Sunday, 11 November 2012

Ants


‘Ants, they were butchered like ants.’
          Mad Terry had been ranting on about his disgust of the First World War and how it’s so fucking incredible for him right now to lay on the top bunk while trying to fathom how so many innocent young boys, gangs of mates, were so easily tricked, encouraged to sign up then shipped out to meet with the kind of brutal endgame that nightmares are made of. Terrified young boys blown to pieces.
         ‘You had all these stinking rich pissed-up ex-public school giant devils pouring boiling red sauce over a battlefield stew with a herb of hate sprinkled in to taste,’ continued Terry. ‘Chucking it all over the enemy but splashing our own boys into the bargain, and as I keep saying, all these kids were butchered like ants.’
         Fuck it, thought cell mate Alex, the mad one’s going right into one again. Alex was understandably disheartened. There was no way right now that Terry was going to let him maintain any casual afternoon porno imagining. Not now Mad Terry’s clearly enjoying the sound of his own voice and leaning down into the bottom bunk. Mumbling on about insect mass murder. Speaking at a hundred miles an hour and now he’s insanely ranting on about the insignificance of man and the time prevailing pastime of small boys in the street butchering insects. Especially ants.
         What the fuck is he on about? Saying how he used to do it all the time. Upsetting a discovered nest, treading on them, hitting them with fists and big rounded stones, smiling, setting fire to the nest after feeding dry grass into the exposed opening, bringing out a kettle just boiled when mummy wasn’t looking, destroy, destroy the mini kingdom, doing in the small fucking insects. Tiny cheap mass murder that never had a court case pending.
         Mad Terry pauses for breath and then explains how he has just been reading about an ant killer who went to war in 1915 when he was seventeen and his name was Will Carter. Will Carter and his close friends often killed ants and other insects when they were kids and it was the height of summer. But bad karma was at work to haunt them once the boys had partially grown up and were now just like helpless insects themselves as they got butchered in numbers in the mud while the rich gentry sat well away from the cold and the gore. Sat well away from the cold and the gore and the despicable horror while devouring the very best prepared food and drowning on the most expensive wines the world could offer. Your Country Needs YOU! What scum to make such wicked feelings of guilt upon the masses. The scum from higher circles, who seemingly had to carry the weight of the world on their tough shoulders. The privileged of society voicing how quite naturally they had to keep things in order. Nature’s choice of selection. A cool experienced head in a crisis. The top of the ladder doing their own bit for the cause and also needing to unwind during such a damn bloody horrible war! Getting pissed on wine and brandy and self importance. Preserving their own self righteous lives while irresponsibly plotting more disaster and manslaughter out on the corpse strewn battlefield. Your Country Needs YOU! TO DIE.
        Mad Terry pulled himself back onto his bunk and facing the cell ceiling then said:
       ‘The great Harry Patch had it right when he said that the politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns to settle their differences instead of murdering our young. Legalised murder he called it, legalised murder.’
        Alex had tried his best to comprehend what he was being told, pretending to nod convincingly, that he was genuinely interested in insects and war and taking all of this in. But the reality was, that as Terry continued to go on relentlessly about this battle and that battle, the young dead here and mutilation over there, back to more comparisons to insects and the tragedy of the lost forgotten dead, Alex saw his moment and grabbed it. With Terry now out of view he returned to a previous scene, his face being choked by the bald crotch of Linda Feltham, her small thighs compact so tight either side of his face ensuring Terry’s continued words of war and death were obliterated as she got on with the job, her continued ride to glory.

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