by Blair Chen
Art by Advait Patil
Issue: Metanoia (Winter 2017)

People just don’t just.. disappear, you know.

He looks at me with those moon-big eyes of his. They don’t he insists again, his eyes widening earnestly. I have to remind myself that it is an old man in front of me, not some greenhorn with ideals so all-encompassing they could make up for any amount of naivete.

They’re somewhere. You may not see them, but they’re there.

What about death? I ask. The eyes still lie there unblinking as I stare into them.

Blood. So much blood. And the screams. Close your eyes. Shut your ears. Open, and it’s all dirt. Dirt and stone slabs. The screaming is still there, piercing over the dirges and the twenty-one guns.

I can see the men now, clearly, lying on the ground with open, pleading eyes. Many, many men. A platoon, all frozen in anger and fear and desperation.

The old man in front of me sighs. They’re here alright.

I want to scream. To throw up. That’s your world! I yell. Those days are over! Those people are gone!

The same moons overshadow me, glowing brightly.  Are they?

He looks more alive than ever before. I feel the celestial light washing over me, allowing it to soothe me.

Deep breaths. I take a few steps back and throw open the curtains, allowing the sunlight to fill the room.  I take one last look, noting how the yellow sunlight slowly absorbs the silver light, and the people fade away one by one, until there’s just me and a fast-fading casket.  

Yes. And suddenly I’m there, alone.