God whispered in his ear – a brutal whip crack that crashed through the ephemeral visions that were his dreams, yet not waking him up. There he lay, not awake, not asleep, hanging on to unconsciousness by a few frayed edges, like those of his sanity. The voice encompassed everything; it was as though he was among the clouds, with lightning flashing all around him, the sound of thunder tearing the air asunder. The whisper transformed into a roar, the roar into an inhuman shriek that drove nails of white hot pain into his head. The words shattered the jagged bolts of lightning and brought him back. He woke up to the cold sheen of sweat on his body. He could still hear the voice. Now it was a seism, but it spoke the very same words. It subsided to a tremor, just as the sunlight streaked through the blinds. It would begin today...just as He said it would.
He studied himself in the mirror. A thin stream of blood trickled from his eyes, went down his face and into the water-filled basin below. It became a swirl with the running water as he washed his face in it.
* * *
* * *
He saw it all, he saw their souls stretching toward the skies, waiting for liberation, not getting it until death came their way, moaning with the savage intensity only the pain of the undead could inflict. His eyes were antithetic of anything remotely human. They glinted in the sunset, burning out as he trudged back to the garrison. He walked in to the salutes of his men, walked past them, used to the dull glare of fear in their eyes. It had been like this after the incident. He could have prevented the scream if he had gotten to the windpipe. The bastard was too twitchy though. He still felt the warm flow of blood over his hands, the very same blood that flowed under the door and into the hallway. The coppery miasma still lingered in his room; he hadn’t bothered to get the rug changed. The heavy vapours had lulled him to sleep ever since, as they did now.
With sleep came dreams. He dreamt of all that had come to pass since that night, at all which pointed to just one single outcome – judgement day. The fate of humanity would be pronounced, once and for all, and it was to be sealed in blood...his blood. With these thoughts coursing through his mind, he wept; he wept as he had seen what lay beyond – there was to be no redemption, no redemptionist, no hope...
He contorted with the hurt of the eternal fires of hell coursing through his body, as it all changed. His eyeballs rolled up into the sockets and he let out a silent screech that resonated through the anechoic corridors of trees as his soul was wrenched from his body. The time had come...
* * *
Two figures sat across each other on a table, a chessboard between them. They were waiting for the choice...one of the pieces moved. The figure in white smiled – oh it was beautiful then, with an unearthly beauty that could destroy all of existence in an instant. ‘Checkmate’ it said...They waited...
* * *
He woke up, gasping for breath. He had made the choice, now there was just the deed. His hand reached for his knife even as he got up. He left with his gun and nobody tried to stop him – they saw death in his eyes, death for him and for them. He ran into the forest, led by mere instinct, slicing through anything that got in his way. He had reached the frontier. There were guards – his instinct was still bounded by the walls of rationality. Yes, there he was - a flaming cigarette-end in the thick black night air. He trudged towards him and whispered his greeting as he slit his throat. He watched him die, choking on his blood and gurgling silently. He watched him until his eyes glazed over. He spat on his body and left him there. There was no need to hide it...
He was in the clearing between the two lines. The crescent moon shone an unholy red, as if immersed in the blood of all those who had died on the battlefield. He knelt in the middle of the clearing and lowered his head. ‘So be it’ he whispered and raised his head. Bits of his torso rained down as the landmine exploded. His legs thrashed for a moment and were still. Blood still seeped from his waist onto the dewy grass, mingling with the diamond droplets that shone red with it and the light of the moon. Scarlet fire raged in the circle of his death for an instant before it annihilated everything...
* * *
White...white was purity, in it lay salvation. White was what he had chosen. White was the colour of the devil. In the halls of hell, alight with eternal fire, red as blood, hot as pain, was the chair of Satan and it was a white beyond mere incandescence. White hot like He Himself...Fool was he to have ever thought that in god lay salvation. God brought forth the war, god killed all those people, god tried to tempt him. The flames caressed him into sweet oblivion. Everything stopped. Existence blinked into nothingness. All that was left was the table and the two figures.
‘Like it has always been.’