The Morning After

The Morning After

The brilliance of the rising yellow sun stabbed without pity at his closed eyes, and the warrior began to awaken.

For a brief instant his surroundings seemed strangely unfamiliar to him and his mind was clouded by the sharp pain that rose from a wound in his side. Soon though, he could see again as the pain in his heart overcame and made him forget the others. All he was capable of doing was moving his eyes, only to stare about himself in total disbelief, for what he saw made him sick.

Just the morning before, the sight of this land which he now rested on had brought a smile to his battle-hardened face. The trees had been everywhere standing proud and tall and reaching to touch the sky. The long green grasses had rustled lazily beneath the gentle push of a cool, clean breeze. A stream ran nearby flowing clear with untouched waters from the mountains that were passed with time to the open sea. Above all of this the birds glided gracefully, proclaiming their precious freedom.

That, though, was the morning before. That whole day he had stood proudly in the ranks of an undefeated army bent on conquering this majestic land. They had stood confidant in the belief that there was no enemy alive who could stop them for they were a brave and powerful force. Never had they tasted defeat and they knew the oncoming battle would prove no different on this day of conquest.

Now, as he surveyed his surroundings, he saw the horror that had occurred as a result of their unsatisfied greed and powerful pride. Yes… his army had remained undefeated and continued in quest of new lands to conquer, but this time WAS different from the rest. This time he was one of the thousands of dying casualties left behind to witness the remains of their “Glorious Victory”.

The few trees that still stood to look upon this once beautiful land stood broken and seemed to bow their heads in sorrow. The once rich fields of grass now lay dead and buried beneath a seemingly endless sea of bodies and broken tools of war. The stream was no longer clear, but carried a constant crimson flow of blood from thousands of foolish men. The birds had long since gone for the very air itself carried the aroma of death.

All of this remained before his burning eyes and he began to cry in anguish for the land rather than for himself. It all seemed so damned senseless now… and as his eyes began to close for the last time he thought: “Why in his own greed must man be so blind to what he leaves behind him? Why must man be in such a hurry to gain that he blindly destroys? How long will man continue to destroy before he himself is finally destroyed by another? Why do we have to understand once it is too late?” With these thoughts his grief overcame him and the warrior died.

Such is always… the morning after.


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