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  • Gabriel Gonzalez

Roses on a Hill

Back in the day, some may have jokingly called me narcissistic or vain, such disgusting words. Regardless, I didn’t care—I was beautiful. And I was happy, for ultimately they were just jokes among friends. But then one day, on this very hill in which I had bloomed, they arrived. First, I heard them, the marching of soldiers, which boomed louder than the thunder of that night’s storm.

From the north, the kingdom’s army. From the south, the rebels. Any more details are unknown to me, it was impossible to hear anything other than “Traitors!” and “Damned dogs of the state,” over the explosions of cannons firing, the clash of swords, the exclamations of dying men, and the thunder’s boom. Were the rebels fighting against an unjust tyrant? Was the kingdom protecting itself from acts of terrorism? I know not. I care not. For it was both sides that trampled my friends, that snapped their necks, burned them to ash, as nothing more than mere collateral. And I could do nothing but stand and watch. A soldier fell near me, and I was sprayed with his blood, as his slayer took a step over the corpse of my friend.

A lightning bolt took that man’s life.

After hours and hours, the gruesome battle came to an end. Who won? I do not know. I do not care. For those of us who remained, and the hill we called our home, were now stained red, a permanent reminder of man’s vanity.


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