Soldiers Cry at Night
The soldier continued his march with his load in his arms. He observed that over the faint fog hidden by the trees, the spectral figures of the branches stood out as if they were ghosts on the lookout and thirsty for life. Twenty years were enough for that prosperous city to lose all its people and become a stone skeleton. Houses and buildings, erected in the good times, were now abandoned and slowly melted in the dust. With each stumble, the soldier grabbed the lighter child stronger, as if blood and life escaped them through the hole in his chest. Hold on a little longer, little friend, it's not time to die. Tomorrow I compared a toy for you to play with. said the soldier almost in the child's ear.
And the soldier continued talking to the boy:
_You know, I have three children. All of them grown up, bigger than you. I have a house with a big patio, I also have a dog. You know? -My children went to another country, with their mother. They said that this country was a country of broken people and that if they stayed, what they would do would be to pick up the pieces of the people and the country and unite them, glue them so that they could exist. And you know what the hardest thing in the world is? To make something work after it's broken, shattered. Now I'm alone, I hardly go to the house and I'm not going to see the dog either. I think I'm going to see him tomorrow. If you want, you can come with me. I'm sure the dog will be happy to see a child in the house.
The soldier was the ruinous image of what should have been a man's monument, but now it was only human misery exposed to abandonment: his cracked and flaccid skin, yellowish, with a beard for many days, red and dark eyes, a leaning and hunched body. But it was the way he carried the child in his arms that caused the most astonishment. There was never in the face of a man so much sadness, so much worry, pity and orphanhood. The helpless soldier looked at the child every second feeling that death was coming after him. That's why he walked fast, or at least that's what he wanted. But in an instant he looked straight ahead and then under his head, the boy took his last breath. In the middle of nowhere, the soldier shook the boy, shook him, held him in the air for a moment, but nothing. The body without vital signs looked like an angel's feather.
The soldier continued walking in the middle of the night. After so many battles in the past, with the latter he felt that his legs were weak; his eyes became cloudy and something like a stone struck him in the chest. He swallowed and felt something close to his throat. He thought the whole journey had been useless to the child, not to him, because for the first time he felt old and defeated. A drizzle began to fall and abundant tears came from the eyes of the man who stuck his face into the wet hair of the child. So it was for a long time, boy and man were one shadow. After a while he continued advancing.
The next morning, the soldier arrived at the abandoned cemetery with the child still in his arms:
We arrived, I told you I would bring you. Here you will be with your family and also with my dog. I told you that my house had a large courtyard. Don't worry, I'll stay with you. I'll take care of you. I had some children, but they left. They say everything here is destroyed. And I think so, because right now I feel that my legs are missing and that since last night I lost my heart.
The soldier entered the cemetery and they say that since that day he never left.
Written by: @nancybriti