R. C. SmithShort Stories and Vignettes

Do not read my works if you are offended by descriptions of sexuality and violence.
(Do not read them just for those descriptions, either.)

The Window (War)

Audio read by RC (8:00)

This is a nice apartment, that you have.

That you have had.

In which we are, but which doesn’t belong to you anymore.

Just as nothing belongs to you anymore.

Not even your naked body here, your skin, your breasts, your sex.

And least of all your life.

All that doesn’t belong to you anymore.

Soon, all that will be left for you will be agony.

And then, that will be over, too.

 

Come, let us go to the window, let us look out, down at the large square in front of your house.

The way it is here, it is everywhere in this town, now.

Look at the women.

How does it feel, to see them die?

 

And how does it feel,

the coarse fabric of my uniform against your bare skin,

the edge of the blade in my hand against your side,

the fingers of my other hand probing the slit between your thighs,

exploring its secret response?

Do you like this? Are you ashamed? Confused?

I can feel how fast you are breathing.

 

They are all naked.

Some of them are running, away, away from the soldiers, away from the men.

But where they are running to, other men already stand.

Let us open the window, so we can hear the shouting and the screams.

There, look how this one is running, naked, on bare feet, in panic she doesn’t look left or right.

One of them trips her up. Look how she falls, her hands too slow, on her face, with full force.

Already others are surrounding her, are turning her on her back.

Now they are kicking her with their boots.

One opens his trousers, now he lies on top of her, one grabs her ankle to help him, now he enters her.

With one hand he supports himself, with his other hand’s fist he punches her bleeding face.

 

Look at this one.

One catches up with her, grabs her from behind by her long hair.

He holds her from behind, two others come from the front, they punch their fists into her belly, into her breasts.

The one who still holds her from behind, by her hair, pushes her down now, to her knees.

The others take turns now, kicking her between her legs.

One stands close to her now, his crotch pressed against her face.

The one behind her puts his hands around her throat.

We cannot see it from here, but we know what happens to her now.

 

This one, who runs here — now she got a bullet into her belly.

She stops, stands still, looks down at the wound, when the next bullet hits her.

Luck, or good aim, exactly into her sex.

And the next one into her left knee. Now she falls.

 

Here one is running — look! — two bleeding red wounds on her chest.

They have cut off her breasts.

Look, she doesn’t get far. Now she is lying on the ground.

Two are spreading her legs, one thrusts the barrel of his rifle into her vagina.

Now he pulls the trigger. Look how her body convulses.

 

Look over there, one is leaning against the wall of a house.

Her belly cut open, her bowels are pouring out, with both hands she tries to hold them in.

Some men are throwing stones at her, they are aiming at her face.

When she tries to cover her face with her arms and hands, she has to let go of her bowels.

 

Here — this one has given up, she just stands, naked, her eyes cast down.

Men walk up to her, knives with pointed blades in their hands.

One grabs her wrists, but she doesn’t resist anyway.

Now they begin to stab her. Everywhere. Into her shoulders, her breasts, her belly, her sides, her sex, her thighs.

But not too deep, they do not want to kill her.

Not too fast.

 

From the house next to us a woman falls out of a window, naked, too.

She hits the ground — she lives, she tries to get up, but her legs are broken.

Men with bludgeons walk up to her, strike her with them, again and again.

Almost every bone in her body must be broken by now.

But she is still alive. They do not strike her head.

Not yet.

She looks up to us — do you know her? Do you know her name? Does she know yours?

What may she be thinking now?

Now one of the men looks up to us, too.

He sees you, as you lean out of the window, to get a better view.

He cannot see your breasts, but he sees that you are naked.

Then he sees my uniform, says something to the others, and they leave the woman and walk away.

From around the corner, where they have gone, we hear a woman scream.

 

They will all die.

The ones will die today. The other ones — they do not know it yet, but, soon.

All of them. All of us.

But now the time for you and me has come to part.

The time for you has come.

You have to leave now, this is not your apartment anymore, not your house anymore.

Here, next to me, is not your place anymore. And mine not next to you.

I can do nothing for you. You have to go down now.

And I will remain here, on my own, standing at the window that had been ours.

(For Gemma, 03/2021)

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