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Atmosphere

March 21, 2009  Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Atmosphere, The Craft   0 Comments

Previously on Hack Writer TV: Characterization

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Terrance dreamed about the war again. Each one was different, and this one carried with it an aura of menace, taunting him in his sleep.

The tank wing stopped at the start of the carnage, and they all got out and shut down the tanks, so it was quiet. Sixteen men walked through the blasted Iraqi armor, trucks and tents. The Iraqi dead lay everywhere. In the blasted tanks, the blown trucks, lying out of the tents, strewing this way and that, bodies mangled unbelievably, hundreds of bodies all in name only. To an objective observer, they were just parts. The sand was wet with their blood, the air smelled like burnt metal, burn bodies, burnt fuel, the tang of blood and viscera, and yes, even fear and terror. The wind carried an eerie sound, mostly the tenor of burning accompanied by the whooshing and whirling moans of the breeze low across the sand. When it blew across his face, he could taste death. The sky was a sickly gray-yellow, the sun more of a suggestion.

They found their forward scout’s buggy with a few holes in it, but it was mostly intact. Other dreams had the buggy blown to pieces, but this one was more accurate than most, with just enough changed detail to let Terrance know the dream world trapped him here. Outside the riddled tent next to the buggy was Logan, hands bound behind his back with a bullet hole in the back of his skull. Inside the tent was his crew, more of the same treatment.

The tank wing walked aimlessly among the dead, Terrance noting each man coming to the same realization that he did: their holy vengeance did not serve their slain brothers well. What they did went beyond revenge. It went beyond obscenity; as if some fell, dark forgotten god of vengeance offered his services, and the only price an accurate look into what each man was capable of doing, how far they could go.

How far they could sink.

The LT came back with the white, impromptu flags some of the Iraqis had been waving, most of them stained with blood. He tossed them on a burning tank, and stood there looking at his stained hands.

“What does this mean LT, what does this all mean?” asked Terrance.

He looked at Terrance, a blank look of a man with only a thread of soul left.

“Now we’re all sons of bitches.”

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