The sun was beginning to set on the horizon but Abbas still waited. His hands were covered with old sand and blood. His throat felt like sandpaper. The sun was a demon in the sky spreading its tainted wings over the broken land below.
"How long?" Basil croaked, laying face down in the sand. He'd been shot in the stomach a while ago, the blood was everywhere.
"They'll come in a few minutes." Abbas' voice was calm, still.
Basil turned so that he was facing the sky. He could be no older than seventeen and had not even reached the stage of facial hair. Shuddering from the heat, he asked: "How many?"
Abbas shook his head and walked over to him. He brought him halfway to his feet and dragged him over, carefully, sitting him down by the sandbags. "You're a fool, Basil."
The man only grunted and spat red onto the sand. "There's one thing I don't understand."
Abbas sat down next to him, lowering both their heads so that the snipers wouldn't have easy prey. He could hear them coming now. "What is that?"
Basil looked up at him, his face was tight and his eyes full of tears. "...why...why didn't you leave me? All the others left..."
Abbas shook Basil's shoulder. "I remember, one time, we had a young boy, even more so than you, out scouting. He got shot by a sniper in the leg, not critical- but still a wound, and everyone was ordered to fall back. I wanted to help him. He called out to us, over the dunes and the sandbags and the madness and the war, all above that, for us to help him. You know what we did? We left him there to die like a dog."
Basil suddenly went stiff, he knew they were close. Abbas took the grenade off the string on his neck and rotated it in his hand.
"Should we fight?"
Abbas shook his rifle, pulled the trigger several times- nothing happening, and smiled. "Empty."
"You bastard," Basil cried.
"Don't worry, there's nothing left to fight for," Abbas said, pulling the clip out of the grenade. A few moments later, they became one with the void.