It’s cold but not frozen cold. It’s the kind of bitter cold that comes with early spring rain. Where you’re sopping wet and you can see your breath and your feet feel like old paperbacks left in a flooded basement.
I’ve found a little outcropping to sit under and it keeps my paper and charcoal pencils dry enough. Sitting in on a ledge half way down a kilometer deep slot canyon, with fifty meter tall Lhadat pines lining the rim, I’m in love. The object of my affection is not more than twenty meters from me, looming out of the blue and red print plastered upon the far wall of the canyon.
“Forward towards a sisterhood of all!”
Kheneyelda Yetelk, even her worst enemies said she was beautiful. To her closest friends she was a leader and a visionary. I, however, only knew her as a poster, as a voice radiating out of the tube wireless in the Lonun street trade union hall, as a man in a jail cell, her words coming out of a mouth of a political prisoner. As an idea. Passion. And for that passion I fell in love.
She believed in us when no one did, when even we didn't. Told us to either accept our fate or change it but never to be helpless victims as we had been so accustomed. To either accept cowardice and forever be taken advantage of, or to be brave and take the risk for a better future.
She was mad, completely mad, and we were mad for believing in her. The majority like things the way things are, like an old moldy sweater. It may not keep them warm, and it may not have a pleasant aroma, but it's familiar and familiarity holds fast regardless. Who was Kheneyelda to challenge that?
But all things considered I sincerely doubt anyone who served this revolution, even if it is was a little dream, regrets their decision. I know I don’t. We would rather follow a mad chance at life than keep doing as we had.
The shelling has started, and shells are falling wide. The 6th Regiment Regal Artillery are lining up their shots, but it should take them a little while before even they can lob their shells down these narrow canyons.
The soldiers around me know what is coming. We lost this war eight months ago. A round faced captain with freckles across the bridge of her nose reads a short prayer to Koum aloud to the women and men under her command. They bow their heads and pick up their rifles and take to the defensive positions.
Kheneyelda will finally die. She was killed in the chaos following our Popular Front’s routing from the city of Oomoh, yes, but she will finally die in these forested canyons.
I love you Kheneyelda. If we ever meet I’m buying you a drink.
Over the top.
T. K. Omon