Short Story – Killing Fields

Killing Fields (Rating: 15, Genre – Horror, Genre – Fantasy, Genre – Sci Fi) – (1004 words) – Petris walked into the Killing Fields with the hope of wiping all the pieces off the chess board.

Warnings – Contains graphic imagery and violence


That was the best word to describe it. Not bleak in a negative way which suggested that there was no beauty at all to look upon. No, the grey sky and the damp red of the dying ferns still held a different type of beauty in it, but it was not the beauty of new life.

It was the beauty of death.

Pertis always thought that death should be respected more. After all, it was only with death that life became more precious. People failed to understand that simple concept, that without the death at the end of each year, the wonder of new life in spring would not occur. Everyone would just get used to the same colours surrounding them until they barely registered in their conscious. It would be like walking past a masterpiece and never noticing it was there.

So why don’t they respect me more? Petris thought. These fields were his home, this was where he had grown into the person he was today. it was here that he had shed his first blood upon the cold damp earth and it was here that he had shed the blood of others in retaliation.

What was the purpose? By this point, the fighting had no purpose. It was so entrenched in the minds of the warring sides that they should fight that they could consider no other concept. It was as if they refused to accept there was a different mindset to fighting.

Petris begun to walk off his viewpoint, one of the many hills surrounding the Fields below, metal plate of his armour scraping against one another as the damp worked its way between the plates of metal. His mask was still in place, the breathing apparatus was vital if you were going to survive out here.

His progress was slow, but then the Fields were hardly an easy place to navigate. Years upon years of killing had left the stench of death in the air so strong that the air filters in his mask could barely filter them out. However, he didn’t need to smell the bitter taste of putrefaction, the rotting flesh that slowly peeled off the bones of the deceased as if nature was a scientist dissecting the corpse for testing. He knew the smell well enough by now to block it out of his mind less it make his stomach churn.

Some liked to listen to the radio to block out the noise of the bones breaking underfoot, or the sharp squelch as flesh and mud tried to suck your feet down into its embrace. Petris refused to listen to music at all, even though he hated the sharp crack of a mouldy bone breaking under the weight of his heavy suit. You had to respect the land, you had to understand the nature of it.

The Killing Fields were of Death, and so when you walked on them you had to embrace Death.

He was sure that the Command tent would be in chaos by now. Any unauthorised walk to the Killing Fields could upset the delicate military balance that was struck between the two sides, as they each tried to push for and advantage.

But then, Petris was trying to overturn the balance. Sure, breaking the stalemate might mean yet more death, but that was the point. The situation had to be altered, had to be made different for the Commanders, for the soldiers to see what they were fighting for. They had to be shown that there was a purpose to fighting, they had to be shifted out of their apathy and into feeling once more.

The sun began to rise higher in the sky above, unable to break through the thick layer of heavy grey that stuck across the sky. However, the heat of the sun soon went to work, infusing the dead corpses with heat that multiplied the stench even further. Petris could taste it on his tongue now, his breathing apparatus unable to draw all of the taste from the air as he inhaled.

They have to understand death, Petris thought as he continued to walk. He was about half way across the Fields now, almost dead in the middle between the two sides.

Then he stopped.

He knew that the Other Side would be watching from their own camps, he had fought against enough of their soldiers to know how their structure worked.

It was exactly the same as his own Side.

He pulled out his standard issue weapon from is holster.

They have to understand death, Petris thought as he held the weapon limply in his hand. It had been the weapon which had saved his life on many an occasion in the past, a weapon which was a close to him as his own soul.

He dropped it on the carpet of rotting flesh at his feet.

“I refuse to fight,” Petris whispered. He could see the sharp burst of light on the enemy horizon as their guns fired. The shots would take about a minute to hit him, their electromagnetic pulses killing him instantly.

However, this time, it wouldn’t be because of the action of an army, it would be because of the action of one.

This time neither side could blame the other. Petris had disrupted the field, wiped the chess board clean of all pieces. Both sides would have to look to the centre of the Killing Fields and ask themselves what was the point in all of this?

What did it achieve?

Petris shut his eyes as the bright pulses came closer.  The bright light from the pulses blossomed around him as they grew larger, engulfing the red cloudy sky that encased the world. Petris smiled, just for a moment.

Let’s make a new world, Petris thought, as the heat of the pulses bore through his suit and ate away at his skin. It was mere seconds, a blink of an eye.

The light died, and with it went Petris’ last thoughts.

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