Occasionally, I’ll write short stories. This is a completed one.
Private Gully sat alone in his temporal bunk, Dark Matter Rifle loaded on his lap. Outside the quiet of his room, the entire universe was at war with the remainder of the cosmos, but in his bunk all was quiet.
No sounds. No fire. No orders. Just Private Gully and his clattering knees.
“Ya’ got no gut,” his pa once told him. “Nothin’ about ya’.”
That last part always confused Private Gully. ‘Nothin’ about ya’?’ It didnt have a proper subject and there was barely a predicate if you squinted at it.
“Shut up, nerd,” Gully whispered to himself. “Stuff like that is what got you whupped back home.”
He reached under his bunk to grab an oil rag from his duffel bag. He furiously polished his rifle, putting what strength he could to make it shine so bright they could see it on the other side of space, and did his best to stop thinking about his school days. They weren’t exactly fond times for Private Gully, who spent the entirety of his early childhood buried in a book when he wasn’t buried under the sole of some mouth-breathing dummy’s boot.
“Look at me now,” he said again to his empty living quarters, barely bigger than a normal person’s closet. “Now I’m no better than one of them.”
Once his father died of plasmatic cancer, there was no one left to pay the bills for his ma or three little sisters back home. So, Regular Gully took up arms in the War to End All Wars, and was now known as Private Gully.
“ATTENTION! All Privates be prepared to mobilized on the cosmic highway in t-minus 50 terra-seconds,” a voice boomed over the intercom. Wireless orders could be delivered anywhere in the timestream, so no matter when you were, you never missed your marching direction.
Private Gully dropped his rag and stood as straight as his scientifically-measured and nourished body could. Enough calories were fed intravenously to his arm to help him move and fight, but at this point in the war whole galaxies were being detonated like bombs and smaller planets had been recategorized as “bullets,” so all Private Gully could hope for was being a proper waste of the other sides’ ammo.
“Well,” he began, taking a breath to savor the last words he’d ever mutter in a space with air, “here we go.”
He flipped a small light on the back of his neck. A phosphorous holo-screen appeared in front of his face. In the upper right corner a countdown had started. 0:00:32 seconds remained until what they called Full Disconnect. Once it reached 0:00:00, he would eject from his temporal bunk and be unplugged from this point in the timestream. Maybe he’d be blasted 10 years into the future where the war was still new or perhaps a thousand years in the future, where suns were used as grenades and ma and Suzie and Mallory and Jen were nothing but blasted atoms long ago in the past.
0:00:10 seconds remained. Everything that Private Gully is or was would be erased from existence. His family would receive recompense from The Bank for a loved one lost during the war. This would set everyone up for the next 20 or so years. It was worth it, he had said upon enlisting.
0:00:03 seconds left.
“It’s time,” he said.
The doors of his bunk opened as he ejected into the timestream.
“Ain’t nothin’ about me,” he whispered.
Thanks for reading,