoner nor creates martyr. It simply wishes to create more shadow. Screams of false penance are doused in gasoline and set aflame. For a moment, the eyes of living men reappear in the flickering light, apparitions of life in a place now completely dead. One places fingers to lips in a silencing motion. When it is decided that pain has been felt enough, those same fingers reach for trigger and end the screaming once and for all.

A rare offering of mercy, out of shadow and into light, only to fade away again.

15 comments:

Bitsy said...

Yawn. Wake me up when Rambo is over. I fell asleep the first time I watched it, too.

Baino said...

Are you sure you're ready to enlist? Great imagery if not a little gruesome. Clearly Bitsy knows you way better than I.

Not For Jellyfish said...

The matter-of-fact almost apathetic tone makes the violence all the more effective. Little J loves Rambo, you know...

Brian Miller said...

whew...felt like i was in a movie there for a second...or i was playing Halo...fiction or actual experience?

Harnett-Hargrove said...

You write 'literal' so well. Relieved to see 'fiction' under labels.

William C. said...

Nice.

subtorp77 said...

Fiction? Hardly. These days this'd make for a bloomin' CNN broadcast! Been there, done that, survived that! Uh-oh...I oddly feel inspiration coming on...

Tess Kincaid said...

Crushed trachea. Now that made my Cheerios stick in my throat this morning. But, seriously, nice piece of writing, as always.

JeffScape said...

@Bitsy: Hah... that explains so much, you have no idea. ;)

@Baino: Yes, to both questions. Feel free to criticize, however... it's the only way for writers to improve. Back pats get people nowhere.

And PLEASE point out typos and misspellings if anyone sees any! I still find some in my old blogs... it drives me crazy.

@Not For Jellyfish: I figured she might. And I told you you'd enjoy "Theme Thursday." Why do people not listen to me?

@Brian: Er... loose fiction, maybe? Nah, fiction.

@willow: Cheerios rock.

Ravyn said...

Graphic.

Wings said...

Harsh, but no one said life isn't. Especially in situations like those.

And no other cricital comments, you heard my two cents on this one already.

Good piece, brutal (as someone else who read it said), but realistic if not pretty.

Betsy said...

I could taste that metal silencer!

The Clever Pup said...

charming

smarielk said...

Huh and you accuse me of being dark and gruesome!

derailed hippo said...

"men who are able to cease being men when the need arises," these are a small group, but I have met some and they do indeed scare me.

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