DISCLAIMER: This story was written and published in 2012 and has been kept up to show the writer’s growth. It is not intended as professional quality
It’s what separates the living from the dead…the darkness envelopes them and they are no more…a few months ago, the darkness nearly claimed me, if it were not for a top secret American government agent known as Agent Jones, I would have been enveloped by the darkness…maybe fate made me this way, maybe it was my decision. I have no idea.
I guessed I owed him something and hell if it isn’t a way to make up for past sins.
So here I am, submerged in a pool of strange crimson liquid, strapped to a cold metal table that sends chills up my spine. An oxygen mask is strapped to my face, and helps me breathe.
The blurry outline of Agent Jones comes into my field of vision. He talks to me, but I’m only able to hear a few things
“…bench press a mountain.”
I hear him say the process will be painful. I cringe a bit at the thought of it. A quick looks to both sides tells me he has no idea what pain is. The stumps that were once my arms and legs showed me the meaning of pain…this is going to be nothing. He gives me final advice, his raspy voice penetrating the liquid I’m submerged in.
“Try to relax.”
My thoughts float about the red liquid, and I find myself a few months younger, and in Afghanistan…..
The sun baked on my head, my skull felt like it’s been in a pressure cooker. Colonel West probably felt the same way. He’s only been here in a few months…yet he knew hell more than most rookies.
The night was silent, as many of the Taliban operatives slept. Flashlights penetrated the darkness in beams of light. A quick motion sent the troops converging on the building. Silently we entered, and soundlessly we crept.
General Adam withdrew his knife, prepared to take down any Taliban operatives scouting the area. The sound of metal scraping flesh told me he found someone. Our mission was simple: gas the fuckers and leave. Yet I made a mistake. I slipped up. Because of me, my platoon is dead.
A Taliban operative snuck up behind me, dealing me a severe blow. He slammed my head into a guard rail, and blood flew from my face, dragging behind me as me head was peeled back. He withdrew a knife, and in my panic, I pulled a gun and shot him through the head. Blood and brains spattered against the ceiling and wall, as he fell backwards and stumbled to the floor.
Because of me…my platoon is dead.
My shot rang out in the room, waking the Taliban. They struck us with blind fury. I’ll never forget the first kill.
I was back to back with Corporal West. He was fighting like a true soldier. Anybody who moved in front of him got lead between the eyes. Then it all happened. I heard a cry in the darkness, and all at once, the whole place lit up. I saw the body of Corporal West burning like straw. He was cooked like a piece of meat. His bone chilling screams pierced the night, and in my pity, I shot him dead.
I was blind fury by that point, fury burst of lead spiraling into bodies. The unmistakable sound of General Adam’s baritone voice crying out in the night assured me he was dead too. One by one, all of us fell. One by one, the Taliban fell as well. Finally, I knew there was only one way out.
Every explosive I could find went into my effort. First a grenade, then matches that added fuel to the fire. Smoke billowed through the air and choked my lungs. My dinner wanted out immediately, and I took only a moment. I knew there was no way out.
More explosives. I put the whole nine yards into the base. In a deafening explosion the darkness left the night, fleeing from the light, and I found myself caught like an ant in a fire hose. I found myself thrown around, and before I know it, three days later I’m in the hospital. I knew something was wrong…
My arms and legs were gone…freshly amputated stumps took their place.
A few weeks later, Agent Jones came to me with an offer.
And so here I am, not even noticing the pain, it’s an itch compared to real pain. And finally, all at once…
My arms and legs are back. They feel like brand new….something out of a sci fi movie. I twist my hands, making a fest and turning them this way and that. I clench my toes. All my senses tell me it’s real, yet I don’t believe it. When did America get this kind of technology?
I pull myself out of the strange liquid, and the crimson fluid pours down my bangs and into my eyes. I’m naked and soaking wet, yet I feel better than I ever have in my life. The room begins to vibrate and shake uncontrollably. Someone asks if it’s an earthquake…Agent Jones tells them no.
I pause, and try to get control myself….and the shaking stops.
“How do you feel?” Agent Jones asks me.
I pause and I let the feelings soak in…all at once, everything becomes clear.