Eyes fly open, looking around the battlefield with a sense of alertness. Another sense, worry, begins to crawl over Evan but he pushes the feeling away. Distracted men are the first to die. And there was no way he was going to die here. He had a family to get back to. There were so many things he had yet to do in his life. Marriage, children, growing old, he wanted to do it all.
Dirt flew into the air as one of the enemy's shells exploded not too far off. The smell of sweat in the trench was thick. Many of the individuals beside Evan were just young boys, barely even men; yet old enough to fight. That didn't change the fact that they were fighting a war. Whether a country used young boys or young men, troops were troops. Numbers, of men, troops, weapons count, and enemy deaths, that's all that mattered in war. The end of the war would come soon. Evan could feel it. There was a small voice at the back of his mind that told him the war would end soon. His contribution wouldn't go unnoticed.
Glancing around behind him, Evan chewed on his bottom lip. The next part of their plan was to go over the top to walk across no man's land. The anticipation and adrenaline coursed through the omega with fervor. It clouded his judgement of whether this was a good idea. Did that really matter? It was an order and one he would follow.
Casting a quick look over to the boys beside him, they nodded their heads, waiting on a silent three count before charging over the walls of the trench.
Evan expected to see open land in no man's land. It was the only thing soldiers who made it back spoke about.
Instead of a wide expanse of land, the wall of a building greeted them. It wasn't perfectly intact, bullet holes having punctured their way through the brick and plaster. Sections of the wall had collapsed and exposed some of the boys who were shot down almost immediately. His eyes followed the boys, watching in terror as they hit the ground. Evan threw his head back against the wall, the rifle clenched in his hands as he tried to calm down. The unease he'd felt earlier started to swarm in his stomach.
"No, I am not a coward!" he thought to himself. Taking a deep breath, Evan made his way around the wall, creeping forward to a fence that he could use as further cover. He was safe, but not for long. What did that mean? He was fighting a war, when could they ever expect to be safe? There was never a guarantee.
'Especially since you are going to die,' the voice spoke before he could register what it had said.
Bullets flew by overhead but there was something new. The unease spread from his stomach to his limbs, making its way to his head. It plagued his mind with new, gruesome thoughts.
"What do you mean?" Evan asked. His mind raced to give an adequate answer.
'Whether on or off the battlefield, you will die.' Evan frowned at that answer.
'You are diseased,' his mind replied. The thought was sudden and present in his mind now. The omega paled, his mouth hanging open as his hands loosened their grip on the rifle. He was diseased? What kind of disease was he burdened with? His mind stated that he was mentally ill in the vaguest manner possible; he would never make it to see the end of the war.
Whether he wanted to believe it or not, he would die of this disease. Either riddled with bullets or shot for cowardice, he would never make it home. That's right... As a matter of fact, it was during this war that mentally ill people were killed for cowardice. How he knew this fact of the evident future evaded him.
Freezing behind the fence, Evan remained stock still as the remainder of the boys surrounding him advanced into no man's land. Time slowed down, the boys moving in slow motion past him. Even the sounds of the machine guns were delayed.
Everything he wanted to do in life, find someone who loved him, get married, start a life, have kids, grow old; all of it would never happen. This new knowledge crippled the omega.
"But why?" he asked himself. His mind simply shrugged in response. So heartless. Didn't his mind understand the value of life? Did he understand the value of life?
Panic quickly rose to his throat and he swallowed hard, repressing the urge to vomit. Feeling lightheaded and dizzy, Evan searched for a solution. Maybe, if he went back... the idea hung in his mind by a single strand, threatening to come crashing down. Creeping back over to the first wall, Evan cowered.
"No!" his breathing had picked up, his chest heaving with every sharp intake of air. Dropping the rifle in the surrounding mud, Evan felt around, as if the answer lay beside him. There had to be a solution! His vision started to blur, hot tears running down his cheeks. Finding nothing in the mud of comfort, Evan threw his head back against the wall again. His shoulders shook and his heaving chest emitted a sobbing sound through his throat. Closing his eyes, Evan felt terror climb down his throat and take up residence in his stomach.
There was a faint beeping sound off in the distance when his vision started to fade to darkness. The echoes of the beeps slowed before everything came rushing up from his stomach to his lips.
"But I don't want to die!" he screamed.
My eyes fly open as I sit up. My head is spinning thanks to how fast I sat up. Rubbing my temples, panting heavily, I can feel beads of sweat rolling down my forehead. I quickly search myself by running my hands over my face and chest. 'I'm not dead...'
Realization hits and I think clearly about what just happened. It was a dream. Heaving a sigh of relief, I lay back down on the bed. That was so strange. I've never had a dream make me feel so terrified. For the past several months I've had abnormal dreams. They're hard to explain sometimes but they've been occurring for as long as I can remember.
The darkness that engulfs me as I wake up always makes my heart race in a panicked state. There was no doubt that the dreams were a nuisance not easily dealt with. Although, tonight was more distressing than normal. I can feel an ominous presence at the back of my mind. I just assume the feelings from my dream are lingering and attempt to fall back asleep.
Tomorrow was a new day after all.