The Mirror Man…Part II…incomplete and unedited…

For there to be pain, there must be hope. Hope is derived from certain expectations. Such as the expectation you would return to home and hearth unscathed by the unwieldy blade of war. Jayce listened to the voice on the phone. She wanted to know about Keenan. 

“Tell me about your friend, Jayce.”

“He was 19 when he died.”

“Okay, but who was he? How did you meet?”

“We were stationed together in Texas. He was just a kid.”

“Why did he join the service?”

“I don’t know. Patriotism? College?”

“So, he was a normal kid.”

“Yeah. He laughed a lot. Played video games. He was a stud at PT. A healthy, red-blooded American boy.”

“How did he die?”

“He took my place in a nighttime convoy.”

“Where were you?”

“I was somewhere else slamming the doors shut on the insurgency in a hot spot.”

“What happened?”

Jayce wiped at his eyes and took a shuddering breath. His tone grew still. “Have you ever seen the moon so large that you feel like you could reach up and touch it?”

“No, Jayce.”

“That’s what it is like over there. The moon hung so low that night. It was like a spotlight housed inside of a planetoid. It was simply amazing but…”

The voice on the phone said nothing. She waited until Jayce composed himself. The dam had broken. Hot tears streamed down his cheeks.

“Kennan was ambushed. The shadows were so long that night. They never saw it coming. Death hunted from the darkness. It was over before it ever began.”

“How did you find out?”

“People rushed out of the buildings when we pulled up. One of my buds screamed at me and told us what happened. We went out and recovered them.”

“What did you see?”

“Death was everywhere. The smell of blood was so thick in the air you could hardly breathe.”

“Do you feel responsible for what happened that night?”

“Hold on a second.” Jayce slammed the phone against his desk four or five times. 

“Are you still there?”

“Yes. Why did you do that, Jayce.”

“Because that was a stupid question. Of course, I’m responsible for what happened. I volunteered to go on the mission that I was on.”

“Okay. And?”

“What do you mean and…?”

“You don’t control the world, Jayce. You could not have stopped what happened that day.”

“What do you know about it?”

“I know that humanity has often tried to carry the burdens of responsibility that is not theirs to shoulder. ‘Oh, the environment is going to collapse if we shorten our carbon footprint!’ Let me ask you a question, Jayce. What was here on this tiny planet before humans?”

“I don’t know. Ice? Water? Freaking dinosaurs? Some form of life that no one knows about?”

“This planet has survived much worse than humans. Trust me. On record, there are a couple of Ice Ages and a Jurassic Period. Yet, you humans think you are going to trigger the apocalypse.”

“What does that have to do with Keenan?”

“My point is that no human has ever had the power to stop what will be. Never in the history of ever has humanity hindered the future. You don’t control anything, mortal.”

“But Keenan…”

“Your friend died for what he thought was right. That should be a comfort to you. It is no small thing to sacrifice your fragile human life for a higher purpose.”

“Who are you?”

“It is a rarity that your kind would place anything before your personal desires.”

“Are you going to answer my question?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because, I do not have to.”

Published by frontporchmusings694846020

I am a good ole country boy residing in North Mississippi. I love to read, fish, hunt, hike and go to garage sales. Flea markets are a passion of mine. I read anything, but some of my favorites are: Dean Koontz, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, Shakespeare, and I possess a fondness for the writings of William Faulkner and Mark Twain. If I am forced to choose, I prefer baseball to football. I enjoy Alabama football (Roll Tide)! My baseball teams include: The Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox. I am divorced, the father of two daughters and live by myself with Chunk and Roscoe (my dogs).

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