A Story by Peter Rogerson

Judge for yourself if anything ir worth so much as a single life.


There she was, just as he remembered her, an angel with a smile he’d have fought aliens to spend a moment with and hair that whispered sweet nothings as she moved to walk past him.

And walk she did, though the horrible truth was she was dead. Had been for, what, several years? A decade? Dead as a dodo as the saying goes, and there she was, now, in front of him and walking like the living do, looking at him with that gorgeous smile while her hair drifted gently in the breeze and the sun shone down.

Then she spoke to him.

You shouldn’t have done it,” she said, her voice just as he remembered it, sweet, light, teasing almost, the voice of an angel.

What?” he asked. He knew what she meant, all right, and he knew that of all the things she might say under the sun, what she’d just said was so very right.

Her smile lit up, bigger and more glorious than ever. “You shouldn’t have killed me,” she said.

He shook his head.

S**t happens,” he said, “bad things, I mean. It was war and you were on the other side. My job was to kill you and yours was to kill me. We were under orders, and I got in first.”

But we were going to make love,” she whispered, “me and you on the green grass under the sun. We were going to lie together, in each other’s arms, and you were going to tell me just how much you love me, and we would touch with the lightest of fingers, each other, so gently, because of our love…”

And I did! I mean, I do!” I declared, “nobody ever loved anyone as much as I loved you! The fragrance of you, the feel of your skin against mine, our bodies merging together as one…”

And you shot me. That’s what you should never have done. I mean, why did you shoot me?”

I was under orders,” he sighed, “you can’t think that I wanted to, me with my trousers round my ankles and you gasping like you did, but the General said I must shoot everyone like you, on your side. It was my job, what they were paying me for, a soldier with a gun and an order to kill. I’m sorry. I did love you, but…”

But what?”

I was under orders,” he repeated.

She shook her pretty head. “And so was I,” she sighed, “but I chose to be myself. I chose the right to make up my own mind, and I did love you. So I let us merge together and kept my own weapons out of sight and out of mind. I just wanted us to do it together, create a bit of hope in a dark and hopeless world.”

But orders are orders,” he insisted.

I know. I’ve learned that over the years in Hell,” she said.

You’ve been in Hell?” he asked, shocked that such a perfect, glorious, gorgeous creature as this should have to spend even a moment in Hell where devils writhe in perpetual agony, scorched by eternal flames and unable to die any more than they already had, and screaming, agonised screaming, filled the air with a torment of its own.

Of course I have,” she said, sadly, “I was bearing a weapon, wasn’t I? I might not have killed you in time, but I would have killed you when our love-making was over. It was my job just as your job was to kill me. My trouble was I had a little more love in my heart than you did. I had enough love for us to consummate the feelings in our hearts, but you were impatient. You killed me too soon.”

I didn’t want to, but orders are orders,” he sighed.

And then the war was over,” she smiled, “all the dead could be buried, all the ruined buildings pulled down and rebuilt, all the shattered forests slowly replanted. I was buried, and they said it was peace at last, but I didn’t feel any peace, looking down on a scarred world from Hell, and no you by my side.”

He shook his head, and tears, big ones, started to run down his cheeks as the stupidity of what he had done became clear.

We’ll be together in Hell,” she told him, “so all is not lost.”

It is,” he said, sobbing, “it couldn’t be more lost. There’s no such place as Hell and we both know it.”

Of coures we do,” and she giggled, “so where have I been this last many years if it wasn’t in Hell?”

I don’t know. What I do know is you weren’t in my bed where I wanted you to be. You weren’t whispering your hopes and needs in my ears, the softness of your breath tickling me. I was all alone. Without the one woman I could ever love.”

Because you killed me.

I suppose I did.”

You shot me. I’m not lying about it! You put an end to me. All that was left was a decomposing body on a muddy field, slowly becoming one with the soil while you marched on to shoot other women.”

No. I shot men. Lots of them, and then the war was over.”

You did? Shoot only men?”

I vowed to myself when I saw what I’d done to you, that I wouldn’t do it to any other women.”

So sweet. That’s so very sweet.”

Then the war was over. The bombs no longer bursting around us, the guns silenced.”

She smiled sweetly at him. “And what had it all been about?” she asked, “the millions killed like I was killed? And it was millions, you know. What was the victory that cost so very much in beating hearts and grieving lovers?”

The Minister said we’d won,” he grinned, “he said the agreement was everything, that a field in the far land was now ours! Our boys could play on it any time they wanted, kick balls about, cheer themselves hoarse, and yours couldn’t because you, my lovely lady, had lost.”

And you did it. For a field, you killed me.”

You would have killed me. You said so.”

But I didn’t. Come on, let’s go to the match and watch the boys play on a field that cost so very much lin lives and grief and sorrow.” She reached out for his hand. “They say it’s a crucial match. We’ll watch it before I take you with me.”

You’re going to take me? Where? I thought I killed you.”

You did. And I’m under orders now. You’re a really nice man and I know that I loved you back then and love you now. But you’re to come to Hell with me. I’ve been told it’s time. I hope you don’t mind. It would be nice to see the watch, but orders are orders.”

Before he could answer she pulled out her gun and shot him.

Three times, just to make sure.

© Peter Rogerson 22.04.22


© 2022 Peter Rogerson

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Added on April 22, 2022
Last Updated on April 22, 2022
Tags: Weapons, war, death, destruction


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 79 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..