Author’s Note ;this is not a political statement on any countries politics or foreign policy. It could be set in Syria today (though certain details make that highly unlikely) or set in the future in the States where citizens are defending themselves against a draconian government’s attempt to ban guns (that was a joke), it is a statement about the general futility and brutality of war but more than that it is about grabbing the chance of beauty in an ugly world. And some of this story is brutal and futile. Be warned. The thunder rumbled down through the bedrock, dust motes and small rocks fell from the roof whenever the bombardment got closer or a particularly large munition was detonated on the mountainside. The tunnel was dim, a few battery or wind up torches lighting the black and green streaked granite; it was also cold, so very cold. The figures gathered together in groups of two and three barely acknowledging the vibrations from above trying to force them out. Every few hours one of the animal-skin clad fighters would pass out rations. The bombardment varied in intensity as the enemy tried to harry them to reveal their positions. it was a test of resolve between the opposing forces; one had the might of a world power behind them, the other the entire chain of mountains riddled with natural and not-so natural caves. The two sat beside each other in a small recess to one side of the main tunnel, chatting quietly during the lulls in the attack in case the various array of electronic mersin escort tools in the enemies’ arsenal was seeking them out. Beneath much of their clothing they all wore foil blankets in this seemingly endless battle of wits, keeping them warm and shielding their heat signatures. They had known each other since the onset of winter two months before; he knew her reputation as a good fighter and from what he had seen since it was well deserved. When they had time they would often seek each other out and talk about their past lives; they had lived a bare twenty kilometres from each other and discussed those mutual acquaintances and friends who were still alive. They never talked of the dead. Sometimes they would wonder about the point of fighting on, but they both felt to give up would be to dishonour those who had fallen before. Still, the strangers tried to rule their land. They had not agreed with many of their own leaders, but they were their own; and as far as they could tell most of the horrors perpetrated had been by the strangers trying to twist and turn or blast and burn what they did not understand. The cave shook violently as a blast landed directly above them on the mountain; a large rock dislodged from the ceiling and he grabbed his fellow warrior, rolling her further into the recess as it crashed to the uneven floor. She lay beside him, his arms wrapped tightly around her as she looked closely at the dirty face in front of her; their noses mersin escort bayan almost touching. One of the others called quietly asking if they were alright; she answered that they were fine, her eyes never leaving his. They pulled themselves up, gathering their weapons and sitting tight together side by side. The tunnel was much darker now, many of the torches smashed in the rock fall. She pulled a pouch from inside her garments, carefully opening it to extract a faded and much worn photograph, handing it to the man. In the dim light he was able to make out a wedding couple standing in the bright sunshine smiling at the crowd of children gathered around them. “My sister…” she whispered moving her mouth close to his ear, “from before the war… I don’t know if she is alive or dead…” he turned to look at her and watched as a tear slowly ran down her cheek cleaning a line on her grimy flesh. He dug into his pockets and eventually found the cleanest piece of rag. He wet the corner with his tongue and slowly, gently began to wipe the dirt from her face. Gradually her flesh was exposed and a small smile formed on her lips. When he had wiped the last of the filth from her forehead she reached up, taking the rag from his hand, and began to wipe his face clean, too. The thick stubble around his mouth proved stubborn against her ministrations but she persevered ’til, for the first time, they both looked properly at each others’ faces. He slowly leaned forward escort mersin and his dry split lips lightly touched upon hers. Her right hand dropped the rag as she moved it to his matted hair, feeling his rough beard scratch the flesh around her mouth. Her tongue flicked out to moisten his lips then pulled back as she felt his do likewise. When she moved her tongue forward once more she felt his; the tips met and slowly, tentatively slid over one another. His hand moved up under her arms to rest upon her shoulders, their lips sealed together and their tongues slipping deeper. She became aware of an eerie whine growing from further up the tunnel. The entire mountain shook as a bright white light flooded the tunnel, searing the silhouette of the side of his face through her eyelids onto her retina. She pulled him down tight to the floor, hard against the wall as the still air of the tunnel suddenly became an instant hurricane. The wind rushed past them into the fading light, now turning an angry red, as first empty cans, and then guns, and then people were dragged quicker towards the heart of the fuel-air explosive that had detonated almost at the mouth of the cave. Their lips clamped tightly together as they felt the oxygen rush away into the fiery centre as air from other entrances struggled to fill the vacuum left behind. Rocks fell and bounced up in the wake of the maelstrom, a few pounding the man’s back till the wind slowed and the chill winter air once more filled the tunnel. The red light faded to a dull glow and then almost vanished as the ceiling collapsed further up the tunnel. He raised himself of her body, quickly realising that the rest of his comrades were no more; he made to stand up when he felt her hand clasp his upper arm urgently.