For the Lost

It made sense for them to live together, scarred as they were, victims of terror carried out in the name of someone else’s idea of God. The nights were full of fevered dreams and sleepless reflections on faces that were slipping away with each hour. Haunting loss and a sense that the future owed them for the past: this bound them together and informed their waking lives.

At sunrise, Viktor walked out of his room, restless and exhausted as usual, determined to make a plan. There simply had to be a way to find the men who killed his family. He felt they had survived the war because of all of the despicable acts they’d gotten away with. Why shouldn’t they have made it home to now live a comfortable, guilt-free existence?

He made his way to the patio and smoked, thinking all the while about the fact that justice was a tenuous concept after all he’d seen. It lacked meaning without people willing to act decisively and mercilessly in service of the necessity, the urgency he felt: not retribution, but the restoration of balance to life. The dead deserved that much. Memorials would not suffice-not for his family, nor for the thousands of other families brutalized and wiped from the earth.

Tomorrow he would begin. There would be many others willing to take action as it was clear that there was no comfort in sleep or endless reflection. The coming weeks would make life bearable, if only for a while.

© 2021 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

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