Soldier Desert Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

Later, after dinner had been eaten and he and his wife had done the necessary cleaning and had a bit of marital fun, as she liked to call it, he was still unable to forget what he’d seen earlier that day. He was tired, in fact he was was damned weary after the day, more than he should have been. But rising from the bed he’d shared with his beautiful wife for so long it was still easy to walk from their bedroom, down the hall, feeling his feet slap gently against the hardwood as he didn’t even look at the pictures and pieces of art that she’d hung upon the walls, and through the dining room area to the sliding glass door that would lead to the patio and the back yard. There was a mild chill in the house that made it past his t-shirt and flannel pants, but he barely felt it.

The vertical blinds that usually hid the back yard from view had been pushed aside, but they clacked together slightly as a mild breeze blew through the house. Frowning lightly he tested the sliding door, finding it unlocked as he pulled it open easily-

-and nearly fell over in surprise as a blast of warm air nearly undid him. The scents that came with it, the smoke, thick and cloying, the coppery iron taste upon his tongue, and the sudden pain he felt in his abdomen, his legs, and in his left shoulder, caused him to gasp as he took one involuntary step forward. Suddenly his ears were ringing, but he could hear the voice that emerged in the near distance.

“BAAADD! BAAA-BAAADD BATTCH! BAAD BAAATC-!” An unexpected explosion rocked the arid landscape he was walking upon at that moment, followed by more pain in the back of both legs. He could feel warmth flowing down his hamstrings, his calves, filling his boots. Wait, his boots?w

Looking down he could see that he was decked out in full gear, his desert camo nearly saturated with red as he heard his own labored breathing. Turning about he could see the patch of darkness where he’d come from, the open door appearing to mock him as he took one step forward, then another, ignoring everything else as much as he could. Thankfully the door grew closer, it didn’t continue to move away as it did in the movies, but as he came within a stride of the darkened entry he saw a figure step into it. His wife, wearing only her nightgown, and holding what looked like a Desert Eagle of all things, would not look at him as she stood within the doorway.

“Babe?” he breathed, “What’s, what’s going on? Why are you here?”

“You were so close,” she said, sounding disappointed, “So close. But you’re still there. So you can’t be here.”

He was about to ask ‘what?’ when she raised the handgun and pulled the trigger, the sound of thunder clapping hard against his eardrums before everything turned unbearably bright, and faded into darkness soon after.

He woke up at least, that was something.

(to be continued)

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