Wartime. A child shivers.

I walk past, eyes blank, belly empty. Keep enough to survive.
Peace comes. Meat. I eat it, ask for more. More. A bullet for desert. “Strange,” they say.


I give up food. All food. Swallow only kindness and air.
The child inherits gratitude and survivor’s guilt.


We share. No common language but compassion, which we speak to each other constantly. Hands stroke hair, cheeks as we die.

We pray: that God exists.
That God comes here: hunger, torment, friends’ death, his own.
That God will return to kill these goddamned warriors with His sword.


This story has been part of Loren Eaton’s Advent Ghosts non-contest contest. Click through to see other creepy stories for the dead of the winter!