Chapter 16: Flash-Back From Hell
Nightmares and ghosts, stiff eyes staring at nothing, crawling like spiders through my head. Spider webs are hanging from the ceiling of my mind, arms that wave with bloody hands during the nights at me. While my sleep patterns are deteriorating to a few hours per night, the drive to sanity, the strings that divide sanity from insanity are merely the thickness of the spider webs in my mind. The dark alleys between my thoughts, the candle lights that lit the rooms in a broken mind. Candles that are burned that have no more to give. Soon the alleys will be dark. The staring eyes will not see the darkroom’s edges and they will start wondering through my conscious mind. Through my reality, they will cause arguments with me. The insane argument that I will lose, lose against a fool, against myself.
I know that I will need to sleep. I need to recharge the sanity in my mind. Tie the ghosts to the rooms fumigate the spiders that have nothing to hunt anymore. Spiders that will eat my mind my thoughts and finally me. I know that I have to slow down, that I have to collect my thoughts that I have to build my strength.
The morning sun is now coloring my reality world, the small colorful rocks next to the gravel road. The thorn bushes next to the road are dim green of the dust that has settled on them. I am now moving to the Eastern side of the camp the side where their main gate is. Where vehicles come and go. The gravel road is now climbing up a sandy hill in front of me a hill that will test the best of best in any vehicles drive system. Sand are thick and fill my boots while I walk, while my mind drives me to a plan, a plan that I so desperately need. But a plan that does not want to form, a plan that seems to get stuck in the cobwebs in my mind. In the flashbacks that I have during the night, in the guild of my deeds, the fact that I am still alive. That those who hunted me and died, have died in vain, the heroes who captured and tortures me, have received medals. Medals of tin. Medals that trickle with the blood of those who since died by my hands.
I can now hear the wrestling of a vehicle that pushes through the thick sand on the two track gravel road. My legs respond and I move into the bushes next to the road, behind the large rock that guards over the road. The noise is coming from an old white four by four Toyota “bakkie” a civilian vehicle that is pushing toward the camp. From my hiding, I can see the vehicle jumping between the sand, the wheels that follow the deep tracks without the assistance of the driver. The vehicle has now stopped a few meters from my hiding place. I now see the driver as he climbs out and walks to his front wheels, to engage the diff-locks. His military uniform is hanging messily around his waist, and I see that he is only carrying a hand side gun.
His back is now turned to me and I swiftly move and cover the few meters to the vehicle. Move behind him as he bend to engage the wheel-lock closest to me. My right arm lock around his neck I lift his head backward to make space for my left hand to slip the self-made knife through his throat. Blood spray against the wheel of the vehicle before the body go numb in my arms. Before the life drained out, leaving me with a bag of meat.
In the trees that I see across the white vehicle, I see a woman sitting on the branches between the thorns. On her left shoulder, there is a beast with wings, a beast with features like the dragons that we saw in movies. Her fingers are pointing at me, while she talks to the dragon-like bird on her shoulder. Below the tree, I see a man with empty eyes a man with a blood-drenched shirt. He is now looking at the women, at the vehicle and at me. She is now talking to me but her voice does not cover over the heat of the sand over the mirage of the stones that are floating in steam. My eyes move to the white Toyota to the lifeless body at my feet, to the smile on the face of the dead. The smile in his throat, I see how his blood disappears into the sand, how the sand swallow and drink. Pipes is now there and I see how he leak the blood from the wheel, how he wag his tail while drinking the blood from the driver. Blood that gave the life to him who died and now feed the need of my little dog. I look up at the lady in the thorn bush tree, at the shirtless man, but they have disappeared. The only thing left is the dragon-like bird, he who will blow fire into the bush. Burn the evidence of those who moved. My mind swings through the trees through the nests of birds, the tracks of those who dwelled at night. To those who will walk this earth, the hyena and his mate, the crocodile, and the hypo, before it rests on the small little white truck of doom. Shadows now fill the road, shadows from clouds of ducks in flight to the gates of rest in shallow grass-fields with graves. Graves with rotten meat and with eyes that cannot see.
My eyes slip back to the cobwebs in my head to the eyes that stare, to the voices of those who cry and scream for their release. I walk through the candle lit alleys in my dark rooms of thought.
The dragon-bird has left; the women that soothed my mind with a wordless conversation is not in the tree anymore.
I lift the sail on the back of the truck to place the soldier that has died into the safety of the cover. To carry him until I will dispose of him. Under the cover, I see the crates of beer that he was driving to the camp, crates that will be missed.
On his passenger seat, I see his gun, the barrel that can bark, the barrel that can stop your life. I see a small packet of food, an identity document for the camp.
With the dead soldier safely in the back now covered by the sail, I walk to the door of the vehicle with a hot beer in my hand.
I open the packet of food, the bread with chicken and red tomato sauce and I eat. I share with Pipes and we drink, we share the hot beer from the back.
I feel how the beer sink to my legs, how my knees buckle and my mind forgets to think. But the bread fills a hole that has not been filled for months. The protein will build me up to become the man that I know I am.
The time has come to move from here, take the vehicle and cover ground. To save time that I have lost in the sewer.
I know that I cannot drive past the camp that I cannot use the well-known vehicle of a soldier and drive unnoticed past the gate.
My eyes now dwell over the road back north, the road that the white vehicle has just driven. The deep tracks in the sand and I know that this will be the way. The way to back down and find a road, a two track road that will lead me around the camp.
There will be no way to turn the vehicle around, no way to let his small wheels climb out of the tracks. So reverse it will be. Reverse until we find more solid ground where the wheels will steer and the vehicle will follow.
The vehicle now in reverse with a thorn stick jamming the accelerator I drop the clutch slowly the vehicle jump back and start to follow the tracks in the sand. I now climb into the back sitting on the back flap watching the sand go pass. With a new hot beer in my hand, and Pipes rolling around in the back. We roar through the sand past the thorn trees that I have passed during the day.
The alcohol of the hot beer steers my mind through the days, where I would sit and drink a beer, light a fire and “braai” some meat. I feel how the alcohol calms my mind, calm the ghosts in my soul, poison the spiders on my walls. How it bring short-term memories back, memories without stiff eyes, without dragon birds and little ghosts.