Squirtgunner

Adam Wykes

 

He was out of the dim ancient western horizon a dark figure clad in black robes forbidding to the sight of those foreign soldiers on the checkpoint on the river, a man they did hold up plastic cards against and compare with his oncoming binocular-enlarged visage, and who afterward they accosted with fear and suspicion for he was seemingly the a leader of the local lethal tribes known for his killing of his own family and neighbors in horrible ways for reasons unreasonable, fearless and belligerent, a man with a bloody history and likely bloody future across the bridge they guarded, who when they asked with bullhorn across the dusty flat to lay down his belongings and acquiesce to search simply came on coming up to them at his slow deliberate pace, streaming from his shadowed past into their stark present tenses.

They now ask him of his business gun-sights pointed on his head and bristling with intensity alert and aware of the possible connection insinuated about him with slayings just beyond the sunset horizon from whence he has come, fully aware of that and also of his proximity now and his belligerence – why does he not lay down his belongings? why does he not allow a full search beyond the unsatisfactory stares of soldiers even though he knows what they think of him and he sees their guns and knows they have shot lesser men for similar threats that in this world hidden guns are to be revealed in times of turmoil so that the true antagonist may be found out? Now they ask him and now he denies by silence or a gruff shrug and now the safety of their multitudinous arsenal is off and now as he approaches possibly armed possibly dangerous to the lives of many men he must he is he is gunned down like a dog though passerby safely in the distance protest, the soldiers rush forward to the bloody dim man in the dust and strip him of his concealing cloak to find he carries a squirt-gun and a briefcase of cash while he dies despite the best work of the checkpoint medic.

 

This man has allowed it seems a terrible transgression against the political body of his cells, who entrusted their well-being to his mind and its judgment dooming themselves to his poor indifference that day as he approached the checkpoint and though the mind is now dead they linger yet in a lame-duck life awaiting a sure and swift apocalypse on the other side of the river whence they are borne by ambulance to a morgue set deeply in the dark and distant dawn-horizon…

 

Now the soldiers shed a confused tear for the guilty-innocent man and his innocent body that they gunned down in defense of their own lives and the lives of others past the river as they sought the killer of the past in the folds of his dim cloak; they feel the weight of the slaughter upon the millions of innocent cells but relief that at least these innocents may some day return to the soil and to the crops and to the body of another man with greater respect for the sanctity of their lives who does not throw them away uselessly against a checkpoint of armed men who only do their duty to themselves and to those they protect but instead in times of trouble throws down some slight dignity to ensure the lives of his body because they call for him to do so, who is one with his body and who can defend it both against the world and himself.

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