Casualty of War


Oh god, it sounds like white noise. The thought recited in her mind like a million rapid fires coursing through her veins like ammo ignited by a prayer– hellfire. Previous thoughts lay dead by the dozens, casualties of terror. Thoughts stampeded against her insides like Manifest Destiny that had run out of West; pa-pound, pa-pound. She wanted to scream, but sound had lost its weight here; white noise prevailed, carried nothings in the wind like so many television waves disappearing into the ether.

Deer in the headlights. Sheer panic. This is a heart attack. No, nothing so literal as all that– she was too young. This is when another heart crawls out of the chest in which it belongs to bludgeon your heart into chopped liver– a heart attack.

Words rapped softly against her teeth. Softly, at first, and then relentlessly. My god! they started to sound like cans rattling in her mouth– I’m surprised he didn’t load her up in the car to cash for recycling. But rattle as they would, her mouth would not open. Funny how words had been the summation of her life thus far and they failed her now. She had become mute. A statue. But dammit, worse than a statue, because she wasn’t made of stone.

He shot looks at her like cannons. Bang.

How many times can you kill a person?

He was testing it. Bang.

Fuck! Someone just speak. Her body convulsed in protest. She was not in control of her motor-skills any longer. Fear was. She was his puppet and he played her with strings of blackberry brambles that tore into her thoughts with bittet- sweet memories of sun- warmed happiness that dyed her hands purple and how lovely that purple looked against the summer-in-a-petal buttercups she had used to make a flower necklace for this man who now sat across from her killing her again and again. Bang.

Say something, anything. She bit her lip.

More thoughts were dying as they crushed themselves against her insides like grenades. If she could just utter one of them, any single one of them aloud, she’d convert! Sweet, Jesus! She’d be a believer for life. Just end this white noise, these cannon ball gazes, this reality of mimes. It looks like a three-ring fucking circus in my head, a whole war of words and no one to speak them– just two hopeless mimes imitating life.

Say something, anything. Bang.



  1. I enjoyed this piece, especially the unique similes. “Thoughts stampeded against her insides like Manifest Destiny that had run out of West”; loved that one.

    1. Thank you for the kind words.

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