We Pay the Price

Kevin Zecchel



We have been here for… I do not even know anymore. A month? Six? It all bleeds together, and this is not the first battle here either. We were here long before, and we will be here long after. Most of us will never leave, our bodies sunk deep in the crimson stained fields among the ghosts of guns that ring forever, even long after the war is over. For the rest, the war will never be over. This slaughter will always be in our minds, no human could witness this and retain humanity. They said »blood is the price of glory» and that when we pay the price we’ll find glory at the end. That’s what they told me. But how can there be glory? It is all drowned in the rain and the mud. In the blood and in the cries of the wounded. In the death that rages all around, in a storm of steel and fire. The thunder of the cannons, the flashes of red and blue as the crackling torrent of burning sears flesh from bone and sanity from mind.

We are the imprisoned. From these holes of rot and doom, there is no escape. Not even the promise of the end, any end, seems to be enough anymore. We have nothing left, no hope, no soul. We are men and women broken, torn down piece by piece by these nightmares. There is no glory enough worth this price, for we have paid in far more than mere blood. Our very essences have been rent asunder and cast to the fire like pieces of kindling. The only thing that keeps us living is the thought that we are doing the right thing. That one day, someone may look back and remember all those who died for the things they can then enjoy.

We are the damned. This trauma is our curse, taken for our hands in the collective murder of so many who are just mirrors of us. We have destroyed our counterparts and as such destroyed ourselves.

Yet we are unbound, for though our minds are locked, our spirits will fly by night to re-enact our places in the world. Through blue sky and grey cloud, our turns have past and others come after.

Do not weep for us. We are here and we always will remain, imprisoned, damned and lost, and yet, we are free.