Pools of Blood

I was there.

I saw what happened.

You might not believe it but that is probably because you don’t want to believe it. Our bodies aren’t supposed to look like that. We don’t bend like that, at least not those of us that are still living.

And the blood, oh my lord, the blood. There were so many puddles of it splattered around the room. I couldn’t decide what was worse the footprints that led away from that indescribable scene or the pool of red that had collected in that one place.

It was like a train wreck or a car accident. I wanted to look away but I couldn’t. Couldn’t stop staring at those things that used to be people.

Couldn’t stop wondering what happened and how. Did it hurt? Did they cry out in pain and or shock? Were they aware of what was happening?

Somewhere someone was crying or maybe sobbing was more like it. I can’t tell you why I wasn’t or how I managed not to throw up. I guess that I was numb and or in shock. At least I hope that is why I felt so much and so little.

They say that when you reach this point it is time to get out. They say that when you feel nothing your best bet is to find someone to talk to but I don’t have that. Truth is neither do they.

That is because we gave away our right to make decisions like that. That is because when we signed up we said we would do whatever was asked of us until such time as we were discharged.

Discharged. Every time I hear that word I laugh. It is such a plain and sterile word that says absolutely nothing and everything.

It is the perfect word for how they view us. We aren’t people to them. We aren’t humans that have blood, sweat and tears. We are just mechanical creatures that offer a bit more than the science fiction robots that use artificial intelligence.

Trust me, I know things. I know tales that I’ll never tell and stories that I’ll never share.

I want to. I really do. If I could get them out I might be able to sleep again but I can’t quite bring myself to walk down those gray halls of memory. I can’t go there in darkness or daylight. It is too much.

Except when I sleep.

Sleep always takes me back to that place and I see the things that I can’t stand to see. I remember what I want to forget. I stand in the places that I never want to see again. And I scream.

Or at least that is what they tell me.

I scream in my sleep.

No one wants to be near me then because they say what comes out of me doesn’t sound quite right. That is their way of trying to make me feel better but I read between the lines.

No one really wants to be around me in general because I am not quite right. Oh I can fool you for a while. I can make you think I am just like everyone else but sooner or later you’ll begin to see or sense things aren’t quite what you thought.

The other docs gave me some pills to help me sleep and said that they wouldn’t let me dream. They don’t work. I still see them. I still hear them.

Alcohol doesn’t work either. Doesn’t matter how much I drink or what ‘cuz there is never silence.

Sometimes I think about my last normal day and wonder if I can ever find a way to go back. I picture it in my mind. I see this enormous canyon stretching out in front of me.

There is no bridge or way to cross it. Too far to jump and impossible to fly to. But somehow I still see everything that happens over there. It is all sunshine and roses. People laughing, children playing- just happy times.

That might be the worst part of it for me. I can see it. I can hear it. I can remember it.

But I can’t get to it.

It all goes back to the beginning.

I was there.

I saw what happened.

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  1. T Hopkins August 7, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Good God, man!  I love your writing!  I still can’t tell (even though you say it’s fiction) whether this is in any way from a personal experience or fabricated–that’s how real it feels, and that’s how authentic the voice is.  In that short passage, you have created something so visually strong, so emotionally empathetic.  I can’t quite figure out exactly how you do it, but you’re doing it right!

  2. Stan Faryna April 14, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Been there. Done that. Not my favorite destination. [grin]

    I like how you create mysteries, Jack.

  3. Jayme Soulati April 12, 2012 at 10:30 am

    There, I’m here. Still didn’t want to read it, but I did, and I still didn’t want to.

  4. the muskrat April 11, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Oh yeah…just read the category.

    • Jack April 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      A friend of mine is an army medic. He did two tours in Iraq and is in Afghanistan now. Some of that story comes from bits and pieces he shared with me, but the rest of it is just me trying to create a new tale.

  5. the muskrat April 11, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Hoping this is fiction and not something you really had to endure?

  6. Jens P. Berget April 9, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Hey Jack,

    That was awesome. I’m not sure why, but I was thinking about the TV show Dexter when I read it. Maybe it was because of all the blood, I’m not sure (probably because I have been watching too much Dexter).

    I’m eager to read the rest of the story.

  7. Adrienne April 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Oh man, you cut it off… Dang Jack, you had me intrigued to hear the rest. Oh man, you’re good but you already knew that. You can really spin a great story.

    I was envisioning what they may have come across. I know, I do enjoy true crime novels and movies based on real stories. I guess I’m more intrigued because I love that those jerks got caught thinking they had pulled off the perfect crime. Yeah, you wish!

    Now I was thinking more along the lines of this being guys fighting the war so I’m using my own imagination on this one. So I hope there will be a follow up! If so, I’ll be back. Oh heck, I’ll be back anyway you know that! 🙂

    Thanks Jack and sure hope you enjoyed your Easter weekend with the family. Now, on to yet another productive week.

    • Jack April 10, 2012 at 12:21 am

      Hi Adrienne,

      Thank you. I haven’t added to the story yet but I expect I will. I always enjoy the feedback. It helps me figure out what intrigues people and what doesn’t work.

      Your imagination is critical. The most important thing I can do as a writer is prick your imagination and get you started thinking about something. If I do it well you will fill in the blanks and become more interested and engaged.

      Hope you are having a great week. I’ll try to let you know when I add to this.

  8. bob warren April 9, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Have a Fantastic Monday!!

  9. Andrea April 9, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Okay, I got chills reading that. I can picture the scene with the blood, and feel the horror, the nightmare you can’t wake up from.


  10. Mithu Hassan April 9, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Thanks for sharing !! Hope you had a great weekend !!

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