Francisco de Goya - Execution of the Rebels of the 3rd of May, 1808

         It was the stench he remembered from his nightmares. The lurid dreams--watching his father help men in a cornfield rummage around for parts that once belonged to their bodies while the women cried out to their breasts, for this was all that was left of them, “Why is this done in the name of our race? Our lives have been lost and lost again with the death of our men!” His father had used kindness towards others but never towards him.

         It was this war of millions that affected him as it did many others of his generation. A war seemingly so grand to his type; the type of boy who wanted so desperately to be a man but who had no resources. No skill, no skin on his spine to stand tall or proud, no initiative of resistance towards those who would drive a spike through his skull in the moments following flashes of distraction such as this.

         Yet, it was this boy’s plan that would save them, so he thought. It alone would outsmart them and impale a dagger into their minds and then into their perceived ideologies. His was an intellect of a driving force beyond the masses of horse yielding armies, bloated, savaged invaders and knife carrying thieves of the villages containing innocence.

         He watched as his neighbor’s wife buried their son. A death from raw sewage running down through the grinding stink that was once known as a river so pure you could drink from it. He could give them a better way; his system was clean. Yet it was the same river containing sewage that began to run inside of him, unrefined, built upon rigors of rage, pain and demands to which a single soul should never withstand; a river of which would surely be his demise.

         It was his mind that he lost first and he missed the most, this he knew for sure. If he could only reflect upon the thoughts that brought him to the decision to enter the war and the conclusion he reached just moments ago. By-God, he proclaimed, why did I not stop their force from destroying our lives at an earlier time. How could I have not seen this before I lost the very ground my ancestors poured their blood?

         He took this pain and reached into the gallows within the quarters already containing bodies awaiting death and pulled up an army more fierce and sinister than those of brethren of Cain. Hell hath no army in comparison of this man and Satan himself would slaughter his jugular in desire for this soul.

         His name, Adolph; a boy, yet to become a man, yet to rule an army built upon a fury of intellect.

Cicily Janus is a writer living in Colorado Springs. Her short fiction, non-fiction and book reviews have appeared or are scheduled to appear in Aesthetica, Del Sol Review, Writers Post Journal, Eclectica, Outsider Writers and her parents coffee table to name a few. Cicily is also the submissions and associate editor for Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens. Currently she is also working on her novel, Burden of Betrayal.

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