A story inspired by “Machine Gun” by Portishead from the album Third.
Our town has become nothing more than debris.
Bullets crash around us as we hide behind car skeletons.
The general stands up to give the order to attack, but we’re greeted by a red mist halo forming around his head.
Now we are alone.
Soldiers with no direction and no hope. None of us want to be here. The war came to us, what else could we do but take up a gun and try to defend ourselves?
You can only run for so long.
Another shower of ammo. Two more are dead around my feet. In any other situation I would try to get as far way from their blood as possible. Now, it’s as disgusting as grass between my toes.
I don’t even know who I’m fighting. Does it matter? When they are trying to kill you gives a fuck who “they” are.
The sun has been down for thirty minutes, our radio has been down for much longer.
Alone. A winter of violence.
You can only take so much.
I feel hatred like poison clutching my fingers to my rifle. I want to shoot. Damn the bullets that would hit me.
We try to use the car mirrors and broken windows to find our enemy. Are they even there? It’s too dark to tell.
We look for signs.
The general, a bloody messiah of war, points to an old building across the street. Could he still be leading us, even in death?
We make a run, only two of us making it alive.
“What the fuck, man? What the fuck do we do?” Jameson is losing it.
“Shut the fuck up.”
“We’re going to die. They’re going to kills us.”
“Just shoot anyone who comes close enough to see us.”
He fits the barrel of his pistol into his mouth. I slap him. “Don’t you dare leave me.”
He laughs, echoing down into the chamber as he squeezes the trigger. Another red angel before my eyes.
Completely alone. Me against them.
Before yesterday I had never shot a gun before. Much less held one. Now it’s my best friend, my only friend.
“Just you and me against the world, buddy.”
The street is completely dark. It’s strange to see a city (or what’s left of it) without electricity.
The bullets have stopped. Are they still there?
I stand up, try to remember a prayer, and step from my shelter ready to hunt.
The bullets wake up. I see them enter my body, slowly, but gentle like a beam of sunlight….