Strife

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
A survival story.

Submitted: March 04, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 04, 2019

A A A

A A A


Strife

Funny. I’ve only ever heard the blue ones sing so loud. What do they want? They look cute as buttons up there, with their showy-ass feathers and all, but if they don’t fuck off, they’ll have to go too. Too many trees around, too many blue ones, too little sun. I flip open my pretty little silver locket and rest it down next to the gun barrel. She gave me strength. My Love never failed me like I failed her. Time’s a runnin’. Focus now. Cus’ I need this one. Now. Belly’s all roaring and nearly done for, so these two are mine, both momma and cub. Ave Maria and all that. My finger kisses the trigger and one bullet’s through momma’s head. Instant.

The cub scatters away. Whimpering. Don’t You look at me like that, Hon’. Not like I enjoy dragging a hugemungus beast halfway ‘cross this grey nation park. Grizzlies taste like shit anyways, I do others a favor. If there’re any others left, that is. I’ll even leave the cub for now, too heavy for one trip. Go on, smiley locket, back in my pocket You go, the man’s gotta cook us up supper. The way home is easy, uphill but easy. Nothing new, no surprises. Each marked tree I pass points the way back. About a hundred yards between each, with rusted nails rammed into the bark, for directions. I hook fresh guts and gizzards onto each nail; when they vanish next day, I know where my next meal is. Picking up the pace ‘cus, by golly, it rains black again. Smells even blacker.

I see it now, shack o’ mine. My beauty Garand and I can rest easy now. Boots must always be dusted off in the doorway, lest She be forced to nag my ears off. I ease the baby dinner off my shoulders and slump it on the rack. Another day, more opportunity for slow struggle. I stretch around only to bash my head above and scrape all four shattered walls. Thirty seconds of Skeeter manages to melt the world into colors again before the damned piece of trash obscures into static. I dream of news but love the same, the reminders. My posters and wall articles, “War”, “Atomic”, “It Is The End!”, are yesterday’s pals. They escort me into sleep tonight and all nights with wails and shrieks, while rains and thunder whisper backstage. Yet my Love is always the loudest of them all.

I’m still here. Sun’s still here, and dew water still tastes fine. The locket shines well today too. She orders me to take a hike that-a-way, and so I do. She doesn’t like ole Garand, but I bring her anyways. Sorry ‘Hon. I bring four dozen nails, ‘cus I want to make it back home again, I promised. She leads me far and far, down and down. Still familiar ways, She says. No worries. I see Her point as I notice one of my nails, an oldie, sitting tight and naked in a bleeding sequoia. Bits of stubborn glimmers of steel are left stalling the rust. I’ll be damned, the meat’s gone. Supper’s here and it seems to have dropped a few bits by the tree roots. Damned wasteful jerk. I follow a trail of dulled, brown blood, for days and a night. Clouds turn sour. It begins drizzling stinging black as the trail ends back at the fucking bear hunt site. Huh. I stuff Her back in my pocket and wake Garand. Noises, new ones. I am not alone.

Bushes rustle and taunt me as I lay hushed, with eyes welded to Garand’s scope. The dark sun mires my eyes as a elk leaps out of the bush. It’s been greened, like everything else. Poor soul. Cloudy. I locked my breath and heart as I align the barrel. Before I can twitch, blurred spears spawn and disappear into the elk. Red as every hell’s toilet. The creature whines and veers as it gallops aimlessly towards my cover. It then collapses, tethering its hollow stare to my sights. I freeze as two figures approach the carcass. Others! Should I go? Though they could be greened... But it’s been so long. I stay tense behind my cover, a youthful fallen pine. The two figures, one greyed and tired while the other pink and hungry. They jab and poke at their fresh kill.

“You do us all proud today, kid, this should do us a few days’ eating.” said the greyed.

“Grandma June should have some first! And my parents and me!” said the pink.

English! They have words! Been so long, so long. Calm Garand, calm it. The two lift the elk and begin strolling away, smiling. The elk was greened. They shouldn’t eat it. I lift Garand once more and blast the elk, toppling it off of the two people. They are frightened, and become dangerous. I run and run, the elk keeps them back. I run and down comes the black showers again, peeling me. I should just stay out, let it kill me. Be with Her. But people. I aim behind and shoot three into the trees. Be scared, please. They need cover,  rains are god’s ashes.

It all stings! Very hard to think, I think. I fly home but it is no longer. There are others. At least two and I am happy. I can help but slowly I and every part of me is leaving. Words, and English. Slowly draining, scraped and washed away by rain. Shitty horrible, sinful dark rains. Punishing me like blood snails. Fast, time to go and see the two. I track back from where I found the grey and pink ones. Quickly find their camp, surrounding a radio tower. Still working? Count, thirty-two of them. Fifteen adult males, twelve adult females, one reminds of Her. I still know You, just keep safe in my pocket, I won’t fail You again. I’ll help these ones see the sun brighter than I ever could. Also, five children, aged four to nine. Clean, like dew water. Adults with some pistols and rifles in bad shape. Ragged past clothes, drenched in cries, like my home.

I sneak around in their camp, along edges and far above in hills. I like getting close enough to hear their English. Newcomers, they say the place is paradise anew. A “wondrous find”. Looks like they’re here to stay. I will watch. Harmless enough. Enough.

There is one they call “Bella” that is very pregnant. Reckon the father is “Peter” but I see spends much secret time with “George” too.  An “Adrian” sprints to piss in a stream and nearly spots me, might’ve if he looked more right. Too close. I may be greened, unlike them. Need to give them more space. "Adrian" also breaks an arm climbing grand apple tree. Much too far from camp for anyone else to hear. I tell myself to leave him alone but cannot. A few hundred yards from their camp. I do my best imitation of Adrian’s scream until everyone and their children from the camp come searching. I stay away but lead with my voice until they reach the real Adrian. They bring him back to camp. Rains again. I cover. they stand outside. Idiots!

Fractured, Adrian always gonna limp from now on they say. Too late, really stupid. They say infection, much of it. Nothing compared to being green though, silly folks. Anyways, Adrian’s legs got it, will really kill him. That’s a big ‘ole nutsack of nature for you. They try prayers for him, every one of them. I try too, though not too loud, and behind far trees. Always hidden.

Last night, left several bottles of antibiotics on tree stump just adjacent camp. My final ones. The people rejoice, praising God, as if he burned the world, but had heart enough to leave old pills for Adrian. Festive joys anyways, renewed people. And smiles. Hope their big smiles warm enough to last coming winter. I will help.

All dead. Fuckers cut them all down in the snow. With largest guns, more than eyes can count. Men in green, not the ill green. Strong, proud greens. Familiar. Helmets and gadgets, troops and order. Badges. Killed every man, burned them and the camp. Might’ve spared the women, kept them captive, until Bella and Adrian fought back. Opened fire with tiniest guns and largest courage. They were swatted, adults all vanished in smoke and deafening orange. Like night borrowed the sun. Silent and sure, the camp blazed. Bright pure flames in a wicked, fogged earth. The green men took the children, everything but the radio tower was gone. I could’ve warned. But I watched. Fuck. Goddamnit Adrian.

I failed again. sorry ‘Hon. I head back to shack, sweet home, and boost myself, grow myself. Smarter, angrier than the green men. My head wiggles like four-headed snakes, but I keep running, hurry back to track them. End them. There are over a hundred of these proud assholes, armed to the teeth, no reservation. Glorious in green, but pure. Fuckers mean business, but so do I. It hails grey and snows coal. Waiting in frost, I put some in my mouth, no need for foggy breath to give away where I am. It burns my tongue, like fancy mints. I toss Garand’s scope, reflections off lens from light are dangerous too. I am ready. Hours and hours, I sit, watching assholes. They place the spared children in pens, give them no water. Assholes.

The moon crawls up, Garand and I start. We run with Her blessing, her beauty for fuel. I sneak within the new green men camp, swiping all their grenades, whipping them all about and into tents. I give them a baptism of fire, they’ll need it for God. The remainders dash out like starving rats, naked of pride, but still armed. Panic. I slip back into snow, only Garand’s barrel shows. I place my locket in front so I can see Her and give a smooch. I see a few stationed with guns like Garand keep still, barrels and scopes keen. I stay until they can no longer, hours flash. They tire, and my bullets knock them down like dominos. One by one, toppled and burned. Torn and murdered bloody. Within one month, all assholes greeted hell.

I loose the children from the pen. What to do but keep hidden. What to do.

They wander and I follow, I bring everything I have with me, clearing my home. Day by day, I check on the children, leaving meals, animals, water when they do not look. Quite tiring, doing this, greys my hair by the week.

When they are lost, I leave notes, of instructions. I stack piles of treasure troves of books next to their heads as they sleep. English is powerful. Might’ve thought it was no longer but now, I think these young ones need it. They seem frightened yet in wonder, what might be giving them bits of things everywhere. I keep hidden, who knows what they would think if they know their odd helper is a crusty old fart. Too weak even for Garand. Sorry boy. Years, they grow, they read, and they learn. I go.

All that I collected I have given to them, and so I leave. Back to home, an empty one. Now I wander and struggle, withered to the bone by rains. No sign of home, all but trees and green are left. Hiking up and down doesn’t reveal much, I pretend I know the way. She is silent, has been for ages. And so have I been, silent. I circle within myself a few hours and march into bushes. When my legs could no longer hold, I fall and the beast of the forest comes. It snarls and growls. Slamming both steeled paws into dirt before rising like a tower. The beast roars and charges. I manage to send six rounds into its chest, it does nothing. I am slammed back, torn and shred, it slows from wounds after many minutes. It falls flat as I do, but too late. I crawl out from under, struggling against puddles of blood. The grizzly’s and mine. I crawl and crawl away back home but no sign of nails in trees, no sign of meat either, all gone. Home’s gone too.

Crushed ribs, torn flesh, I still manage to crawl upon a hill, just atop a hill where I can see the children. Easy to see God now, the devil too. The end is very pretty, but I prefer watching. I see the children laughing, and smiling, building the new. They’ll do fine, ‘cus this time, I didn’t fail Her. I did well, and well like grass, they will grow. And I will go, back to Her.

 


© Copyright 2020 Ocean Oshun. All rights reserved.

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