Space Oddity

This is for the contest, I know the song isn't about war, but I feel the lyrics adapt to the process of most experiences. xoxo


1. Space Oddity

“Major Tom! Major Tom!” No answer. “Major Tom, your circuit’s dead. Can you hear me!?” That was the day of my life, I’ll always remember. The whiteness of being empty consumed me inch by inch until the world became nothing but a shallow, vast and blank canvas.

  You hear of wars all the time, everywhere, but the physical injuries never even compete with the numbing pain and crippling damage it does to your mind - you become your own worst enemy. But my story began, on a day the stars looked different as they watched down, through the muskiness of lingering spilt blood on the battlefields, the promise of more was inevitable. We were ready to move forward. Unit One, lead by myself and Tom, were moving to surveillance the perimeter of the enemy base, working with Tom was the only reason I was passionate. 
  Tom. He quickly became my companion when I joined, although a few ranks above me as a Major, he was a fortress. I once saw a metal grating, edges devoured and decayed from the raging fires and ravenous rains, savage the flesh from his right forearm, the man  never flinched. This man had seen more war outside of the guns and grenades however, him and his wife of twenty years, Lilia, had expected a child, inexplicable circumstances occurred, the child they had prayed, hoped, waited for, was gone. Lilia’s mind spiralled into a depression, she was deep in a vacuous pit filled with nothingness, when she fell pregnant again, six months ago, while Tom was on leave from war, she had never been happier.
  I never liked to talk of my wife. Carmen. She was beautiful, sometimes, I remember vividly I would sit in my camp and look at her photo I took with me, on the back in a golden fountain pen she had etched “To my love, don't lose me from your mind and heart”. I had promised I wouldn’t. I didn’t talk of her, I felt it would remind me too much of her and prove me weak. Before moving into the enemies camp I reached into my pocket and toyed with the corners of the photo and traced the words she had written, praying for the luck I had when I met her. Her deep hazel eyes had me entranced, one more green than the other was one of her oddities, one of the millions of things I loved her for. 
  I watched as Tom moved forward his bulky stature slinking forward and morphing into the shadows, I instructed other troops forward and followed on. Tom shushed back to the group, we all silenced, shadows of the opposers flickered on the dirt path ahead and the quaking of the boots kicking away pebbles echoed against our armor and into our helmets. We lingered, for only a moment before scuttling back, but for a moment too long it seemed, shouts and clambering could be heard from in the tents and buckles of sashes filled with grenades and ammunition could be heard being slung across the bodies inside. Footsteps herded around us and the flash of the first gunshot lit the shadows and crevices in the surroundings, we were vastly outnumbered.
  We drew our guns, and aimed to kill, aimed for hearts and heads. Tom shot the first bullet, it hurtled toward an oncoming provoker and hit him in the stomach, he slithered to the ground and pooled in blood, one down. It all suddenly became a blur, troops were dropping all around us, soon we would be barricaded in the spot by corpses. A few of our troops fell, and one by one, so did theirs. Two down. Three down. Four down. Five down. Six down. An ongoing of slaughter. It seemed to never end, taking another’s life to compensate for the fact they may take yours. Is that just merely an excuse though, an excuse to conceal the regret, remorse and guilt that consumes you for taking someone’s father, husband, son. “We’re commencing countdown, troops! Make an attempt to retreat!” and so we did. Make an attempt that is. 
   It felt like the world had been ruptured by a global time bomb, everything became a slow lingering whisper, and for those next few moments, it was almost as if we had been trapped in a snow globe being shook to make the glitter dance. But this was gone in a second. And then we were dropped and smashed to pieces, the gunfire clogged its way into our ears again, our minds felt corrupted by the prospect of death. We couldn't shake the feeling, you could see it in every single troops eyes, the hidden truth, the were scared. 
“May Gods love be with you men.” The Major said as the idea of escaping had become but a memory. We had to see it through, every man knew this, a bullet sped towards us coming through our troops back and straight the way through his chest. The frantic yells coming from both sides suddenly became a comfort, men were still alive, we ceased forward, shooting and yelling and spilling blood from everywhere. Tom shot a man straight through the heart as I got another straight through the skull. We felt progress was being made, maybe we could win this battle.
“Maybe we can do this Tom” I said when I felt he was close enough to hear.
“If we’re lucky son” was his vacant return.
   At this, I was once again a victim of doubt, would we make it through this, we've never been so outnumbered, back up wasn't coming, no one knew why. Then I looked up again, toying with the corners of Carmens photo, the amount of men had significantly decreased, me and Tom glanced at each other and nodded we ran forward, the remainder of our troops following, this was ending now. Speckles of blood and beads of sweat decorated our uniforms, I had my bayonet deep in a mans chest when the fatal blow supplied a tragic death. Silence. A deafening, piercing silence tainted the operation. There he was, in a pool of his blood, his bold stature shrivelling into a trembling mass of nothingness, I fell to my knees and scrambled toward the shivering shadow. 

“Keep fighting men!” I heard one of the troops behind me shout.
“We can still do this” said another. 

Their voices meant nothing. There he was in front of me a broken panting mess. Tom. 
A river of blood was trickling from his mouth and his hefty hand had a hold on the bullet sized tunnel in his chest. He spluttered and more blood flowed. He ushered me closer and held my forearm with the very last scrap of his strength. 

"Major Tom, your circuit's dead. Can you hear me!?" rumbled out of his radio conjoined with static. He silenced it with no response.
“Can you do me a final job, troop?” he forced out.
I looked at his weak frame, and listening to how his voice defied his mind, “Anything Tom.”
“Can you tell my wife I love her, she knows, tell her for me” I dumbly nodded in response.
And with that he was gone, into a world no one could ever understand, a world of happiness or sorrow, who would know. Every troop knew the Major was the strongest man, he was taken in his prime and nothing could be done, he was a fortress with weakened walls and all they did was shake the foundation. 
  I heard a sharp, shrill yell behind me, I couldn't move, I was frozen. Tom was there, in front of me how could I leave his side, in death he would not know I was here, but leaving his side was possibly the worst thing I could imagine. I pulled out the photo, I didn't remember the last time I had looked at it. Maybe I had not kept my promise, maybe I had forgotten her in the haste of warfare. I did love her so dearly though, so much that I had not felt the bullet as it splintered through my bones and lodged itself in my lung. So much that I had not heard the dull thud when I hit the ground. Even so much so that hadn't seen the haste of troops whirl pooling around me.
  Everything but the photo blanked out and I was gone, just like that. I stroked her face and my blood left a stain as the edges of the photo crumbled into ash. I was feeling very still, floating in a peculiar way. I was so far above the blood tinted dirt ground of the warfare and instead I was far above the earth, it’s sapphire blue beauty creating a glow. I could not tell my wife nor Tom’s of our true affections, but it was okay. They knew.

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