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  • Melissa

Poised for Battle



Someone’s approaching.

Inching closer to my hideout.


Reflexively, my finger hits the trigger.

I fire. And I slink back into hiding, hoping my camouflage is effective.


I’m so weary of this fight for my life.


But you don’t have to fight.


But I must fight. I am a lone soldier, and the enemies are all over. I must protect myself. I need to hide, and I need to fight.


The war has been over for a while now.

You can lay the arms down.


But I cannot let go of my defenses. I cannot part with the ammunition I hold tight to keep me safe. Especially as the figure inches yet closer; I’m in harm’s direct line.


You are fighting a battle that is long done. Isn’t it time to surrender to peace?


I fought so long and so hard. I will not raise the white flag. I will not surrender. I will not give up the fight.


There’s safety in numbers. You shouldn’t be fighting alone.


But I can never know who the enemy is. I need to watch my back. I need to watch everyone, even those who say they can be trusted.


I am not your enemy.


I lay down my sword. I lay down my arms.


I stand there, quaking inside my steel armor, hugging the bulletproof vest close.

I see a battalion in the distance. They’re zoning in on me. The figure is still there, too close for safety; too far for observation. I reach for my ammunition. But my hands hit the air.


My fingers twitch.


Something. Bring me back to safety. Where are my tools of defense?


You don’t have to hide. I’m not here to hurt you. You are reliving the war. You never relinquished your battle stance.


It might be time to drop your armor.


But no. I can’t. Once it’s off I will be exposed. And vulnerable. And my heart will be full of daggers. And I will not survive this.


But I’m on your side. I came to teach you about life without war. I want to show you an existence of peace.


I look out at the far horizon. My gaze flits to the figure, then away. I unhook my armor, if just for a minute.


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