Saturday, July 02, 2005

Verwoesting - After


Smoke fell from the sky. Debris rained down in torment, rain of fire.


Scorched earth. Blackened tops - of trees, buildings. People. Roads cracked by a chasm. Death resided, slavering triumphant on a thousand rotting corpses.

Darkened sky above, devastation below. A city bombarded by a thousand terrible things - weapons of terrible power, terrible cruelty - they swept and smashed the begging masses, rent them and splayed them in a thousand lacerations even as they begged, crying, screaming for mercy, for deliverance - a deliverance that never came even as they were gutted, impaled, crushed. Women ran, rent, babies in their arms, wailing, screaming, even as they were burnt and crushed under the ceaseless glint of cold, blooded metal. Men stood their ground, ineffectual weapons blazing even as they were cut down by the blasts of cannons and guns and grenades. Blood ran like water, mingling with the stink of burning oil. A story untold of a pregnant woman, swiped away with such force that her body flew and crashed on the side of a building - leaving a trail of blood - blood that glistened wetly as it ran down from between her legs. A story untold of a soldier screaming in agony and anguish as he watched his comrades blown apart by swathes of shrapnel and incendiary bullets - even as he stared at his own intestines, running wetly over his splayed torso.

Napalm spray burned people alive - screaming as their flesh peeled away, as they ran, incoherent and senseless- as the burning fire seared away their pain receptors - whereupon they collapsed on the ground, curling into a fetal position. Shrapnel seared through the chest of an oblivious civilian - and a passing soldier was blanketed by the spray of blood even as the body fell upon him. A pile of corpses - eyes glazed as they stared into space, killed by the curling mist that slathered about them.

A creche burned, assaulted by the machines of war - even as soldiers made their last valiant stand against them, protecting the children who sat huddled and terrified, sobbing and crying in fear. They watched as soldiers were rent and killed before their eyes, watched as one was cut cleanly down from neck to thigh, as a small grenade turned a nearby group of defenders into meat. Blood and bile staining the walls, soaking the boards and the floor. The place stank, as soldiers' bowels released on the moment of death, as sheer terror caused them to urinate in their pants.

Carnage ruled the city thereafter, and the streets became an abattoir. Glazed eyes, staring blankly - puddles of urine, bile and faeces littering the streets. Fires raging across the walkways, cleansing infernos. The endless wail of the sick and dying even as medics collapsed from exhaustion and terror, as they watched the slow march of defeat. As the conquerors marched in and rent them, even the sick and the injured, impaling them, impaling the bile-soaked beds, slicing the helpless medics in half, even as they screamed into the blackness of space.

The city was left, unpicked, quiet, devastated. Another kind of horror, as armies of crows, vultures, carrion-eaters, settled and gorged over the dead. Thereafter, in the days that followed till it was picked clean a stink permeated the ruined city. The stink of death.

The roiling sky continued in its ceaseless writhing.

Then it opened. The first droplet of clear, odorless, pristine rain fell from the sky's lips.

Then another.

Then, like the gates of Rome preparing for war, rain poured torrentially, God's tears, from the grey sky.


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