This is a rather lengthy story for a blog, but this is the final part! I never intended on adding onto it or making into something more. Perhaps your enthusiasm will change my mind.
I am alive, and Gregory is not. I know nothing of Oliver and Benedict’s condition, but I fear them dead as well; there are so many dead. So many villagers lie in pools of dark mud, thick with blood and debris from the onslaught. Once the mortar fire ceased, the soldiers marched across the forest floor, spraying their machine guns. Children were gunned down in their parents’ arms. The bodies of the villagers were brutalized worse than I thought possible. Some of the soldiers emptied their magazines into motionless bodies, ensuring their death. Their bullets shook the bodies frantically, tearing chunks of bone and flesh away and smearing blood in the dirt and across the trees.
When the soldiers relaxed their weapons, more armed men and women streamed in from somewhere in the trees. They were the reserve troops from the City. Ill trained and not experienced in combat, however, they could wield a blunt object and thrust spears and swords. This was, after all, their entire purpose. The reserve troops systematically finished off the wounded, slicing their bodies open further with a flick of their blades.
Here I lay, in a cave, after the slaughter has quieted down. I am alive somehow, yet riddled with sorrow, battered, bloody and on the verge of death. During one of our retreats, I was wounded. Poor Gregory never got that far, as he was killed in the initial barrage of gunfire. His body was mutilated, and pried apart by bullets. While his broken remains lie crumpled in the dirt, I cowered against a tree, hoping that I would not be shot down like my young friend.
The battle was fearsome and choked with gory scenes of heroism and cruelty. Death sprouted everywhere as rifles on both sides chattered. Once again, these woods have been soaked in blood and raked flat with the bones of the dead. Once again, these trees are the only witness to an atrocious battle, coiled with a venomous touch that damaged all whom stood on the battleground.
I must note, as blood seeps from a hole in my leg, that Oliver was absent in this battle. He was off, leading some of the villagers in a counter attack. They were to strike soon after the battle started. I know nothing of his success, or if he and his defenders were able to move from their hidden location. Perhaps they were all killed instantly, or with the mortar fire.
Benedict went back to the City, only he was to assassinate the leadership. We knew they would never be swayed to allow the villagers to live. Oliver and Benedict saw their deaths as the only avenue forward. Benedict’s solo mission was a secret, and our greatest hope. I wish him luck, but I fear he was killed, or captured, before he was able to take out any of the leaders.
In light of all that has occurred, I am hiding this journal. It might prove an effective weapon in the future, as it contains information that will be censored and never acknowledged. May this journal, and the journey is depicts, liberate the world of tyranny, alternative facts and evil.
I pray this journal finds itself in good hands, responsible hands, that are willing to read through my narrative and unlock the truths that were kept from my peers for so long. Whomever you are, my friend, please heed the warnings and never allow such unscrupulous people to lead your city.
I pray that this clash, between the violent forces of my city and hopeful, yet unprepared villagers, was the final battle. I pray the blood splattered across the forest today is the last of the bloodshed for reckless and frivolous reasons. I pray no one else has to be cut down, as Gregory was. I pray no one else will suffer as I am now. However, I fear such a battle will never occur. I fear blood will continue to drip and pool all over our planet, wherever we gather. I am worried that human beings have been stricken with a curse that forces them to fall into old vices, no matter their attempts to claw away the evil, and break free of our nasty urges. In other words, I believe we are always destined to clobber one another as we attempt to better ourselves.
Go back to part ten.