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That's War For Ya
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That's War For Ya
When I have shared this short story with others, some have made comments that,"That's just war.", or "It's awful but that's war for ya". So I thought it appropriate to use those Passive comments as a title.

This story is somewhat graphic and describes a beheading.
[579 words]
A Mach
I have been writing all my life; mainly short stories, poetry and musical lyrics.
[December 2006]
That's War For Ya
A Mach

He sat on the floor, in a room. Just he and the man with a cloth covered face.
A video camera was his only lifeline and subject of hope.

He spoke his name and the date. He attempted to sound calm, but the urgency was
so apparent.

Today would be his last day. He would never see his family again or breathe fresh
air. He would never laugh or feel the excitement of a new adventure, receive a
simple smile from a stranger or wrap his arms around the parents that loved him so
deeply. Today would be his last day, but did he know?

Five men join the other in the small room. All wearing cloth to hide an identity of
utter hatred. Men, who by nature, believe that God compels them to kill in his His
name. It is not a new concept; in fact, it is just a way of life for them.

These strangers, these men who will soon end his young life, surround him. They start
speaking in a tongue he is newly familiar with and yet cannot comprehend. He has
heard it through out his travels in this country. A country he came to help rebuild.
His only crime was thinking, "That will never be me, certainly someone else, but not me."
And yet here he sits waiting for the anxiety to end. Hoping that he will not be made
and example of.

The men start to speak louder, with excitement and bellow eerie war cries that seem to
come from an ancient time. He pulls his shoulders up towards his neck and brings his
knees close to his chest. It is his only defense. There is nothing more he can do
to comfort himself or protect himself from what is so obviously coming next. He knows
now that no one will come to his aid. They had time and did nothing. You can't save
one life to jeopardize thousands of lives; it's just not practical. He knows the rules
of that game.

As he faces his only hope, staring intensely into the camera, eyes pleading for more
directions for him to recite, anything to prolong what he must feel is coming next; a
man behind him pulls out a crude weapon. A knife that one might use to butcher a pig
or a goat. He doesn't see this, but as the man with the knife grabs him by his scalp
and the other men push him onto his side, hope runs dry. All that is left now are the
fleeting thoughts of a dying man. How many things can run through your head in forty

Did he get one last deep breath before the knife tore into his throat? Did he feel the
pain and the warmth of his blood as it rapidly left his body? Did he hear himself screaming
and coughing and choking? Did he feel his body go limp as his spinal cord was sliced in two?

Or, did he find a place to hide, deep in his mind? Could he go there and finally disappear
from the hell that had been his for far too long? We will never know what he went through.
We can only imagine.

Though one thing is for certain. This man lived until his head was completely severred from
his body. He tried to scream but had no more air, his eyes searching, pleading to live.

As the men, with faces covered, hold high up in the air, the decapitated head of this man,
son and friend, who was alive only moments before, one has to wonder, did he know today would
be his last day?


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© 2006 A Mach
December 2006

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