The time is 13:05.
The day is Monday.
Break is over.
We are back in it now. We are told to sit.
Everyone, except Schneider.
Earlier, during recess, he pushed me.
No one of importance noticed, of course.
None of the higher-ups, just the same low-lives as me and him. That bastard gets away with it every time.
Today has been a long day. I’m out for blood.
You don’t have the day I’ve had, and then put up with the assholes like Schneider… Duke, my older brother, started in the mess hall this morning. He ate my breakfast. I made it through the endless rows of old rotted shit, and got in early. He strolls in late. Tells the Major that there’s something wrong in the latrine. She goes to investigate.
He throws pots and pans on the floor.
He takes my food; MY. FOOD.
He eats two bites, and spits in the bowl. He dumps the rest into my lap.
He runs to the latrine, and tells Mo- the major, that I’ve done it again. Well, I haven’t done it again.
I knew do it.
I start throwing my pack together. I hear the Major’s heels clicking through the living room. There’s no time- whatever is in my hands gets thrown in as well. I desert the mess hall to meet the van.
The Major is screaming. I can hear her. I am trying my best to pretend I really am far away, like in Iraq with the rest of the troops.
I see the van. I am a civilian once more.
My brother is making faces from the window. I see the red and blue lights of Special Forces flashing in the distance. My brother is gone. I hope they’ve finally taken him away.
It’s during break that I notice the knife covered in butter in my backpack. I must have thrown it in this morning by mistake. Having it here makes me feel stronger, like I am on the battle field.
Tough, and invisible- if I am lucky.
I’m never that lucky.
Now I am though; now, I am lieutenant Aiden of the U.S. Army. I am a solider. I am stronger than Schneider, who is still standing even after the rest of us are sitting. Captain Merewead has given us an order. We are all sitting. Except Schneider.
He is breaking command.
He is walking toward me.
My backpa- supply pack is underfoot. I’m prepared to reach, and retaliate if he steps out of line.
He heads to the back of the meeting room. He is pretending to get the supplies for our next assignment. He is walking toward me. He has tar and feathers. He is going to disgrace me in front of our unit.
He’s covered in red.
There’s jam spilling on the floor.
There are sirens in the distance.
The enemy is coming.
Where are the rest of the troops?
The time is 13:05.