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I am burning...

My eyes are on fire, and my skin feels like lava, and I feel like a man who's been thrown down into a tube from which the fires of Hell rise.

My flesh cooks, chars, and then flakes away. I don't see this because I'm blind - my eyes went first - but I feel it through the scorching heat as I desperately try to bunch up into the foetal position to try and save myself, but I know it's too late and I feel the knowledge that slowly but surely I'm turning into a charred skeleton as I fall.

I'm dying. The word now has meaning.

And it hurts.

I wake up. Sweating.

Alone in the dark.

The sky is clear today, and the desert around me is sparsely garnished with twisted sage, bleached nearly white by the unrelenting and unblinking stare of the sun. A burm, like a fat, earthen serpent winds for unseen miles off to my right, and to my left is nothing. Nothing.

He makes his move, jumping up from behind the burm, ragged, striped prison garb flapping around an emaciated frame, the rifle in his hand looks like it weighs more than him.

I drop to my side, landing up against the built-up dirt as five wild shots whiz over my head, and I am worried that my head is not protected, or that he can still see me. I pull the pistol from the black leather fold-over holster on my hip and fire backwards over my head without aiming, merely returning ineffective rapid fire. The magazine cycles empty and I can hear him, the swine, moaning his pain to the dusty soil.

I stand and dust off my beautiful hauptmann's uniform, and return the pistol to my side. I turn to the unterofficer who follows me and ask him for his machinepistolen which he turns over dutifully.

Carrying the sub-machinegun I step up over the embankment and look down on my pitiful escapee, clutching his belly in pain, heels digging down in spasms of agony. His head splits open and what comes out looks like strawberry jello that got milk added to it as three well-placed rounds end his pathetic attempt on my life.

The thought of strawberry jello does not belong in this scene and causes me to wake, and I half expect to see a poster of the Führer when I do.

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