This was almost the conclusion. I wanted, out of all the possibilities available, my character to meet an end with purpose. I made it into an anti-war statement.
Messny descended from the clouds and walked naked on the barren soil. The night was pitch-black beyond the power of the eye to see. The sky was obscured by smoke and the Earth reflected and multiplied the darkness. A stroboscopic flashing periodically illuminated the scene. The outlines of broken trees, jagged walls and ragged craters stood out in silhouette with the injection of colour. The flashes of searing white, red and yellow signalled a following series of cracks and explosions. The flickering and crashing followed no discernible pattern, receding or drawing nearer without warning, incessantly puncturing the darkness and peace.
All around the soil was pocked mud with no hint of vegetation.
All that lived was destroyed apart from the odd struggling plant seeping its life juices into the soil. All plants and creatures, big and small, had been blown into fragments by shrieking blasts of metal. The greens and reds flowed together as they were soaked up by the brown spongy soil.
Messny walked through the mud, his toes squelching in the glutinous mud as it sucked everything into stillness.
Messny walked through mud.
Soon he swam and wallowed in the mud.
At last he sank beneath the surface and was transported into the depths below. Gory mud filled his eyes and ears and deadened his senses. For hours he hung suspended in the gluey mud. It forced its way into his mouth and nostrils and penetrated his lungs. It set and moulded into the beautiful tree-like patterns of his branching bronchioles and alveoli. It filled every cavity and contour.
Above the featureless land the guns roared incessantly, shrapnel screamed and the flashes of explosions revealed the endless ravages, the pock-marked morass, and broken landscape that had been created as they sought to reduce anything that lived to its components.
The mud around Messny turned to blood.
He sank slowly through the warm, semi-clotted blood – a tepid mass of congealing jelly. The blood usurped the mud, in his mouth and gut. It coagulated in his stomach.
As he sank further the blood was left behind and he found himself festooned with a twisting mass of living entrails, slithering across his naked body like snakes. They entangled his limbs and pulled him this way and that, undulating as if he were marooned in a sea of eels.
He descended and left them behind, giving himself up to the warmth and peace. The blood tasted of rancid burst guts, nauseous and stinking of decay.
Next was the stratum of severed limbs, each with strands of torn flesh streaming from their mangled ends. They swirled and bumped against him, with pulpy swollen fingers touching and exploring his body as they passed, poking into his eyes and mouth. But Messny could not move to push them aside.
The limbs were ripped and torn with hideous wounds that oozed pus and blood adding a gangrenous flavour to the sickening cocktail.
Heads and torsos reeled in macabre dance around his face – grotesque heads with shattered skulls and brains oozing to stain the crimson grey.
A rain of burst eyes and shattered teeth fell upon him through the viscous neuronal gel and sticky fluids.
Internal organs protruded through shattered chests and ruptured torsos from which the guts had fled.
There was no age or sex down here. Size was a bad judge. Shrapnel had ripped and shortened to perfection – no more beauty or beast. Here all were made equal – young and old, male and female, baby and grandmother – all reduced to assorted wreckage making a poor judge of everyone.
Blackened, burnt bodies with singed flesh melted from the bone – cooked too long.
Babies bodies with gaping wounds like extra mouths.
Messny had seen too much. He wretched and the gaping mouths chuckled with delight. There was no escape.
The guts and bodies closed in on him, pressing on him, the mouths laughed, the brains and limbs jiggled around, smothering him, crushing him.
Messny fought to break loose and rose from the depths
He shot out of the mud screaming.
They were all alive! They were still all alive!
He coughed blood and excreta from his lungs. He sank on his knees to wretch the foul fluid from his gut and rid himself of the taste of filthy fluids that could never be washed away completely.
He rose back into the battle that still roared intent on producing more to join the myriad throng below. With each crash he flinched and trembled. The strobing flashes peaked into a non-stop flickering as the guns pounded out their crescendo.
Nothing remained in the holocaust. No side could win. A scene from Bosch brought from medieval times into reality and worse, far worse that any mind can possibly imagine.
Two men held him down. They dragged him to a stretcher and tied him down with straps of leather.
Messny’s eyes rolled in tongue-tied horror. His ears detected a distant background screaming. He realised that it had been a feature of this world for as long as he could remember. It was a terrible, hysterical scream that threatened to rip vocal chords, burst ear-drums and pass beyond the range of the human ear. He vaguely wondered who it was.
The straps cut into him and the journey was long and bumpy as the valiant stretcher bearers toiled through the cloying mud.
The screaming followed them unabated.
He lay back on the stretcher as he was jostled along listening to the shrill pitch with detachment.
They finally reached their destination and he was unceremoniously dumped on the firm ground. A doctor appeared out of the haze, expertly assessing the damage and administering an injection. Then he was gone.
The screaming ceased and was replaced with a low moan that broke off into gibbering.
In the distance the flashing and crashes continued and the ground shook.
Messny pondered on the strange things that he had witnessed and tried to make sense of it. How had they still been alive? How had those heads, limbs and intestines still been vibrating with life? How was that possible? Those babies so hideously injured? Even down to the corpuscles of blood? Why had they twined together in such grotesque manner and not found peace in death?
Messny lay on the hard ground and it was cold. Yet the soft mud had been warm with living organs, living blood, living brains. It did not make sense.
The world by day was brown and blue but often tinged with red and fear.
As he lay there his mind walked between the stone slabs. They were all lined up in their thousands, all new and shiny. They made light of the carnage; they were too pristine. They did not speak of ripped flesh and pus, gangrene and screams. All in their neat rows, all well-ordered and tidy with fresh dug soil. But the occupants no longer cared. Their entrails writhed beneath the mud. They did not lay still – stretching into the distance in neat rows – they writhed in agony still.
Messny stood in silence before one of those sanitised slabs – staring at his own name.
He floated upwards away from the ruined earth. He looked down from on high and the landscape appeared lunar, crater, after crater, barren and desolate. The ground fell away.
‘Had they all still been alive?’ He wondered. ‘Would they remain alive forever?’
Inside himself, as he drifted away, he knew they were all him – him in different form, from different journeys and ages. The wounds and ragged flesh were payment.
As he soared the sobbing and weeping fell away. The cold, creeping misery that had numbed his body slipped away. All those hideous flashes and orange plumes were eaten by the darkness.
In front was a distant light with its hint of warmth. Messny moved towards it.
Welcome my friend. Welcome to the light and warmth.
Here there are no lies, no pretence or distance.
Here there is shelter from the storm of change.
Here is forever to mend and grow.
There is no need for fear.
You are in the light again.
Cleanse your mind of hate and fear. You no longer have to fight. Here is peace.
Feel part of all you see. Be in harmony.
You are in the healing light.
Welcome home stranger.
This is the process of learning.
Refresh yourself. Renew.
My books are available on Amazon in paperback and digital formats. They are world-wide!
In the UK you might like to browse through on my link below: For overseas visitors please refer to your local Amazon. You’ll find me there.
In the USA:
In the USA – https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=opher+goodwin
Here’s a few selected titles:
- The Blues Muse – the story of Rock music through the eyes of the man with no name who was there through it all.
2. In Search of Captain Beefheart – The story of one man’s search for the best music from the fifties through to now.
1. Ebola in the Garden of Eden – a tale of overpopulation, government intrigue and a disaster that almost wipes out mankind, warmed by the humanity of children.
2. Green – A story set in the future where pollution is destroying the planet and factions of the Green Party have different solutions – a girl is born with no nervous system.
Kindle & Paperback versions:
1. Anthropocene Apocalypse – a detailed memoir of the destruction taking place all over the globe with views on how to deal with it.
- A passion for Education – A Headteacher’s story – The inside story of how to teach our children properly.
There are many more – why not give them a go! You’ll love them!