Rated PG-13, for war and gore.
We Head for the Horizon and Return with Bloodshot Eyes
by Eleanna Castroianni
August 14th, 1949
Near Kançikon, Pindhos
The heart had already stopped beating — small animal in glistening glory, trapped between rosy lungs. Burgundy liver and sickly gall I passed; bones and marrow hold more secrets. Intoxicated, I shoved my hands into the soldier’s lush entrails — still so warm — and moved them around, making them swish and rustle like mouldy autumn leaves. I sought for patterns; I listened, waiting for echoes of the Next World, waiting for the Voices that Know and Tell.
My breath got caught in my throat and for a few moments I couldn’t find air. As I hastily drew my bloodied hands out of the soldier’s belly, I burst into a cough so strong I thought I’d spit my guts on top of the butchered soldier. Vanghelio, battling her sickness at what I had been doing, turned to face me. She grabbed my wrists and steadied me on the ground.
“Nafsika,” she begged, “what happened? What did you see?”
I won’t write what I saw, not until we are closer to Base. Bones and entrails never lie and I’m not risking the enemy getting hold of this notebook. Before I joined the army I was a butcher’s daughter who saw the future in the remains of dead animals on my father’s table. Every single time I was right, no matter how little the Major wanted to believe me. Now I need to write this story down because I know what I saw in those bones, because our comrades are in danger, because soon the royalist fascists will be here. Because Major didn’t believe me and now I have a chance to save myself, to save Vanghelio.
We’re going back, mission aborted. (Continue Reading…)