Switchblades

 

We hid behind the short parapet facing the opposition soldiers. We looked down the street through a few cracks that had appeared between the blocks after previous munitions had exploded or ricocheted off of the wall several times.  The soldier behind the widest crack determined that the enemy troops were about a block and a half away, or about eight hundred yards.

We all sat on the ground with our backs to the parapet, trying not to accidentally appear over the top of it and give away our position. We waited for several minutes, breathing hard with anticipation and some dread. We wanted them to be much closer before we all jumped up at once and peppered the street with multiple weaponry.

Silently a group of very small planes came from over our parapet and kept heading directly away from the enemy. It was difficult to tell if they were close and very small, or larger and a hundred feet over our heads. With only the sky as a backdrop and no point of reference, they could also have been fifty feet long and several hundred feet over our heads. The lettering didn’t really help because it would have been scaled up or down to fit the wings that protruded at ninety degrees to the fuselages of each plane.

They stopped. Not as one movement as you would expect in a school of fish or a flock of birds, but within three seconds they had all stopped except for one that continued over us and past the parapet behind us on our out rooftop hideout.

Nearly as precise as a school of fish they all dipped a wing and made a pirouette on a wingtip and pointed their thin noses directly as us. In seconds they began crashing into the roof all around us, some striking our soldiers and knocking them to the ground painfully. The wind blew out of their mouths when they were hit in the stomach, the planes broke apart when they hit something harder like a shoulder or a skull.

Those that weren’t hit cowered deeper into the corner between the small wall and the rooftop. They shielded their faces and stomachs by rolling into a ball and leaving only their backs to protect them. A late arriving plane, several milliseconds behind the others, smashed into the back of one such person, fragmenting itself and tearing the uniform to expose a back full of skin.

Nearly at once the shattered planes began exploding into very bright softball-sized balls of flame with a grey cloud of smoke surrounding it in all directions. These clouds were torn apart as the interior of the bombs separated and became chunks of metal and flesh ripping shrapnel. No surface was left without damage, especially the soldiers that were nearly dissipated into clouds of fuzzy red fog wherever a body had once been.

Slowly the air cleared of smoke and blood. It revealed a couple of badly torn bodies, barely recognizable as such. A leg had miraculously been missed by the terrible metal fuselage and had been blown into a corner, it’s knee twisted into a position not possible by a living limb. The uniform over it was shredded along with the skin once covering it. Perhaps saying it was missed was optimistic. It was clearly punctured several times, but somehow managed not to be torn into pieces.

The army down the block determined that the next time they wouldn’t need to use as many weapons for the next attack. A single drone returning from a wide banking turn behind the enemy swung low over the carnage and determined the unnecessary use of so many drones at the same time for such a limited amount of soldiers. Several of the battle hardened soldiers puked on their monitors.

Just Another Day

Barbara Blackcinder

 

 

About Barbara Blackcinder

I am a poet/writer with a hunger for words. There are so many out there that I haven't used yet. They define all reality and especially mine when you read those from me.
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3 Responses to Switchblades

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  2. I think this piece has a lot of potential

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