The screaming and gunfire were deafening. The smell of blood, dust sweat and burning human flesh was overwhelming. Down the sight of my scope I saw the subhuman filth running across the street. Explosions surrounded me and a few times some very lucky shots landed in the concrete wall next to my head spitting up dust and rubble; still I didn't move.
"Convoy moving up the east end," Jack, my spotter, whispered as another lucky bullet whizzed overhead. "Damn it," he hissed. "Will you please kill that stronzo?"
I found said stronzo on top of a building down the alleyway with binoculars looking in our direction. He knew we were here somewhere but hadn't found us yet. I breathed out and squeezed the trigger just as he pinpointed us, dropped the binoculars and began pulling up his AK. His eyes narrow, a look of pure hate distorting his face as my bullet ripped into him, blowing out his lower thoracic vertebrae just blow his sternum.
"Target down…" the voices and sounds were fading. "RPGs spotted…"
I opened my eyes and knew I was home. Rose, a German shepherd pit-bull mix had her nose pressed to mine. I sat up in bed and she pushed herself into my chest. I could still smell the blood and dust and burning human flesh. I could still hear the bullets next to my head. I could still see every person I killed. Rose licked my chin and I stood up, shaking my head to dislodge the memories. The house was dark and quiet as I silently made my way to the master bedroom.
The full moon light poured into the bedroom, bathing the king-size bed in mercurial light. I sat on the floor, leaning back against the bedside; Rose snuggled into my lap and sighed. I reached under the covers and grasped my mother's hand, slowly extracted it and rest it on top of my head.
"Are you okay?" Mother asked in a soft, barely audible whisper.
"I'm okay, go back to sleep."
She stroked my hair absently, chasing away the memories and keeping them all at bay.
I swear I have the strangest nightmares sometimes. But sometimes I really don't know what's worse: These types of dreams or the ones with the demons in them.
Mom was wrapping presents, sitting in her recliner and watching television. The day had passed and I was exhausted and sprawled on the couch beside her and slowly beginning to nod off. I was standing in a field; the sun was setting, casting the world around me in shades of orange and red. The breeze was hot and stank of sulfur making me turn to look behind me. Tall, black, void of definition and seething with malice, the demons were grinning, their eyes were just white circles, their grinning mouths glowing blood red and fire with serrated shark teeth. I was paralyzed as one reached out and stroked my hair back out of my eyes.
I jolted awake, nearly falling off the couch and mom was watching me.
"What happened?" She asked. "Your hair was moving back while you slept."
I stood up, still shaky and began to tell her what I saw, and standing there I fell asleep again and was back on the field, the demon reaching out to stroke my hair again.
I opened my eyes, really awake- in my casita, Ahriman looking at me before putting his head back down and going to sleep again.
In the sniper dream, it wasn't me; it was a young man who looked far too young to be in war. It always seems to be that way, the dreams like that is liking I am following some guy around. But in the demon dreams, or the dreams where I am alone in a huge empty city, those are me. I don't know why it is like that, but I suppose those are the ways that dreams work.
It is interesting to see the dogs dream too, their legs twitching like they are running, and little whispered woofs and growls. Last night I even heard Ahriman suckling and Artemis wagged her tail, I never saw a tail wag in their sleep. Even Blaze twitches and mewls sometimes.
It brings back a memory of my ex-husband. We were asleep when he lashed out and I woke up. He was turning back and forth and grumbling. I asked softly what he was doing and he answered "Trying to catch Boo."
"Why are you trying to catch Boo?" I asked.
"To eat him." He answered then smiled. "Caught him."
Baffled I asked "And what does Boo taste like?"
"Strawberry ice cream."
I actually had to walk out of the room so I could laugh. I think it was around that time too, or maybe a few months later, I woke up before him because I had to get to work at 6:30. I got up, got ready and went back to the bed to grab my shoes when I heard a whimper. I looked over at him and he was reaching out patting the empty bed and whimpering more. I put out my hand and he grabbed it, pulling me down and wrapping himself around me in a death grip. I struggled and said I had to go to work and he just shook his head and said no. It was so cute, and I was really late to work.
Not all of those memories are so bad. But still they make me a little sad. Time to move away from romance books and movies for a while; really don't want to be depressed right now. But even thinking about it logically doesn't help: I just started my second to last term; I have no idea what is going to happen at the end of school- if I am going to remain in New Mexico or if I will be leaving to find a job in another state. Since I have Capstone this term and next term I really can't afford any type of distraction- I need to graduate with honors and the people that I am just seeing will be more than enough stress- if not more stress than I can handle since some of them are just so damn demanding of my time.
And Jesse is right, just being with people for a day or two, one date or two, is lonely. But I still maintain that I am single and being with them is better than being alone 100% of the time. Why should I carry on seeing them if I already know that they are not what I am looking for? He says sometimes it takes more than a couple of time to really get to know someone, and okay I can kind of see that, but still… torn between I don't really want anything serious, but I am lonely right now, I am looking for my soul mate-and believing that they don't exist.
Okay… need to step back and focus on something else. Inventory, warehouse, or economics homework… I hate being in a funk like this.
To days to come,
All my love to long ago.