The Lights Will Guide You Home


Cold rain, as stiff as the bullets they loaded carefully into their guns, pounded down on their shoulders. Hunched and broken, they just allowed it, almost welcomed it, for it meant they still felt something, anything. Most of their eyes were closed, and they just breathed in, out, endlessly, mindlessly. One couldn't be sure what they were thinking about, or if they were at all. Maybe it was of families back home - babies, and wives. Maybe it was of things they'd left behind - businesses, farms, homes. Maybe what clouded their minds tonight was of the battles they'd fought thus far, and the ones still to come. Or if they'd make it back to those left behind at all.

On the outskirts of the cluster of men, two hunched figures slumped closer together. The smaller of the two nestled into the shoulder of the other, gripping his gun close to his thin frame, mouth taught in a nightmarish sleep. The elder watched as the rain melted down from his companion's hair, slid effortlessly over his furrowed brows and softened into his eyelashes, his lips.

Tonight, he couldn't sleep. Wasn't brave enough to face the nightmares like the man sleeping next to him. He had his knees pulled up tight, trying to create a kind of safety from the dark around him, but it didn't seem to work. He was chilled through to the bone with still more downpour seeping into his skin. His fingers trembled a little, bottom lip quivered, and he tore his gaze off the young man's face, blinked away the stray tears.

Through the thick charcoal clouds above their heads, you could just make out the flickering beings of scattered stars. They bobbed softly through the stream of rain, shined down on the wounded men below them in a kind of muted obscenity. Almost as if they were mocking the prideful men down below. Something stabbed at the back of his head and he tried to shake the stars away.

Once upon a time, the stars had signified hope to him. And the boy next to him had been their embodiment. They were lights - and lights belonged to him. He was light. So Seunghyun shook the spiteful thoughts from his head and dropped his forehead to meet the tops of his knees. His eyes drifted in and out of wanting to close, fighting with his head that most certainly told them they couldn't.

Jiyong stirred next to him, a sharp breath pulled into his lungs. And Seunghyun guessed that a bomb had erupted inside his dreamworld. The bombs were the worst for the sleeping man, Seunghyun knew. He trailed a gentle hand across his cheek, 'shhing' him ever so softly so as not to wake him up. Just wanting him to understand that it would be alright. But he wasn't so certain he believed it himself. Jiyong's expression softened under his touch, and he let out a sigh, melting back into Seunghyun's sturdy frame.

Dream about colors, he urged in his mind, sighing softly to himself now.

The rain continued to fall over the figures of the broken around him. And another night would endlessly carry on.