There was a tub at the corner of the room. Inside, a body slowly dissolved in an acid bath.
He retched but held up his hand, signalling for us to stay back. Staggering, you could see it on his face that he was doing his best not to throw up, and to finish the fight. Then without warning, he lurched forward and a spray of blood and vomit shot out of his mouth, covering the enemy soldier who fell back in shock.
The thing slithered across the room, effortlessly slicing through the bodies strewn about; their eyes rolling up as death overcame them, the pain too severe to even utter a sound.
He looked at me hard, but his mind was elsewhere. I could see him clenching and unclenching his jaw. Then he let out a big sigh, shook his head and turned to go.
‘Damn this, damn this all to hell!’ came his voice as he walked away, beckoning us to follow.
There was no way the boy could have seen the blade flying towards him, and it embedded itself squarely in the middle of his throat. His eyes bulged in shock as he looked down at himself, blood now gushing from his mouth. He was already on the ground as he tugged at the knife and it came out with a sickening sound. As more blood spurted forth, he flailed and clawed at his neck as he made wet gurgling noises and the blood from the wound frothed. In a matter of moments his carcass lay still in a pool of his own blood, the face twisted in agony and his pants soiled. I cussed as i looked away, feeling once again that i was getting too soft for the job.
1 – Hi Mr Weatherby, this is Shane’s dad.
2 – Hello, how can i help you?
1 – My son came back today and i noticed his notebook was torn.
2 – That is correct, i am aware of it.
1 – What the hell happened?
2 – *pauses* Could you rephrase that, please
1 – No i won’t, what the hell happened, why is his book torn.
2 – Well did you ask him?
1 – What? I – you should’ve called me! It’s your job! What kind of a teach-
2 – *authoritative* STOP right there. Firstly, your son is capable of speaking. He’s a really confident speaker, thinks quickly on his feet and in fact, has a problem shutting the hell up.
1 – *angry* How da-!!
2 – *louder* SECONDLY, why on earth would i have called you? What the hell were you gonna do about it? Rush over and check on his notebook? Hug and comfort your boy because his poow widduw nowtbuk is wipped?
1 – *furious* YOU WATCH- !
2 – *louder still* I’VE HAD enough of your shenanigans, Mr Lawson, and i suggest you start getting your act together before i am forced to teach YOU how to behave like a decent human being. Do you understand?
1 – *raging* WHO DO Y- !
2 – *off-the-hooks marine-instructor mad* DO! YOU! UNDERSTAND!!!
1 – *slightly confused but still a little hot* Yes! Yes! Goddammit.
2 – *matter of fact, devoid of anger* Well good. As for the notebook, I already gave Shane a new one. He brought back the old one because he liked it too much to throw it away. Is there anything else i can help you with?
1 – Uh. N-no, that’s all actually.
2 – *cheerful* Well excellent. Thanks for your call, Mr Lawson, you have a great day ahead.