Concept Writing

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
A soldier begins to lose his mind during a firefight

Submitted: May 08, 2012

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Submitted: May 08, 2012

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His eyes grew wide, fully dilated despite the glaring sunlight and burning muzzle flash, green and red tracers searing the bruised and bloodied desert sky. His labored hyperventilation were a thousand screaming hurricanes in his ears - the brunt of Poseidon’s wrath uttered across the seas of the earth, ending their hateful journey with an assault on the senses. The report of his rifle, the concussion of deployed fragmentation grenades and RPGs, though it was all felt, none of it mattered.

A guttural howl escaped his lips and bared teeth – a desperate scream for havoc let loose by a hound of war itself. He advanced upon the fronts of his enemy, already a full ten meters ahead of his own line, the dead and screaming dying under gore-soaked and dust-bathed boots.

He was once a family man. A titanium wedding ring rested on a metal link around the neck of the body of the man that once was. A postcard the daughter of a barely remembered father drew rested rolled up inside the fore grip of the weapon that belonged to the other being that was present now. Sentiments were absent. No thoughts; no heartfelt message home. The colossus he had become was beyond that.

Mechanically precise, wild eyes burned down the top rail of his rifle, desperately seeking an outlet past the hot red heads-up display of his battle sight, his torso locked behind the weapon, sweeping back and forth across the desert plains and rocks, methodical in its purpose.

He felt a rush of adrenalin as his eyes finally came to rest on another entity occupying the world he had come to master, his own Tartarus. His shadow approached in his peripheral, biting at the reigns of reality, advancing beyond its master. Wings spread violently from the beast.

“KILL!” It screamed, demanding, conveying a need beyond that of anything man could experience. It flooded his mind, enveloping the animal inside, burning red against the tissues of his eyes and trappings of flesh. He was alone now. Alone with the enemy. Breathing stopped, he felt his finger applying pressure to the trigger of his weapon, separate of his will, simplest instinct demanding action and blood. He felt the other’s life seep and ebb between his fingers as he recovered his sight picture, sending round after round downrange. His breath exploded outward as he saw his target’s lifeless husk crumple upon itself, absent of anything human. His shadow howled in ecstasy as he closed his eyes in a rush of overwhelming insensitivity, silently daring a contender to take him.

The colossus breathed in, sucking air through his teeth, tasting burnt cordite and smelling the fresh blood he had drawn, he could sense the fear all around him. It was intoxicating; he craved – needed - more.

His eyes snapped open and he broke into a dead sprint, outrunning the trappings of organized warfare and giving way to instinct and animal, leaping over corpses and abandoned weapons as he dropped the spent magazine from his rifle and renewed the weapon’s bloodlust, slapping the bolt carrier home as he raised his weapon once more, rinsing fire across his path. In a little over a full second he broke through the enemy line, sending lesser beings scattering, leaving posts and weapons, some staring dumbfounded and frozen. It was those that were disciplined enough to offer fire in return that had the honor of being visited death.

He ran heedlessly into the fire, challenging whatever forces dared to take his blood. An RPK Light Machine Gun raked fire in his direction and the beast cackled in ecstasy, sprinting and offering suppressing fire, tearing up the hill it was stationed upon, ascending to the heaven his rifle promised. Dust, caked dirt, and pulverized rock rose in minute eruptions around his feet as he screamed, challenging the incoming fire to find its mark before the beast found his.

His shadow approached him, wings flaring in unadulterated hatred; its black, clawed hand reaching and coming to rest on the warrior’s shoulder, forcing him to one knee as light machinegun fire punished the land nearby, threatening to overcome him. The winged, blackened beast took the colossus’ hand, guiding it to a pouch on his right hip and wrapping his fingers around their prize; a small cylinder labeled ‘M67’. Their fingers wrapped around the device’s spoon, their other hand reaching for the small pin keeping the safety device precariously perched in place. He knew the fuse in the device was rated to burn anywhere from 4 to 6 seconds, but time no longer applied in this realm; he no longer knew how much time had passed from the petty beginnings of his life to the place of immense power he now held.

The pin was yanked free from the grenade, dangling off of a gloved finger; the spoon was hurled from the device like two opposing masses travelling with all the purpose in the world. With a blood-curdling screech, the beast’s voice joined his as they stood, rifle dangling as they torqued their torso, chest, and finally arm, hurling the grenade through sky backlit by desperate gunfire into the entrenched position standing between him and pressing ever-forward into the depths of his desire.

He felt his body jerk as his shadow shrieked, a spray of familiar blood joining the others on unclaimed ground. A flash of his daughter broke through in his psyche’s desperate call for salvation, one last plea for sanity.

He remembered her little fingers wrapped around his thumb as he looked into his wife’s eyes.

Just as soon as she appeared she was gone, replaced once more by the unimaginable monstrosity that claimed the space his shadow once occupied.

Anger filled them both, the realization setting in that its body was unable to deal death as efficiently as the battlefield demanded as its arm ceased to respond to its powerful commands. Instinct and training took over as he drew his pistol and began his sprint up the hill his grenade had flushed out in defiant rage, the animal to his side joining him, ever-present as they exacted their blood price.

A deep concussion suddenly rocked the earth beneath him as shrapnel flew in a flat plane overhead, careening into the dead behind him, distracting him for a brief moment before the shadow beside him roughly seized his arm with a black snarl, tugging him towards their prize.

The screams of the wounded followed shortly thereafter, just before their boots reached the crest of the entrenched position. The fragile bodies of the men who came so close to bringing a close this being’s chapter in a history of bloody and desperate battles to an abrupt close lied strewn across the dirt, bleeding and hanging inches away from death.

The two stood upon sand spilt from hurriedly emplaced bags and spent shell casings that once held ammunition meant to spill his blood, gazing upon their doing, their carnage. Ripped flesh and spilled blood soaked the ground, gore spattered across flat surfaces within five meters.

A groan sounded beneath his feet, within milliseconds his gaze locked upon the source, a male no older than 16 lying broken and bloodied upon the desert floor.

“Finish it,” the beast commanded.

He flicked the safety off upon his sidearm and brought his one good arm to bear. A sharp bark sounded as a .45 caliber slug penetrated the dying man’s head, more gore and blood poured as everything that made him what he was disappeared.

The beast moved to the next one. More gore. More blood. They moved until they were satisfied, their blood thirst nearly slaked.

The slide locked back on his sidearm, and the beast snarled, displeased.

A shadow crossed in his peripheral, and he turned towards a rifle pointed into his chest. The man stood no more than 6 feet across him, locked frozen in time as he waited, hunched, imbalanced, finger on the trigger.

Something occurred then that defied all odds, snatched life being returned in an offer of second chances and revenge; an audible ‘click’ sounded as the weapon failed to fire.

The warrior seized his opportunity and, with a yell, leapt the distance separating them. Gloved hands grasped desperately at dust-bathed and sweat soaked rags clothing the man as they fell in unison, a breathy mess of scraped flesh and fresh bruises. The weight of his gear bogged the beast down as he fought for the advantage, clawing at his foe as they grappled and grunted, and his enemy found his way atop the warrior.

The ragged man found his rifle and reversed it in his hands, lifting it high before the warrior swung into his jaw, unsettling him before he could bring it down, the minimal leverage on the impromptu club eliciting a grunt and a broken rib from the beast. The warrior reached up and knocked the weapon away, grabbing a fistful of his enemy’s hair and clothes, pulling him close, both perpendicular to the ground as the beast rolled atop of the opponent.

The warrior straddled his would-be killer and delivered two swift elbows to his head, slinging blood on the second as he felt a wet crunch under his arm. Time slowed as he felt his advantage, his shadow returning to the forefront of his mind, guiding his hand to the knife on his chest, grinning wide as he drew the blade from its wicked cage.

Panic flooded into his prey’s eyes as the warrior reached as high as he could, leveraging the weapon as much as possible, the point of the blade awaiting the plunge. The enemy reached up before the beast could take his blood, hands grasping at the warrior’s wrists as he angled the blade down.

Both were locked in a battle of pure strength, both unmoving, exhausted and pushing the limits of their bodies. The warrior grunted, exhaling through tightly clenched teeth as he applied more and more force downwards, unrelenting in his efforts. The enemy’s eyes grew wild, desperate as he felt his arms begin to give, and he worked to apply a little more strength in what may be his last attempt to survive.

The warrior felt his enemy begin to give way, and taking his advantage, brought a knee into the belly of his opponent. His prey let out a light whimper as the blade fell, piercing his neck and severing his carotid.

The colossus withdrew the blade and looked up at his shadow towering before him, black wings flared and claws dripping blood from their countless kills.

“AGAIN!” it screamed.

The warrior lifted the blade and heaved forward with all his might once more, plunging the knife deep into his dying enemy’s chest. He withdrew it once more, the visceral smell of blood and human waste reaching his nostrils as the blade rose and fell again and again, long past the gurgles and breathy grunts that signified the last panicked noises of a dead man.

The warrior looked up, satisfied, awaiting the approval of the beast before him, but there lied nothing but desert and a red sunset. The gunfire stopped, so did the explosions and following screams. The beast arched his back, looking up into the dead sky on his knees, letting the blade drop and clatter where it may. He could never go back. Not to his military, or his country, or his family. All he was lied in the dead man beneath him, and scores of dead behind.

The beast stripped his wedding ring from his neck, left his rifle and the postcard rolled up inside it lying on the desert floor, patched his wounds, picked up his enemy’s weapon and began walking into the shadows of the valley ahead, searching for their next kill, shadow trailing him.


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