Terror's Agony

Jack Ridley has fought off his fear by striking it into the heart's of others, but nothing scares him more than the putrid stench of terror that clings to the air like a lifeline whenever he lets his wrath run wild.

The steady burn of his cigarette isn't the only thing that could go up in flames.
A fire has started within him so monstrous that not even the devil on Jack's shoulder can reap what he sows.

How do you fight your fears when the only thing left to fear is yourself?

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21. Chapter 2-The Real World

The stench of misery and defeat hangs heavy on the air as I take in the glorious scene around me. There is no river of blood, but there certainly isn't a comradery among my fellow soldiers, but that's the way hell on earth should be.

It doesn't matter which side your on.

If I have the chance, I will kill you. It's all the same to me, we're all human aren't we? Does it truly matter where you're from in the grand scheme of murder without consequences? I don't think it does, but I'm no law man.

I'm just a dirty, cold, and endlessly starving soldier who wants nothing more than to do the wealth's bidding, note my supposedly misplaced sarcasm.

If my circumstance affected me like it does everyone else, I wouldn't even notice these things. I'd be far too busy worrying about a bullet passing through the outer shell of my skull, but it sadly doesn't get a rise out of me anymore.

The sounds of bullets leaving their guns and the screams of my troops no longer makes my heart beat faster with anticipation. The death of a stranger isn't as great as it used to be, I no longer feel as though I am a leader among savages. I feel just like everyone else here, fighting for my life even if I don't have a fear of it being stolen from me.

In light of this rather boring and unchanging current mood, I've started a new game.

I make friends with a fellow soldier and then I kill him the minute I decide that he trusts me. Instead of just their physical being, I can kill their souls while I'm at it as well.

Two birds with one stone.

I'm currently looking at Burke across the way. He's following orders and shooting in the direction of the enemy, trying to be a good soldier. I've been talking to him for months now, we're bunk mates. He has a girl back home that he writes to everyday, but those messages always come back to him. I think it's made him more bitter about life than war has, in this case the obvious winner of his misery is love, how ironic.

I'm finally feeling the excitement again as I stare him down through the scope on my gun that continues to move on account of my nervous jitters. I know him, I truly know him, and now I know what I'm truly shooting at.

This is not a person.

This is a man who is loved by his family, a man who is capable of loving them as well. He is a man who trusts his judgment and how it has placed trust in me.

He asked me if I slept at night, he's never seen me sleep.

"That's because I don't sleep" I told him in the most monotonous voice I could muster. I didn't want my voice to betray my anticipation at knowing that it was his time to go, he knew too much.

Now that I think about it though, I don't think he accepted my answer of not sleeping. After all, every human being needs sleep to function right? Some scientist spent his "valuable" time figuring that lie out. I'm living proof that all you need to live is motive.

Maybe that's what's keeping Burke alive, his undying wish to have a family of his own. God knows that he's alive for reasons other than his incredible lack of skill- wait, I'm sorry, I meant my fear knows this. How else would I know anything if it wasn't for my fear pointing it out to me? Without my fear I'd be just like Burke.

I think he sensed me staring him down. Like he felt the energy of my gaze through the hecticity of our current world. I was the biggest threat that he felt at that specific moment as he looked at the gun I was pointing at him, and them at me, at my eyes.

It's a powerful thing to imagine that he saw me, a single being, the biggest threat when facing thousands of enemies that would spill his blood with little hesitation. I was like a god amongst men with my lack of indifference towards this atmosphere, towards my never beginning hesitation.

A man shouldn't like war, and a man should always hesitate when pulling the trigger, even if it's just in his mind instead of his actions, because somewhere deep inside you know it's wrong. You feel the shouting of good as it fails to pull your finger off the trigger, but to understand me you must first grasp that the voice I speak of hasn't existed in my head since I made my first kill. My fear has won, my fear has replaced everything.

I am no longer me.

I am no longer Milo.

I have relinquished the ownership my mother had over me by first realizing that the name she gave me, no longer belongs to who I've become.

I am nameless until my fear tells me who I am.

I am nameless until my fear says I am not worthless, until my time has come and I am named worthy of his presence. I am not yet deserving of his leadership over me, and this is how I prove that I'm not faulty, that he has chose right.

Burke drops to the ground and loses my gaze in the haze of pain I've gifted upon him. If only he'd been strong enough to keep eye contact as he fell, I would have resented him less.

I wish I could stare down Milo. Maybe I would resent what he used to be less than how much I resent him now, but wishful thinking never helped anybody. I'd say just ask Burke if he didn't already have my bullet in his head.

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