Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Last War: Chapter 77, Part 4

Beshu stood up. His bag of tricks was empty. No more mines, gases, grenades, poisons, or other booby traps were left. He’d run out. He fingered the last bit of commando regalia he had left. It was a small metal device in his palm, which was very similar to a joy buzzer.

He began to run. The snow was packed so tightly together it had become ice. As he left the haven of the woods, he dove to the ground, and slid along the ice. He was sliding through crossfire, and was very lucky to be able to avoid it. When he finally came to a stop he pulled out his AS gun and leapt to his feet.

He nearly lost his footing and slipped and fell on his ass. Fortunately he managed to scramble his feet around a little bit to keep his balance.

“Come on!” he yelled, “I want to fight out in the open!”

He lifted his AS gun, but he was too late. A string of shells were coming towards him. It was quite stupid to stand up in the middle of a battlefield, but such basic battle knowledge was often not taught to commandos.

The shells shattered the icy snow at his feet, and began to leap towards him. He pressed the button of his joy buzzer device. Suddenly, his chest erupted into tiny spurts of blood. It appeared that shells were tearing craters into the soft flesh of his belly. He smiled strangely and collapsed to the ground.

Yesugei saw Beshu’s death. He knew they couldn’t hold out much longer. In lieu of his leader, he ordered the commandos to stop fighting. The battle slowly died down, and both sides moved out, not making more than a token attempt to remove the bodies. Some of the bodies that lay on the ground were dead. Others were not.

Beshu’s body was amongst the latter.

When he saw that the battlefield was completely clear, he stood up. He touched one of the little craters on his chest. He tasted the blood.

“Sweet,” he said, “At least it looks real.”

He tried vainly to scrub off the fake blood with some snow. It was a fruitless effort. He pulled off the spent device from his palm. He threw it into the snow. It was his last trick: a button which blew a dozen tiny fake blood capsules along his chest. It was for a commando to fake his death. If the fake wasn’t believed, they had poison capsules in their teeth. Beshu now flung these teeth into the snow and stomped on them.

He looked around him at the devastation which the Winter Offensive had wrought. It would probably be over soon. But he wasn’t done. He’d live on, and the dream would live with him. He’d reforge the Mongolian Empire. I was only a matter of time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Enter your e-mail address in the box below and click "Subscribe" to join Stephen Kozeniewski's Mailing List for Fun and Sexy People. (Why the hell would anyone ever want to join a mailing list?)