Brutalist Stories #37

The Sky is Driven Red

Brutalist Stories #37

Blood on these hands. How long has it been now since we started all this? Years. Years and years. Too long for any one person to stand, too long for the people to have to cope, but we carry on all the same. The fight eternal. We warriors, it is what we do, but at the sake of what?

I look up at the sky, driven red by the endless stream of bodies falling from it and pick one out and watch it fall. Timeless and still, silent and silhouetted, killed by one of us no doubt in one of our countless battles across countless worlds. I watch it fall the same way as I would, in one place, at one time, look to the sky and see snow falling from it. Where I would pick a single flake out of the fall and watch it wisp its way down to the ground, falling, falling, and then melting into the surface.

Something utterly unique, something in all the infinite cosmos that would never be replicated. It held something unseen, to me just a speck of white on a grey backdrop, falling from the sky until it touched the ground and was gone. But it contained a world within it. It contained a microcosm of pure chaos, a pattern, a shape formed out of endless coincidence. A dust particle trapped by water vapour and frozen as it falls to create something utterly exceptional.

Now, I just see bodies. The countless and endless bodies falling from the sky.

Each one once housed its own unique combination of time and consciousness. Each one had a place in the universe that no other could replicate or know. Each one now gone, each dead, the one I picked out falling and falling, until it finally hits the pile, stacked as high as the world. This place that feeds off them, off the souls of the innocent and makes us do its work, lest our families also become victim to its hunger.

“We must fight again,” she says, knowing that the world is going to soon need its hunger satiating. This is the circle.

“More meat for the grinder,” I reply.

“It must be done.”

“For how long?” I ask. Eons already, how much longer must we be put through this? How much longer will its hunger last? How much longer must we fight, must we kill, must we destroy?

“There is no end, just the task,” she says.

“What else can we do?” I ask.

“There is only the fight,” she says again.

“We can end it, we can end one another. We can stop all this, we have it within us.” I say as I look to the sky.

“And sacrifice our own?” She asks as though I’ve never proposed this to her before.

“Sometimes sacrifices must be made,” I say, repeating old words.

“I agree.” She says, and pauses. “But they shall not be ours.”

And I know they never will be.

Building inspiration: Hashima Island - Japan

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Brutalist Stories

Short sci-fi stories in 500 words or less deriving from the stark style of the functionalist architecture, that is characterised by the use of concrete.

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