Kahlo, Anubis, and The Soldier Who Lay…
by Mami Watu
The sound of dogs barking let the soldier know she was still alive. What was it that her GeeGee had told her, about dogs being messengers? Heat, blood, shrapnel. Body parts littered about, none matching. Two, different-sized left legs with boots blown off, lay beside a head and torso. There were small piles of brains and entrails, as if someone had been tidying up.
“Yes,” a calming voice spoke beside her. “Think of dogs. Better yet, think of Anubis, the jackal. He’s waiting patiently, to guide you on your journey.” Her voice made a sound of protest, deep in her throat. Pushing past the blood she was swallowing, it sounded like a chortle. She turned her head stiffly in the direction of the voice. Kahlo was perched there. Limbs akimbo, stretched in all four directions. “You’re late,” the soldier managed, then turned away. Kahlo was glad she had averted her eyes, rather her eye – as, half of the girl’s face had been blown away.
Seven hundred and eighty-one steps and still Kahlo folded inwards at the remnants of the simple small brutalities the creatures of this blue planet practiced. Small, compared to some of the worlds-wide complex casualties that Kahlo had been called to step to. “If they only knew what awaited them, Kahlo mused. They would forego inflicting such pain on one another. They would treasure every breath, as well as all that breathes.”
“Beginning with their own breathing planet,” another voice growled. Both Kahlo and the Soldier-Who-Lay-Dying turned toward the new voice. “You’re early, she spat. And I didn’t call you. I called Kahlo.”
Anubis nodded in acknowledgement. “True. But Kahlo has such lofty ambitions. Inter-galactic peace. Sentient-evolution. Whereas, I’m here to ferry you from point A to point B; to help you navigate dark waters.” The girl interrupted, “But you’re also a messenger. What’s your message?” Anubis closed his eyes, and lifted his nose to the wind. “Your GeeGee says, to pack light…” Kahlo shook like one of the red maple trees the soldier remembered from home. “Anubis, you never disappoint.”
“But I called for you, Kahlo,” the soldier insisted. “And, I Am here.” Kahlo answered. Allowing these words to roll across the killing field. The words unfolded into the hearts of those who lay, still clinging to life; into the departing souls of those already cold dead; and deep into this thirsty earth, which would rather have rain instead of this ceaseless river of human blood.
“You see?, Anubis smiled his jackal smile. Lofty…” The soldier heard the far-off sound of maple leaves rustling. “Rest easy, Evolving One. Anubis will see you safely to the Other Side, where your journey continues. I will do what I can here, until I am called to step again.” Kahlo’s senses swept across the field, forming a private prayer of hope, that the time to be spent here in the shadow of war, would be fleeting.
Anubis ducked his head toward Kahlo, “Thanks for the vote of confidence.” He gathered up the Soldier-Who-Now-Lay-Dead. He stood upright and began walking with her towards the horizon, where his barge awaited. “May Peace Be With You,” Kahlo whispered and turned to continue the work at hand.