July 23, 2017 by Patrick Starks
The world… It’s quite magical when you think about it, if you stand still, just for a moment, you can see just how lively and peaceful it can be. Ferra use to believe the same, but after she went off to serve in the war, everything changed. She was different, not just personality wise, but with people. She always adored meeting new people and more so roses, but what she experienced changed all of that.
Ferra also adored the kids, she loved them, but even with them she had a hard time expressing her emotions. But the children didn’t care, neither could they tell the difference—one was only four and the other seven—they were just happy to see that their mother was back home.
Before Ferra got back I spoke with my grandfather about her. She and I had a few arguments over the phone and I could just tell she wasn’t herself. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not naive, I understand that war is something no one should have to endure, but if someone had to do it, it had to be someone with a big heart—my wonder woman, my queen, my wife. When I spoke with my grandfather about her new persona, he shook his head and headed towards the kitchen—I’d instantly follow in his lead. He grabbed two beers from the old refrigerator grandma use to give Yahoos from. As he cracked open a can and kicked his feet back, he stared at me. He was hesitant to speak, but knew he should. ‘That woman is still fighting you know, she is still fighting the war’, he said. I was confused, the war had been over for quite some time, at least that was what I believed. Now that I think about it, I don’t think Ferra’s stepped on the battlefield in years, let alone hold a gun since then. ‘Sometimes what you see, you just never forget’ he said. As he told me this he glared over at the old war photos he’d kept since his serving—I could see the goosebumps form up his forearms.
I questioned what he meant for that I had no clue to what he was talking about. He then begin speaking as if he was reading from the bible—speaking of angels and demons. He told me what I see in the world today or at least America is only a fantasy, and that I had no clue to what was truly happening to the world, happening to us. Days after our talk, there I sat beside Ferra on the couch. We were watching our favorite show Game of Thrones. Ferra always had a thing for John Snow and at time’s I’d roll play as him for her. She’d always say to me ‘You know nothing John Snow’—yeah we are an odd couple. Ferra was of course beautiful as always, but when I looked in her eyes I became lost, I saw nothing but an empty space. I probably shouldn’t have asked her, but I felt it was my duty as a husband to make sure that my wife was ok, what good husband wouldn’t. Even though she was like a superhero in my children and I eyes, it’s no secret that even heroes still need saving sometimes.
I turned to her and asked how the war was, pretty stupid question—it sounded like I was asking her how her vacation was, which war was nothing remotely close to a vacation. She looked at me annoyed and stormed off into the kitchen. I ran after her and hugged her from behind, held her tightly, but she just cried—the hardest I’ve ever seen her do. I cried a little as well, but kept my composure. I knew I had to be strong for her, it was the least I could do for her fighting for the country, fighting for us. At times I’d feel like a loser, I’d felt responsible. I know what people said about me, even if it wasn’t direct. But I know it should’ve been me, yet Ferra never brought any guilt or shame to my attention. As much as she was my hero, I was surprisingly hers.
Once all emotions had been expressed, she told me. What she said sounded exactly what my grandfather told me—of demons and angels. She said it was horrific, that not even the children you could trust. She told me that one of them was only two years older than our oldest, and how she had to gun them down. I’d thought to myself what a horrible thing for anyone to have to endure—a mother, a wife, my wife. She then told me that her unit found ancient writings that not even the locals themselves could decode. At this point everything felt like a horror film, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hear more.
‘Mom, mommy!’, our little one yelled. ‘Yes sweetie, what is it?’ Ferra replied. ‘Can I watch one more show before bed?’ the little one asked. Ferra nodded in approval as she wiped away the little tears she had remaining. I on the other hand thought of our little girl, thought about what her mother had to do. I would’ve asked her if she was alright, but I already knew that would be stupid to ask. But I was still curious, I asked her more about the ancient writings, but was aware not to press on any further for her emotions sake. She said that the locals called it demon writing and that they said to never go to the “Red Cabin”. I was thrown off a little, it sounded like some sort of resort or get away, but I was wrong. She said that a few locals went there before, but later were determined missing. As the days went on, body parts of the missing unit were discovered, and not far from the location of Red Cabin. Ferra told me she went with her unit one night to the same location, to discover the unknown mystery—to see if they could destroy whatever it was causing harm. I immediately thought to myself; why the hell would anyone do such a such a thing, it’s suicide, and out of all times, at night. As much as I wanted to lash out at her and say how irresponsible that was, that she could’ve been killed—I remained silent and listened.
In her words, when their unit arrived the stench was unbearable. She said the aura of death was all that floated the air. As she was speaking she paused mid-sentence. ‘Babe, Ferra, are you alright, we can stop you know, we don’t have to continue. Besides, I think you’ve told me plenty—more than you should have to bare’. Ferra shook her head and insisted that she continue, she felt I should know, know why she had been silent since her homecoming.
What she told me next, made me wonder how she was even in front of me. But before she said anything, she handed me an object. The object was nothing like I’ve seen before, but I would later find out that this object was possibly what brought my wife back home, and why she was still scared, why she was still fighting a war.