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Old 12-08-2010, 06:50 PM
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Default Embracing The Peace

Embracing The Peace

The light of the day was slowly dying. The sun's dominance over the horizon was dwindling, gradually being replaced by a brilliant array of reds, oranges, pinks, purples; hues all blending into an expanse of the cold night's oncoming darkness. Stars were yawning from their slumber throughout the day, and began opening their eyes. Their shining gaze danced through the haze, and light cloud cover that blanketed the sky. Snow was gently making its trip from its mother above the stratus cloud formations to meet its awaiting companions that had already made contact with the earth.

The old trees along the gently sloping hills throughout the valley groaned, and creaked under the weight of winter's icy grasp. Weeks of reoccurring thaw and freeze seemed to personify the trees with an almost arthritic existence. Their frames were naked of their regalia of blossoms, mosses, and leaves; all except the stalwart evergreens, pines, and other like-minded plant life. The gentle night breeze that passed through the lively trees seemed to conjure a sense of snickering, or laughter within the sounds the breeze created. Almost as if these trees were boasting of their ability to continue on nearly unaffected during the harsher seasons.

The stream nearby sang with its presence in the landscape, the last remaining dregs of light from the day mirroring across the rippling surface. Its floor always moving, yet still peaceful all the same. Pebbles, and other ill anchored denizens of the stream made their way along the stream's direction of travel, their journey having no true destination. The stream meandered its way through the crust of the earth, with frozen ground along each side of it. The stream could look all around as it made its way to some distant mass of water. What the stream could see now, in this time of season, was a counterpart, a colleague; yet snow was not the alpha in this arena.

On the contrary, the snow would merely melt, just as it had been at that exact moment along the stream's banks. The snow would strengthen the stream, just as the stream would provide a steady transportation on an adventure the snow could choose to partake. However, just like the lightweight pebbles, the snow knew the risk that the adventure- the journey- may not end so long as the stream flowed.

As the snow came down at a steadier pace, an odd, metallic object upset the stream. Clutched by a hand of flesh and bone, the canteen began to capture a small portion of the stream's essence of existence. The tired, dirty hand that firmly gripped the aluminum canteen began to take on a more blue appearance unlike the normal caucasian features. The stream punished the hand as it attempted to fill the canteen to the full capacity of one quart. The stream's frozen anger stung at the hand.

Drops of water that were lucky enough to escape the enslaving hand, or the prison that was the canteen, fell happily back to their mother stream, proud to have survived a brush with humanity.

The hand was met with another hand as the owner of the canteen closed it, its plastic top giving a slight squeak. The man was kneeling near the rest of his belongings along the bank of the stream as he placed his canteen back in its appropriate place in his equipment. It was all methodically attached to his torso in an array of straps and pouches known to warriors as web gear, or simply webbing. Like the home of a spider, this equipment clung to the man, only to come off if he chose to detach it.

The man took a deep breath inward, letting his face, and eyes smile up at the sky overhead. Through the bare branches of the oak he stood beneath, the man could see the galaxy that sat across from the Earth, and the galaxy's stars and planets that seemed to stare back down at him. They all could have been twinkling back, chins in the palms of their hands, studying intently the mere human warrior that seemed to look up, puzzled as he held his breath.

The man quickly exhaled, his blood coursing hard through his head. He could hear his pulse in his ears as he watched his breath rise into the cold sky in the dim light of dusk. The man breathed a slight chuckle as he brought his breathing back to normal, and he relished in the fact that the countryside's placid, winter beauty had taken his breath away just as a pale, blue eyed angel had done earlier that year. It happened before he was brought to a distant battlefield to fight a distant foe.

It was unlikely any of the others in this man's element were looking out into the world around them as intently as he had been right at that moment. The man cautioned himself of this notion in hopes that he was right, and that he need not test the validity of that assumption. He then found his gaze back down at the bank of the stream as his thoughts concluded, and he decided it best to finish his security patrol before he bedded down to sleep.

His mind wandered back to the angel of the previous spring, however. He forced his focus on the trail in front of him as he peered into the green, artificial world his night vision goggles were providing him. Yet, without warning, her smile would flash into his view as he clutched his battle rifle, and pressed on through the snow. With every crunch of snow beneath each new step, there seemed to be a new memory of them together, or of her. His left hand loosened its grip on the forward stock of the slung weapon as he tried to reach for her. This caused the weapon's weight to bear down on his shoulders a bit harder. She was in front of him, past the lens of the night vision, and the ghostly, nauseating glow of the world it created with captured light within the goggles. Her sun dress flowed gently along her body's curves, and a piano's gentle melody. Her bare feet, and light, sheer clothed body seemed to float through the snow unaffected. She was warm just as the memory of spring guided her through the man's psyche.

He continued up the foot trail leading to the old stone house his element was occupying during that December night; she was leading him along, bringing him to stop near an old, slowly rotting, rolled bale of hay just yards from the house. The man's ears were filled with the sounds of their springtime goings-on. It had appeared all the man could focus on was his angel's smiling lips as her eyes looked hungrily up at his. Her blue eyes beamed in the starlight overhead as her arms wrapped around the man to draw them closer. She pulled him nearer, along with his weapon slung across his chest, and the web gear that enveloped him.

He breathed in deeply the smell of her soft, silken hair as his chin nuzzled the top of her head. He brought his forehead down to hers, her shorter stature always something of an appeal to him since the day they first met. She brought her chin up higher, always smiling at him. The new darkness between their faces, a shadow cast from the man's helmeted head over hers, gave them a sense of privacy amongst the lighter environment around them. He took down his night vision, allowing the goggles to dangle around his neck.

Both of his hands had left the stock of his battle rifle, and the callused, grimy claws of a warrior were now brought down to meet the soft innocence of her hands. Her teeth showed with a happier smile as she felt his hands squeeze gently. Snow was now filling the void between them, causing a slight, but still noticeable and ominous fade of his angel before him. This clung heavily to his heart as he continued to look down at her lovingly. But just as all battles prior to this moment, the young man fought this current one, and kept the knot in his throat at bay.

She drew in a breath of anticipation, hoping for what he may do or say next. He drew in his own amount of air, and began to bring his lips down to meet hers. In a moment of true yearning, the man broke the silence with a somewhat raspy, nearly whispering voice.

"I love you," he declared quietly as both them closed their eyes. The flesh of the two young lovers pressed together. As their lips met, their hearts sang as one, and both of them felt each other's pulses course into a crescendo out of months of sheer ache, and need, and want, and desire for this very moment.

A rip. A shattering tear of terror and reality attacked at the young man as his face fell into the hay. His ears rang with an equal amount of fright. His heart pounded hard against his entire ribcage. Across the plot of property on which the house was located, a heavy machine gun had fired rounds toward his element's position. Tracer, and regular ammunition glanced along the walk in front of the scared young man as he fiddled with so many different thoughts, and physical actions at once. He brought his goggles up, but was unable to complete the task of reattaching them to his face. His hands were too busy now, finding themselves grasping at the battle rifle hanging deliberately across his shoulders and chest. His angel was gone from his own personal world, and the young man then realized that in a few moments, he may be possibly gone from this world.

After a minute of rushing about randomly, moving past the miscellaneous farming implements, the faulty water pump that originally led him to seek out the stream, and more old bales of hay that had been baled the previous fall and winter, the man finally came to the house. He pushed past the old cellar entrance along the side of the brick and stone facade. The man tumbled into a heap of old clothes and blankets that had been brought down into the cellar for bedding, and he groaned a muffled, tired, terrified sigh into the fabric. His peace, and his angel were no longer granting him their company.

A hot, thick tear slid along his cheek as the young soldier raised his head just in time to meet the angry gaze of his squad leader.
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