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Books/Poetry/Member Fiction Discuss books or poems you've read or post poems or fiction you've written.

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  #1  
Old 10-02-2013, 11:19 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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Default Once upon a time in Southwest Asia

Note: There will be blood and guts eventually.

They say that war is hell. They don't know the whole of it. War is hell and the temptation that leads to it. The promise of deployment pay, the medals, the roaring machines, the satisfaction of hot lead ripping your enemies apart. The feeling of power knowing that those who stood against you can do nothing except fall and twitch as their flesh mingles with the sand. The addiction to violence and treasure. The gradually diminishing return as each slain enemy brings less joy than the one before it. The gradual need to keep killing and amassing trophies just to feel alive. Then, the inevitable defeat and the hopelessness that comes with it. Defeat is not death, at least in my case. It is worse! I am damned, yet I live; a wretch without hope, not even the hope of the second death at the end of my damnation to end my misery.

I was simple then, in speech and mind. I was halfway into my damnation before I saw what I was doing to myself. It was a successful raid against a high ranking Taliban officer. Or maybe it was not. My unit had a target and we destroyed it. I crept around, pocketing trinkets from the dead and dying, like a serial killer or a common pickpocket. A watch here, a pocket knife there. The army regulations forbid taking trophies, but I was young and above the regulations. Besides, the lieutenant was busy elsewhere looking for Taliban documents. He should have been looking at the guy who ratted out our target, a local shop keeper who had a disagreement with the target. I was in a small back room of the compound, opening drawers and looking for treasures to pocket. I remember a heavy blow to the back of my head which marked the beginning of my punishment.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:23 AM
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OK...... Good start....
You got me interested......
When will there be more ??
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:37 AM
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Good writing style, that,s stuff that would make a good book. Now I'm hooked, fiction or non fiction?
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:34 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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It is a fictional short story that will be added to from time to time.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:33 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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I awoke in total darkness with my head pounding. Each heartbeat like a sledgehammer blow. Though I had been briefed on what to expect if captured, the difference between hearing it from the relative comfort of a briefing room and actually experiencing confinement is vast. I had been told to expect beatings, abuse, interrogation, but not total darkness and silence. I lay in that dungeon for some time, head pounding, the floor cold against my face. Gradually my headache began to subside into a dull weariness. With my cheek against the floor I could feel vibrations. I shifted slightly to put my ear to the floor and heard them as well. The sound was of a group of men-at-arms in their living quarters. The step of boots and the thump of weapons being put down is unmistakable to any who have ever been a part of such a group, regardless of language, region, or age. It is the same, from from ancient sparta through the modern age.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:05 PM
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beautiful flow of words.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:54 PM
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Sounds good so far. keep it up!
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:08 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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As I lay in the darkness sleep came and went, maybe once, maybe several times. Each time I was awoken by footsteps or objects dropped on the floor. I still don't know whether I was awoken by dinner parties, guard changes, or merely the normal sound patterns of a single afternoon. I was finally jolted to full consciousness by gunshots, running, and shouting. I hid as best I could in a dark corner, one of four equally dark corners, but farther from the shooting. I listened closely to the shots to try to identify the combatants. My captors were numerous, able to produce a high volume of fire. There were at least ten shooters firing at any one time. Most shots were of the familiar Kalashnikov variety, with untrained shooters firing long strings of low pops. The opposing force, my presumed liberators, were either much more disciplined shooters or fewer in number. Their shots were single bangs from farther off, muffled by distance and the mud walls. There were groans of the wounded from the area immediately outside my prison. Over several minutes the firing subsided and then ceased altogether, replaced by the sounds of dying men. Some screamed, some gurgled. Some babbled strings of prayers or curses in a language I didn't understand and had never made any effort to learn. Then walking among them was a single set of footsteps.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:22 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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A blinding rectangle of light appeared. I shielded my eyes from the brightness. When I could look again I saw the silhouette of a man holding a rifle.

"Kill him". said a voice. It was smooth, controlled, but with just a hint of menace. It belonged to somebody who was accustomed to being obeyed without question. Even though the voice was probably the silhouette's boss, it could have just as easily spoken to me. I knew I must kill that silhouette, not just because it meant to kill me, but because the voice said to kill.

The silhouette stepped into my darkened cell, illuminated in the ray of sunlight that came in with him. It was man shaped, with distinctly human features, but it seemed not to be so. The creature that entered was at once menacing and pathetic, stronger than the strongest man I have ever killed, but frail in his own way. He seemed hollow, broken by battles. He was numb from losing all he ever had and desensitized by killing. He was more and less than a man. He was something else entirely.

It drew a knife from its belt and advanced toward me, point down. The bright, thin blade was more skewer than knife, but in the hands of a soulless killer like the one before me it was as if my life was hung from that needle point.

Perhaps its eyes weren't adjusted to the light, but perhaps this thing was battle weary. I detected a hesitation in it, as if killing was all work and no joy. I wish I had died beneath the piercing blow of that knife and the thing wielding it, But I still enjoyed fighting, enjoyed killing, even through my pounding headache. As the thing struck, I did as well blocking its wrist with my own. Its bones were brittle from years of malnourishment and cracked at the impact. I turned the knife on the thing's broken wrist and jammed the point into its heart. It did not cry out, but looked at me with human eyes that communicated weariness, defeat. Then it died. The body fell, more like a cast off sock than a man or even an animal.

Then the voice spoke again.
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  #10  
Old 10-19-2014, 06:28 PM
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10/19/14..... OK..... Waiting for the next installment...

Thanks...
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  #11  
Old 11-11-2014, 05:23 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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"Come out here"

It was in that same tone of voice that it had used before, the tone of a man who was sure I would obey. But I was stronger than the fresh corpse at my feet. I held my position. I still had the knife, which dripped blood from its point. I readied myself, standing like a boxer with knife in my fist, ready to skewer the man outside if he dared step in.
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2014, 01:42 AM
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11/13/14....
Cool... Keep going...
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:34 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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The owner of the voice stepped into the doorway. He was tall and stood straight. His clothes were light in color, not quite white, but lighter than khaki. He was armed with a revolver at his side, but his hands were empty. I thought he was some sort of mercenary hired on by any of the governments or commercial interests in the area. His eyes were slits as he stood there in the bright sunlight looking at me, but I detected some menace in them. He regarded me with interest and I him. I was considering driving the knife through his chest just as I had done his servant when he spoke to me again.

"Let's make a deal. You are worth money to the United States government. I will transport you to your comrades in exchange for certain services which you have demonstrated just now".

He inclined his head slightly to indicate the corpse at my feet. He was colder than any merc i had ever met. I could probably expect the same level of sympathy if I died serving that man, but I had little choice. He was offering transport and I was lost. If I had know then how lost I was I would have run from that thing as fast as possible.
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  #14  
Old 11-18-2014, 03:58 PM
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11/18/14...
The reason I post after each time you post is so I can tell at a glance if there is a new installment to the story.....
Thanks...
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  #15  
Old 11-30-2014, 08:39 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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"I guess we have a deal then". I lowered the knife to my side.

"Get that sheath and gun. You'll need them both." The merc nodded a little toward the corpse. I took his belt with the sheath on it and his gun, and out of habit I picked his pockets. I found some coins in one pocket along with a small jagged object on a length of leather cord. I pocketed them both, intending to examine them later when I had more light. I strapped on the belt. It was made of heavy leather, a scarce commodity in these parts. From the feel of the buckle it was either old fashioned or made in the pattern of an old fashioned belt.
From within the room outside appeared to be blindingly bright, but once outside I found it not to be so. The sun had just dipped below a ridge, casting the mountain's shadow across the valley in which this lone house stood. It appeared to be a herder's hut re-purposed for war. The goats and sheep were gone, probably with the hick farmer who had been run off. I hoped that he had been killed and his goats as well, hateful wretch that I was at the time.
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:04 PM
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Keep going...
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  #17  
Old 02-16-2015, 10:47 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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We followed the trail down into the valley below the hut, and by valley I mean dry wash. In spring time it was probably lush with green from the melting snow on the higher slopes, but this time of year the grasses were tough and the bushes conserved their greenery. As we descended, the late afternoon faded to twilight. Night came suddenly to the valley in which we trekked. Though the sky was still silver, the land around us was dark. The man took out a canteen and drank. He noticed me looking on in interest and asked "You want some?"
"yes" I answered.

He didn't say anything, but screwed the cap back on and tossed it to me. I opened it and drank. The water was bitter, as if the canteen had been washed with vinegar and not rinsed. I drank it all anyway, but was unsatisfied. I handed the empty canteen back to him just as thirsty as before.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:03 PM
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Uh, oh...

Next installment, please?
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  #19  
Old 03-05-2015, 09:28 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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There, in the darkness ahead of me there was a pile of treasure. The coins, goblets, and various jeweled boxes shone in the pale light from the rising moon. These were heaped higher than my head! I was drawn forward by that horde, growing stronger with every step. My headache subsided, replaced by triumph. With such a pile I could get whatever I wanted. Cars, girls, the best booze, and a mansion to enjoy them in! Mine for the taking. But somebody would surely try to stop me. And then I noticed that some of the coins were the bright brass of cartridges and there were gilded weapons among them. The stocks were expensive hardwoods that gleamed almost as brightly as the gold they lay in. The man said to me, "that's just pocket change. Stick with me and you'll get everything"

Then I was kicked in the back.

"Get up" said the man. It was near dawn, half lit by gray light. The valley was filled with mist, isolating the place where I fell from exhaustion late last night. I rose stiffly and took up the rifle. I hadn't bothered to take off the belt, so it was still on, with the knife hanging in its sheath.
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  #20  
Old 03-09-2015, 01:29 PM
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3/9/15.......
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