*Trigger warning as this material deals intimately with school shootings. It is not as a means of disrespect or belittling. School shootings are horrid and far too frequent.
Dressed in a green camouflage and dark boots he stepped into puddles like mortar shells being fired into the ocean. An unjustified, misdirected rifle is slung over his shoulder. The rain stings and is unforgiving against the flat of his neck. It stings his eyes in the contrast of the sunrise. He reaches his post, whistling “We don’t need no education” and unperturbedly silences the screams of an angry flame at the end of mistaken power. He sees the reflection of a god with his mighty trident when he stares at the mirror. He will be remembered, this is his legend. Children scream, teachers hiding students in gymnasiums, closets, corners are murdered for their loyalty. Afterwards the memorials are meticulous and frequent; an event to bring people together; people entirely unrelated, people from hundreds of miles away. If it wasn’t for the grim, sordid looks on the faces of the mothers and fathers you’d think it was a celebration or a grand festivity. In time they dwindle. In time the families of the deceased aren’t asked to meet with the righteous TV show hosts pretending to sympathize. In time even their closest relatives avoid them in a fear that they may remind or reinstate the pain the soldier had given. The fame from their misfortune follows a long downward spiral and all that remains is the legend of the mighty, dreadful soldier trudging through the red mud.