A quick glance has shown me that the United States has participated in nearly one hundred wars.
That seems like a lot, considering how young this nation really is.
In estimate, the United States has lost over 1.3 million people to war.
Those are just the deaths that were recorded.
Imagine the silent wars. The wars that do not get press. Wars that do not cross borders.
Wars that are only fought by one person, against no one.
What are the casualty rates of those wars?
I had heard the complaints coming through for the last week or so. Smells and noises, screaming.
When I reached the brownstone the mail was piled on the stairs. Smoke bellowed from the windows. The taste of iron was in the air.
The mail on the stoop didn’t have any postage marks or stamps. It came from inside.
I don’t know what’s happening. I see shadows through the blinds.
Someone is watching me. I see him across the street. He’s there all night, smoking, watching me.
I’m afraid to go outside.
There were deep scratches on the outside of the door.
Where the windows were broken I could see furniture piled high, on fire.
They’re trying to get in.
I can hear them outside. Scratching at the door.
They yell at me. I try to block them out with singing.
Will you come save me?
The ink was shaky, the words large and written in a hurry.
I was able to gain entry easily.
The door was unlocked.
I found him in the corner of the front room. The only light coming from the broken and burning furniture.
He was hunched, low to the ground, muscles bulging and taut. He was surrounded by papers. More letters.
I could feel something appearing behind me. Three looming shadows.
They pushed me out of the way and grabbed the man.
They were cloaked in heavy winter coats and their faces were covered by scarves.
They dragged him out the door. A hand covered his mouth to keep him from screaming. His fists flew out, trying to get free.
My sun, my life, my everything.
I can’t do this anymore. I can’t keep them away.
They are going to get me. I know it. I’m giving up.
I love you.
They dragged him across the street and into a van.
The street fell quiet.
There were no witnesses.
I looked through the house.
Everything had been destroyed, torn apart. A war zone.
I read through all the letters, trying to piece together what was happening to his mind. I watched him fall apart through his words. His grasp on reality becoming weaker and weaker.
The only thing that remained the same was who the letters were written to.
Some of them read like old Civil War letters. Drawn out with flowery language.
The last letter was only four simple words, followed by three dots.
The war is lost …