In a gleam of despair, war of darkness rule over all. The thundering marches of the soldiers broke through the bare streets. While the lighting bullets fly and the screams of fighters and victims twists through ash snow.

Lambs to the slaughterhouse. And they, themselves, are their own butchers. Somber of the nights are the new freedom away, from the hunting lights of day. For they look and look. Sufferance is the only meals to be fed. Across the ways. The hope for a savior is not found. As those march one are the friend and foe of survival. Loss of sense to time.

Flesh rotten and curled as spoiled milk. From the decaying building made of iron, brick, and burnt wood. Jagged glass windows as lone protectors that hide and defend beyond the grim withered innocent. They see. They still see.

As that gleam returns once more. The marchers through the dismissal tragedy or stunned and skilled to not appear weak. There, to the front. A gleam of silks, dyed in rays of a welcoming nearing full sunburst moon. A man of dignity. Soot pants with worn, heavy boots. Dirty by the taint sands. A man of action and threat. Through the blood clothes, royalty thick in this one's veins. Bare in guns and copper.

This was not a mere solider. This was a stance of a leader. Grim arch those lips that must hide a gruff voice, boastful ready to give orders. Those dark eyes, cold yet welcoming. Another glint and this jack of trades could rule the world with an iron fist. Dangerous. Prideful.

A leader walking among those whom turn the first wave of war. The jagged glass warps the truth. Lies within, there a beast ready to take all by storm. A being such as him, is everyone's worst nightmare. Yet, a comrade many starve to have. That's the last fleeting thought under the thunderous waves of bullets to darkness.


Bashi-bazouk by Vasily Vereshchagin

Year it was made; 1877 - 1878

Location when made; Albania