Dronstad – Going to school

Lily ate a couple pieces of French toasts. Asus monitor was illuminating the hallway where we cuffed equipment for our clothing. I’ve picked up supplies, first aid kit and placed backpack on shoulders, while Lily packed books in her bag and checked functionality of a gas mask. A couple of grenade which I have managed to take in the last mass raid I gave to my little sister to keep them safe for me. Theodor, our stepdad, picked up his tools to enable cargo elevator which we used. We’ve demolished the stairs so that no one could climb up without our knowledge. We have entered in the spacey elevator which was modified into machineguns nest. Couple of sand bags, a little bit of metal and that was it. Lily has taken her place at my left as the assistant gunner and adhered kept the belt close which was feeding the Browning.[1] For a few seconds, how long it took for Theodor to enable the elevator, our descending began. I watched straight through the crosshair and hoped that I’ll find nobody on the other side. Lily appeared frightened, as always when we were coming in the lobby. Squealing of wheels and breaks was enormous. With a great speed, the passage opened in front of us with two lines of cubical pillars which were holding the floor. A dull metal sound of a can ranged further away from us. It is possible that we have received some inhabitants over night. Since I started dealing with the ammunition smuggling, it wasn’t a surprise to occasionally get enemy or two. After the elevator stopped with a bang, it became very silent. Dust was in the air. Rays were falling under the inclination and lighted the smear gray spot under which I saw military boots footprint and a clean region around its ends. Someone was probably sleeping there. It was silent as in a grave, and in addition to the broken windows, there was not any whiff of wind. I was hoping to smell someone, since the city under siege had long water shortages, the stench was normal to a man. If it wasn’t for the rain we would all die out of thirst.

– Lily. Drop the belt, grab a grenade, take a stand by the first pillar and follow me! – I passionately cried.

She stabled behind the pillar and raised the grenade. With one eye on me and the other on the passage, she was nervously waiting for further instructions. Her difficult breathing through the gas mask would scare anyone who would hear her. I started giving false command to seem as we were many more. I pointed Glok[2] forward and stopped behind the opposite pillar. I whipped my head twice at the side of pillars edge to check the room’s corners. Everything was clean, he must have left with the first light, probably as soon as he heard plates clinking and cough of an old man. Exit was empty, although the stone from the entrance was shifted in the left. Someone was surely passing hereabout. He didn’t even attempt to cover up its presence. Strange, usually old people or very small children do these things. I know that Lily would not make so incomprehensible error, especially in the building which she doesn’t know. The street was clean; I saw it via a small mirror which I always carried with me. We have quickly crossed the street, covering the corners and tumbled cars. From some cars, the only thing left were skeletons. It is impossible to conceal yourself behind them or use them in any other purpose. Even finding fuel that would work in them is impossible thing now. While we are slowly going on the right side, Lily was covering the windows and roofing, while I did the scouting of terrain. With the exercise we have become effective in avoiding threats, although it is not a wonder for someone to jumps out on us. We were heading towards the bridge that was kept safe by the “separated”. We rallied behind the concrete compartment and took a sitting stand. Two of the “separate” set by the fire on the other end, hidden behind a firm shelter with Kalashnikovs they silently discussed. They didn’t notice us; damn fog was thick this morning.  I gave them signals with a flash light. Members responded the signal, everything is clear. We ran on the other side to them.

– Hello neighbor. How is it this morning? – I whispered cautiously.

– Not bad, not good… Two patrols passed through other intersection, I would rather go by some other street. Fog is strong, son. Maybe they’ll not see you, if you are fast. Where are you goin’? – bearded guard asked with a smile.

– It’s Saturday, so I’m taking the kid to the central school. Fuck it, children. – I replied with a poor smile while scouting the streets.

– At a boy, that’s nice. They should learn something after all. Hi, Lily? – he smiled gently.

– Eat shit. – Lily replied quickly and grudgingly.

– Hm, so cute. I could eat you right now, fuck the fog. – he guffawed; – Go on slowly kids, we are watchin’ your backs. Hey you, Shorty, look a’ there on the right side so I wouldn’t screw this up. – he said to his partner by elbowing him in ribs.

Guy just took a look at him and raised his face with speed onto the top right corner of the building over the river. He gazed through the hazy gray field over the gun sight. Silence was everywhere around us.

– Lily! Behave. Watch out the “jar”, “Armorers” smell those the best. – I spoke to him in a joke while walking away.

– Oy, tha’s quite fucked up. I just took one sup, Ha, ha … – he tossed it to me in barely sensible way with a belly full of laughter.

The other side is providing a better shelter with more grass so the movement was easier, because it doesn’t have to take long of holding up in disguising a basic movement evidences. There are several kinds of patrol, police armored patrols, gangs pedestrian or motorized patrols and separate patrols. Neither one of them are safe and if they are all sworn to assist, they are better at doing damage, so we place them all in one basket and call them simply, “patrols”.

Two more blocs and we can cross on the other direction that leads to the north of the town. So far we have advanced through the route at which we were warned. We took rest at the end of a building, to let one drifter pass us, there, on the upper edge on our left side. Carefully he watched the road, hiding behind the flipped car, when I heard a distant shot. Second later I heard dumb impact over the lighting post and behind the car, blood started spiting everywhere. Sound of gutturally crepitating and banging on ferrous metal construction was coming from drifters’ direction. He was finished by “Ricochet-sniper”. He has ripped of his neck in one clean shot. Lily questioned me with teary eyes.

– How are we going to get to school now?

I have looked around and spotted a business building two hundred yards on the other side of the street.

– We are going through it; I guess it has good walls. We have to double back and make a U turn and then go further around. Look at the windows and follow me.

We continued further with the great caution, when we came to the entrance of the building. As we have been passing through the premises and scattered chair, I heard two muted affirmation bullets from outside. Sniper has confirmed its kill and looted what could be of use. If someone dares to get there before him, it can easily become the next target. Some snipers are determined to follow the target and kill him at home, a place that has more stocks, but again, take only the booty of the day, the rest they don’t take… Fools. Currently nobody loves them. They are not working for anyone, hence the name Rough Snipers. You never know where they are; they often change their location and attack each other so the gangs have a constant need for new snipers.

               Kristoph, my friend whom I need to see, has theory, that each of the snipers has its nest and that’s set up in the center of his territory, and everyone hunts in a special way. I honestly think that the snipers and he are miserable idiots. Some snipers are only attacking patrols, while others chase civilians, but treat to them is to use certain method against other snipers. I guess it comes to them as some sort of sport, I don’t know. Fuck ‘em. They are the same as patrols, without any bond of word and code of honor, except Arany, they are fucked up at everything.                The offices are lining up one after the other while we were passing, all disrepair, with a lot of dust and paper on the ground and without any evidence that the building is used in any manner. In this part of the city heavy metal music ceases to be heard from the Dragons watch towers and gets interfering with the hip-hop. Guerrilla holds the territory from here. We have to hide, because thanks to me, many guerrilla men have died from the bullets that I provide to Black Dragons. Pierced wall shows us the way out from this labyrinth. Scorched rims of wall indicate that the peak was blown up by the blast. I am checking out exit and transferred myself behind lamp post with Glok turned up. Just two steps away from me was collapsed floor. Former metro is loaded with water and even bigger quantity was pouring in from busted pipes. Deep down in water a Walker robot metal head was glistening. Lowering the sight down I called Lily to cross the street. Sniper must have been gone already. There is no sound except the noise from artificial river under my feet. We moved further for hundred steps until we came across the first ramp, held by guerrillas. Guards were already in white clouds of cannabis. With phantom mask on me, we may be able to run undetected. I started to walk slowly and throw around my hands, held my head up like every Panther[3] when he is in its territory. Meanwhile, I slowly but swiftly moved my hand and drag Lilies fuzzy hood over her head and hid her blue tails. Lily was playing hopscotch at which she came on to. I was looking at Panthers with my left eye and with the other anticipate if they will go for their weapons or not. Three guards in uniforms were sitting at the end of the improvised tower made of jeep, and two more of them were in the construction above them. Bandages made of animal print below the right shoulder, a lot of gold around the necks, blue ban tight over the face, dreadlocks long to shoulders, non matching camouflage military uniforms, bulletproof vests, grenades on the belt, bazooka beside him, joint in hand and a cloud of smoke that follows him, without doubt, that is Drayphuss officer, the Elite among the Guerillas. Stanch of grilled flesh was levitating from them, as they probably had action recently, most likely was a couple of “separate” or “drifters”, someone who doesn’t know the gang and their position deployment.

– Yo, good song bruh. – I addressed them.

If I haven’t, they would suspect me, and it was not polite to be disrespectful.

– Hello, lil’ bro. Armourers at three o’clock. – big black man replied erecting its Milkor MK1.[4]

            We kept walking further. I didn’t turn so I wouldn’t appear suspicious, although I was in fear of that he might “drop it” in our direction. Lily was jumping along, as she didn’t understood that this could be hers last hopscotch she ever played. It was ironical, because we were really going to school. Negro was following us with a stare until we arrived to the first crossroads and escaped him in that way. I paused behind the first wall which I have encountered and fell down in fear that had me engulfed out of Guerrilla. Delayed reaction, which I couldn’t control, broke me. Heart was beating in me as to a mouse and cool sweat ran across my forehead. Lily was seriously watching at the distant route before us. I’ve turned the view toward the camp guards for the last time to make sure we got away. They believed in my bad acting. Everything is all right. With a deep breath I got up and called sister to move. This circumvention has got extended our way; we have already lost two hours of walk. Determined to get to school, we have been passing through the unknown streets and crawled into dead ends. Burned components of a fighter drones were laying along the path near us. City was full of useless device parts from drones after the enormous battle for the city.  Lively conversation of children was coming from the well known direction. Another fifteen minutes and we’ll be at the school yard. This is not my school, just to let you know. I was on the other end of the city. Separate have their school, and since we belong among them, they allowed us to use it. Two “separate” in raining coats were standing sixty feet from us. One of them raises his hand and gave us a sign that stop.

– Put you hands up Lily. This people want to check us. – I commanded.

– Isn’t police the only ones who makes us raise our hands? – she asked wonderstruck through the mask.

– Yes, but they are asking too. As soon we complete this, that sooner we’ll be in school. – I have replied grievously, – And now, put them high.

She nodded her head ill-willingly and raised her hands with a grudge. In a moment, separate rose up their MP5 and step by step started to approach. “What the hell is happening?” – I thought. I looked confused behind us and saw nobody in the back. Why would they take aim at us when we were one of theirs, and then I drew my eyes toward the sis’. I spotted her right hand in outrage as she held a green grenade. Separate were by their usual training  and shouting coming at her in fear to drop it, while she was standing as a statue and watched them enchanted as they were taking cover behind the parts of the building that collapsed.

– Morocco! Morocco! Don’t shoot, you scared the kid! Bastards! I even know the password for the passage, Morocco, right? Lily, put down the fucking bomb, can’t you see they are about to shoot!? – I shouted loudly.

Then she brought down the grenade and placed it in her pocket. She felt ashamed because she acted as a child. The guard lowered his sight and leaned on his left hip, while the other watchman passively observed the streets.

– Do you want to die today? If you gave her a folding knife or a hunting knife, but a grenade … And the live one? You are worse than I am…, – he tilted his head, – And just to let you know, password has been changed. You can pass. – said the guard out of pity.

From here we can walk freely. Guerrillas took care for our cover by all sort of wasted cars and buildings, while passes were kept well protected by separate watch. Lily was happily prancing again, and I laughed at the situation. The Guard escorted us with his eyes below eyelashes as we moved to school. What a day, and it has barely begun.

Ripped thru steel fence was our entrance in the courtyard. Towers were full of parents under rain coats who kept their children safe. Looking at the people at the moment seemed to me as one big and happy family, as war has never passed through this place, all of them were held together. Such a scene forces me to remember the Green Springs, and when I get memories of him, I also get flashes of mother. It still sad’s me, because the only thing I so deeply carved into my brain was how she was sitting half blooded on a upper side of bed, holding Lily and they both cry. She was saying something to her silently through her teeth, like she was angry at the little thing in her hands. I thought that she was “sweeting” her or putting her to sleep, but I wasn’t sure of what was actually going on. Bed sheets were soaked with blood and water that was dripping on the wooden floor in which little pond was created. Light was only by the rays shining onto my mother face through the blinds and at the bed desk beside her, exactly over the kitchen knife blade that she used to cut the umbilical cord. I stood outside and waited everything to end. Lily was crying, and her cry was echoing through the hall in which I stood. Outside, missiles were falling. Shooting was going on at all sides. People were trying unsuccessfully to flee with a hope of safety. That was the first day of how the Green Springs fell in the hands of the soldiers and Lilies birthday.

[1] The renowned producer of weapons of American origin.

[2] Mark of Austrian handgun.

[3] A synonym for the inheritors Drajfusove Gerilla

[4] A grenade launcher with drum feed magazine

going-to-school-6

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