I have heard the word.
Plastered to the pages of the history books, as though it were only a story. Whispered in the fading voices of it's survivors, their withering hisses all to afraid to tell the whole truth. Perhaps their mind has eroded the memories for them. This happens, truly it does. Wouldn't that be nice? To forget? No. They cannot forget. We cannot forget. To forget would be to kill them all over again. Please, no. No more screams. No more red fireworks that come from the impact of bullet to flesh. The mist of gas, the smell of rotting flesh that litters the cities and fogs up the mind. It penetrates the nose like nothing else. The scent cannot be erased. It is permanent. Please, no more. I cannot bear to remember, but it would kill me to forget.
It is Greek.
"Sacrifice by fire."
It is how they rid the smell. Burn the bodies. Burn them. Burn them.
The world is made of fire.
Death is the new scent of the earth. The buildings are made of brick and smoke, thier facades charred and vicious, breathing in the life of the people and kindling their flames with the scent of their souls. It is a wonder they have anyone left to drain.
It is night...no. It is not. It is an ocean, so thick that the waves crash against one another and the waters turn red. Crimson. An ocean of blood. A sea of stars.
They read one word. Jude. It is David's star. But if he could see it now, soaked in the claret cruor of his dying people, he would not be proud to own it. No one wants a blood soaked star. The Nazis want no stars. A black sky. An empty chasm where all light and hope once lived, and they want none of it.
They came very close to getting their wish.
73568. People do not question the number, etched in blue upon my right forearm.
Neither do they question the other. 68793. Engraved deep into the flesh of the limb opposite it's counterpart.
Neither number is my own.
But people are too afraid to ask whom's they are. So they assume I went twice. Perhaps a mistake. No. Niether number is mine. If only they could be. But no.
Neither number is my own.
Death has heard my name.
He knows who I am, the way I look, what I smell of, the number of hairs on my head and the freckles on my arms. He has gotten close enough times to know.
Not that he will die. He cannot. He is death. But the fear that he must live with what he does. Fears, no matter what of, are fears of death.We are afraid things will hurt us, kill us. Heights-if we fall we will die. Spiders-they will bite us, and we will die.The ocean-the current will pull us in, we will get swept out to vast sea, or eaten by ravenous maritime monsters, and we will die. All fears are of death himself.
And if everyone else is afraid of him, why shouldn't he be afraid of him too?
In this way, I have sympathy for death.
But I am getting far too ahead of myself.
This is my story, not his.