I’ve written a portion of A Walk in Darkness and passed it out for people to comment, make edits, and to give valuable input to me. Many came back with a sort of declaration, “we want the nitty gritty.”
Which of course has made me ask the following question of myself: “What is war?”
Is it competition between two sides in a life-or-death struggle for natural resources? Do Valkyries carry the lifeless corpses of the victors to Valhalla, their armor stained with the blood of their enemies as testimony of their fierceness? Do the wounds of the victors’ gush crimson, while the blood of their opponents stains the earth black from the evil in their hearts?
In the midst of the chaos of war, are there good guys and bad guys? Or does the strongest will and survival instincts divide the two into winners and losers? Does anyone ‘win’ in the end? Will people understand the story if I write the truth of what happened there?
Therein lies the sticking point. No. They won’t understand. How could they? Even the most non-judgmental amongst us can’t hear of the horrors of war and not wonder what kind of man could do what was necessary to survive.
Part of me wants this story told so I can have it out of my system once and for all. It’s like bitterness in the deepest cockles of the heart. Like bitterness, this story slowly eats away at my core, eroding the firmly held beliefs that I went to war for the right reasons.
And that is the lie I tell myself to ease my mind and allow myself to rest.
What is war? Hell, if I know. All I know is that the innocent bears the brunt of the cost, good people die, and those of us unfortunate to return long to die in battle. So, let my death song roar from the snow-covered peaks of some long-forgotten mountain and let the battle of A Walk in Darkness commence.
As Guns and Roses would sing, “Welcome to the Jungle, baby.”