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Pipe Sounds

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I ran nobly as a madman, boldly keeping my head low and deftly pulling the trigger whenever they shouted to me or if I was being threatened. Man is low or something evil-veined in concern. Teemingly unanswered days juxtaposed merely another night. Is zoo endless taunt beyond every grave or vehemence in chaos? I hated these. I really hated these. They were the reason why I was here. Here was hell because the air was humid by blood. The massive decay depriving our souls from the cacophony of decomposition was constant. Mostly, I didn’t think. Rain and mud, shrieks and shells, mutilation and death. Everyday life they were.


One day we crawled in the dirt and among the carcasses around the old sewer or catacombs or whatever it was. We learned that the complex was shut close, to not enjoy any surprises of a pre-emptive attack from behind (if we were to expand, that was). The barrage and cannonade were more eerie and louder than ever, and our ground shook and began to crack. Zlatko and I fell down into darkness. By the smell of it we were in the sewer we had heard so much about during the previous days. The trembling of the world made our route in fall apart into a blockade. Rocks were falling and we were trapped. Moments later I realized that I was trapped. My friend had made an acquaintance with one of the sharper stones. It was the last acquaintance that he’d ever make. I was now all alone and trapped inside a dark and smelly sewer.


The pulsating heartbeat. It was constant. The crescendo was no imagination. I con-centrated on my own pulse and intense heartbeat. I tried to calm it down as I had nothing to fear. This was just a dead sewer. Nothing of remarkable size lived here, maybe except for rodents. My god, the rodents! They could give me illness, a disease. As before, I thought that I ought not to think, as thought is the ruiner of the mind. Do not think. Do not think! Time was lost down here in the darkness. I lost my senses of it, anyway. I don’t know how long it actually took for me to get over the first fear. I do know one thing, though; I was hungry. Very hungry. Not until the sound of the heart’s pulsation had vanished into sensibility, the sound of a famished belly was invading me. How to overcome something like this? I had lost my rations a long time ago, and now I had nothing. Not even the tranquillity, which I often had on my green plains when my age was youthful. Not even the miserable tranquillity! All I heard was my own stomach. There was nothing around me. Nothing I did see or feel, that is. To drink water down in here had to be like pulling the trigger of my gun towards my head, only that the latter part was even more tasteful and humane compared to the first. The thought had struck my head several times the preceeding hours (or days for what I knew). Use the gun. Use the gun. Use the gun! I finally made up my mind just to pretend the act, but when I grabbed for my weapon, there was none to be retrieved. And my dead pal was way too inaccesible down under those rocks to be any lending neighbour. My body still functioned reasonably well, even though it lacked from dehydration. My brain still obeyed me, even though it was surely not the same it was when it first entered this hell hole. My legs began to move further into the darkness, away from the slim ray of light that had taken care of me from above. I had no more voice, I had screamed too much and too long through the ray of light. With no result. It was so disappointing, in fact, that I would barely mention it.


My fingers got sore because of the unfriendly wall I hugged against for so long. I hated the wall at the same time as I loved it. It was my guide. It took care of me. It prevented me from getting lost, but at the same time it led me deeper into this rotten stinking hell. It was treacherous as the beautiful and poisonous flowers. Alas, I had no other choice. When the tunnel split up, I followed the path where the air was the least grim. At some point, in my blind madness, I drank some water condensing on the sleeky walls. Good god, what a taste! Still, somehow, I felt better afterwards. Every once in a while, a green dim of mist appeared in the tunnels. I never understood where the light source came from. After a lengthy reflection, I concluded with the fact that this green mist was gas of some kind. I was split in the belief if it was poisonous or not. I was no longer afraid, I was tired. I was no longer hungry, I was dull of senses, except for one sense; my hearing. I could listen to the silence. I could sleep myself into the silence, the tranquillity, and be happy. Just for a short period of time. I never slept for a long time (it surely didn’t feel like it). My luck. My sole joy was to listen to the silence, where the nervous heartbeat and menacing belly sounds were not apparent. My luck, I said. I have no luck. My joy was to be ruined. I don’t know when first it occurred to me, but when it first came apparent to my ears, it never let go again. It was a clanking noise. A bashing sound, somewhere in the distance. It didn’t have a proper rhythm. That annoyed me. I never like unrhythmic things, like I don’t like most humans. This had to be a human, then! It sounded like a human bashing with something blunt against a pipe of some kind. A fatigued attempt, I listened. But it was still alive. Still alive!


Now this may sound like a new delight replacing the old one, but let me explain. At first, this was true. I stumbled faster than ever against the tough walls, with hope filled in my guts. But as the invisible time went by, I grew tired again. I never reached the source of this noise. And this noise started to get annoying. Really annoying. I sat down to cry again, and to relax and enjoy the silence like I had done many times before. Only I couldn’t. That noise! It ruined my inner harmony. I tried to rip bricks off the wall, but I was too weak. I was even too weak to cry, to make pathetic sounds. I was beyond pathetic. At one point I imagined myself as a kamikaze, with only one mission to die for. My mission was to kill the noise, and die trying. What I had once loved, I now despised. Obsessed, I crawled on the wet and dirty floor. I now wished that I had never cursed the rodents. I wouldn’t mind to get a disease, just if I could taste meat again! Flesh! Even rare meat would be delicatessen now. Even human flesh.


In one way or another, what I fundamentally feared would come true. Around a corner, while crawling, I stumbled upon a corpse. It was fairly well illuminated by the green mist. I couldn’t tell if it once had been a man or a woman, I really couldn’t care less. It had entered the early stages of decomposition. The skin was light blue; the eyes were a doll’s eyes (they were wide open, staring out at me), and the stench, the foul stench, killed all my smelling senses after a while. You would see your worst apparition; I would just see my worst meal. Why wouldn’t I just die, instead of doing such a horrible act? Do you remember the kamikaze pilot? The Americans were always there for them to die for, as was the eternal noise to me. It was my assignment here in life; I had to kill the noise! But first, the last supper.


I found that the corpse wore a knife. Luck is evil. It benefits acts of evil. Like now. Dismembering the corpse was not bad at all; my nostrils didn’t function, nor did my sight (very well, at least). I took my time. I always had enough of time down here. I had never been a cook, so I just ate. I ate like a pig. Rare meat. Cold and rough. At some point I considered sharpening my teeth to better cleave into the flesh, but I forgot as my gluttony did overcome me. Vomit made an excellent sauce to the dry flesh, I didn’t know at first, but when I finally realized it after some menus, I liked it. My belly was full again. I hadn’t felt like this in several ages. I could survive on my own. And no one was my match. I was king down here. Ready for departure, with rations of human flesh in my pouches, I stood there, cheerfully like a child before a vacation. The voice had grown louder and louder as I had approached the corpse, and in my newly formed physical shape, I knew better than ever that I was close, very close.


Wandering around with fresh energy, I went around corner after corner hoping to find the source. I had brought the knife. I didn’t know exactly what to do; I would just make it stop. The noise. Louder. I found some pipes alongside a wall, some going high, and some going low. I put my head and ear on the pipe near the floor. Yes, it was this pipe that was battered on. I felt an anxiety inside me that I hadn’t felt in ages. I was finally near the end of my glorious quest for peace and justice. I was to behave like the royal kamikaze knight I really was; handsome, polite and lethal, with no scruples. I knew that this was the final corner. The green mist was especially strong here. I knew it. Like the fly knows when its life is over, when it’s caught in an arachnid web. I pulled up my sword and took a long breather. It was now or never. Death and glory! I roamed around the corner, shrieking with the last of my voice.

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