Locusts

We were like locusts. Burning pilfering and raping.
We said it was the law of war, that it was merely tactics.
We implemented scorched-earth policies to rule.

“They would do the same to us.”
“We followed orders.”

Yet at night I see myself; reflected in the eyes of dying mothers, in the pools of blood. I hear the screams of toddlers.

I cannot wash the scent of burning corpses from my dreams. and stolen bread tastes like ash.

But when we meet, we share a drink, we brag of being heroes; we make-believe ourselves.

And still we are their locusts.

© Shaktiki Sharma

I know it’s not locust, but still I felt a bit like being transformed to something like that. It bugs me that I can even write something this in first perspective. I just hope that I would rather be shot at dawn for disobeying than to follow orders in any war like this.

Rochelle selects the picture and we write a story in 100 words to the same image at Friday Fictioneers. If you have time to read my interview with Sarah Potter and story at Sarah Potter’s blog you can learn a bit more about me.



March 9, 2017

62 responses to “Locusts

  1. “…we make-believe ourselves.” I wonder how many are forced to say that to help others deal with what they’ve done. I say “to help others” because I doubt that any sort of fantasy can help the guilty–the ones who truly feel remorse–deal with such memories.

    Powerful.

  2. This was brilliant! And I am sure there are thousands of soldiers who feel the same – And, if they had more courage, would not follow orders…

  3. Hey there Bjorn! I found your blog today, and I’m nominating you for That’s So Jacob’s March Blog Madness! It’s simple: find five interesting blogs today, copy and paste this comment to theirs, and give them a follow! Have a great day and if you’re so inclined, kindly come visit me over at http://www.thatssojacob.wordpress.com. Have fun spreading the blog love this month!

  4. Hey there! I found your blog today, and I’m nominating you for That’s So Jacob’s March Blog Madness! It’s simple: find five interesting blogs today, copy and paste this comment to theirs, and give them a follow! Have a great day and if you’re so inclined, kindly come visit me over at http://www.thatssojacob.wordpress.com. Have fun spreading the blog love this month!

  5. This is powerfully done.
    I think using the first person makes it more powerful because then it’s in his nightmares, all that happened; first person has the advantage of making the reader feel something more.
    And, hopefully, as writers, our fiction does not make a commentary on who we are within, but what we observe and/or imagine.

  6. Locusts, what a powerful metaphor, yes. You capture the inner and outer horror so well; I can see what you mean about it being hard to write this in the first person. Brilliant arc on it too, to get to the reminiscing and pretending and then back down again. Excellent.

  7. It is as if they have brainwashed themselves into believing they’re superheroes, fighting some mighty cause for ultimate good, whatever the fallout meanwhile. It’s sick. It’s evil. And, like you, I would rather die than obey such evil orders. Your story is very well written, but deeply disturbing.

  8. War….this is a realistic take on what we tell ourselves about heroism, glory, victory. It is just a pile of dead bodies, and the living? Well, you covered it.
    Locust. Anyone who is a farmer out mid west knows this plague. Picking the locust as focal point gets to the ‘meat’ of the matter. Good piece, Bjorn.

  9. Sadly, Bjorn, too many people have used your line; “just following orders”, as the body count mounts up, with each passing day.

  10. Outstanding piece, Bjorn. I’ve come accustomed to that from you over the years. The first person POV made it extremely powerful.

  11. Aren’t all wars like that? Even fighting for a good cause is getting innocents killed. Brilliant story, Björn, powerful, emotional and thoughtful.

  12. This is a classic of the type Bjorn. Spot on people do horrific things in war, under orders or not, these things may come to haunt them and often they try to counteract it by inventing another truth. I’m sure they have to to alleviate the trauma.

  13. And still thousands continue to just follow orders. And I wonder would I have been any different ! With age one learns that there are so many better causes

  14. I will die along side you, with many other good people who feel the same way. Powerful, haunting piece, Björn. I will NEVER understand the logic of those who would argue this….

  15. Hi I am a new blogger and it would be awesome if you guys checked out my blog I am a motivational writer and I admire bloggers that know how to be real and inspiring. Great ideas!!!

I try to reciprocate all comments. If you want me to visit a particular post, please direct me directly to that post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s