The Injured Rest in Death

Smoke and clamor of battle surround. With a trembling hand, Talia wipes sooty sweat from her brow. This small moment earns her a slicing blow across the shoulders from the Underguard’s whip, “Move, you beast!” She does. With a groan, she lifts another pitch impregnated iron ball onto the trebuchet. No sooner does she releaseContinue reading “The Injured Rest in Death”

Bait

The air smells like rotting fish and dead men saturated with too much grog. The clamor is squealing seagulls and wood banging on wood, the scrap of rusting metal and sailors. So many salty blokes singing and yelling and fighting and walking with their bow-legged strut like the earth was heaving underneath them. Christian is happy forContinue reading “Bait”

Carnevale di Venezia

The Medico della peste mask is made of old white leather ripped from someone pure long ago, a body still bleeding, still screaming, left to hum with pain and agony. The thing buried under shadows in the mask crooks his finger. He crooks his finger at the belladonna with long brown hair that bounces inContinue reading “Carnevale di Venezia”

Romulus and Remus

Silent tears pour from a mother’s blue eyes. She lays a second bundle down on the cold wet earth next to the first. Each is wrapped tight in thin cotton. Her instinct is to make sure they are okay. To stop. To care for them. To make sure. To do what nature commands. She movesContinue reading “Romulus and Remus”

On an FTX

The boy is a trained killer in woodland-camo, rip-sole jungle boots, a kevlar helmet and a scowl. He digs shovelfuls of wet sucking mud from a hole. Drenched and miserable, he is sick as fuck of the army and all its machinations. The hole is for a sixty-caliber machine gun that will be aimed atContinue reading “On an FTX”

The Gyve

The irony of the Gyve is it doesn’t. It is painfully wrapped tight around his ankle and solid enough to give him little purchase to move. The other end is secured to the stone wall behind him. He imagines the bolts go deep, not that he can turn around enough on the short chain toContinue reading “The Gyve”

Tunnel Rats

They were the fodder of the infantry, the little boots, the walking dead. Eleven bang bangs, through and through, but guys with almost no hope of going back home. Maybe the infantry was filled with the illiterate, criminals, the roughened variety. And maybe these men were all of that and more, but they were alsoContinue reading “Tunnel Rats”

A Marine

  He enlisted in the marines on the ninth of December 1941, two days after Pearl Harbor, while still drunk. His buddy Carl was so blasted the recruiter made him wait a day before joining up saying “This boy’s just too primed.” Peter McGrew joined the Marines not because they were the best, because theyContinue reading “A Marine”