The day had started cold; a toe-numbing, sharp wind type of frigidness that washed over any individual unlucky enough to stand in winter’s path. I remember a time where I did not have to bear the element’s wrath, a time where there was no wrath to be had. It was a few summers ago, when I still was with my family and home. The breeze had been soft and gentle, almost like a mother’s caress, and the days long and full of warmth. There was a sense of peace that lingered in the air, breathed in by kind fellows who had an optimistic outlook on the world. These fellows were my kin, a family of mine that were welcoming and hospitable.
Yet, I had a new family now. A family not by blood, but by comradeship, all similar in the same sense of being torn away from their families to exact the revenge and fury upon those who opposed our king. This family was no family of mine, nor would it ever be. War and death plagued the air, gone was the days of peace, polluting the minds of those who inhaled it’s lies. We were never meant to be carted off to battle to slay our brothers, we were never meant to endure the harshness of the devil’s work; but we were meant to adapt, and the adaptation of the elements is the cruelest part of life there is. I could feel the change war has brought, changing the way I think and act. It has heightened my instability, made the devil itself work in me. As I blinked my eyes open, deciding to peer at the world for the first time this morning, a sense of dread filled my being. Another day of fighting, another day of bloodshed and hate filled eyes. I could already taste the smoke in the air, hear the cries of fallen comrades and enemies.
I did not want that any more.
Shifting to my feet, I refused to shudder at the brisk air, a sense of rage serving as my main source of warmth. I wasn’t myself, and I consciously knew the person moving about this morning was a demon by nature. Gone was my sanity, the kind hearted person I was before bullets and blood became my norm. My head throbbed, eyesight sharp and careful as I glanced at the tent around me. Plain fabric, papers strewn across the floor; in the corner, there lay the very bane of my existence. I walked slowly, foot by foot, towards such an instrument of destruction. I wasn’t aware of what I was doing, or what I was about to do. All I knew was that I angry--angry at the world for taking away my happy life--angry at the men who battled over frivolous ordeals. I wanted revenge, and I planned to get it. I hadn’t realized that I was already outside, the smooth barrel of the gun already poised within my fingertips, aimed and ready to strike. A noise jolted me from my spot, months of fighting and paranoia causing me to react on instinct and point the gun at whatever potential threat there was in my presence.
“Mornin’, Danny,” the voice of my comrade spoke, sounding a little hesitant but mostly sure that there was no danger, “are you well? Wha's wrong?”
I only peered on with the dark eyes of a killer; it was what I was meant to adapt into, wasn’t it? I loaded the gun in an instance, feeling adrenaline rush through my veins as the soldier before me backed away.
And I took the shot.