The elite army unit cautiously entered the ruined town
after days of bombardment
followed by small arms fire being wary of snipers
now had to try and make it safe
also with the risk of hidden bombs trod carefully
and ever-present insurgency!
From the moment they were in the destruction sector
tension overwhelmed them
from windows and doorways there they all stood
staring but when approached
these scarecrow like images were never there
of anything living was bare!
Each step further within the centre was a torment
feeling enclosed with death
acrid smoke replaced the air in their choking lungs
getting harder to breathe
stumbling on seeing the dark scarecrows waiting
as if the soldiers baiting!
From the corner of their eyes shapes made them turn
and fire erratically at nothing
they longed for this ground search to be concluded
as the emotions were unfamiliar
deep thoughts ravaged their minds making them pound
no rest here would be found!
This fear not only for the dead but the restless souls
as if all those who they had killed
were back to claim their lives sending them to purgatory
they had split into two groups
reunited in the square satisfied all was clear until a thud
then saw the patch of blood!
Diving for cover for one too late passed through his heart
even more figures congregated
the sniper spotted by a small piece of falling masonry
quickly taken out now had to leave
retreating along the same route without more men lost
knowing a line was crossed!
Every step being pursued by the scarecrow phantoms
even at the retrieval point
now ringed into a tight formation back to back stood
as more surrounded them
thinking they were doomed heard the chopper drone
to rescue them from the unknown!
The dust swirled as it descended then touched down
scrambling towards their escape
survivors and dead mate fatigued ran at the shapes
evaporating as they charged through
left traumatized reached the craft and jumped on
from here had to be gone!
Rising up high saw the scarecrows massing staring up
relief made the tears fall
cheering loudly had safely left the horror far behind
it was short lived as by the door
from nowhere arose what taunted them on the ground
even in the air the soldiers found!
Back at headquarters realised the mission a failure!
The Foureyed Poet.