• Vishakh Binod

The Realization of a Monster Within

December 16, 1944:

The day was gloomy and a grey shadow loomed the sky with the war-borne clouds blocking every inch of sunlight. “Will I die on this foreign land? Is my family destined to mourn for their only son? Will I be one of a thousand uniform-donned carcasses washed up on the banks of distant shores?” All these questions flashed through American Corporal Mark Smith’s mind while running on the Belgian battlefield with his arm bolstering his rifle. Dressed in apparel of a wool serge four-button coat, wool trousers and a long sleeve wool shirt, he charged forward through the path strewn with a disparate solution of mud and the blood of soldiers both American and German.


Smith sought to eliminate the Nazis - animals with barbarous intents of religious genocide. Yet, as he charged on to slaughter the German ‘devils’, he completely ignored the monster within. In a passionate charge for delivering freedom to the oppressed, Smith nurtured his intent to take away the freedom of his oppressors through remorseless methods.


While maintaining his stride and moving forward, Smith came into conflict with a 20-something German soldier. Upon realizing the existence of this potential threat within a radius of 20 feet, Smith proceeded to aim the fully-loaded rifle at the soldier. The pale-skinned and blue-eyed soldier had a scrawny physique and a contemptible look as callous as the Nazi ideals of anti-Semitic genocide. He was the epitome of what Smith endeavored to eliminate from this world – a true monster. The soldier had not realized the presence of an enemy. Smith pulled the trigger instantaneously to fire a deadly bullet that penetrated the soldier’s guts. At the exact velocity of the bullet, the staunchness and wickedness that had engulfed the soldier left his body. In the face of death, all the soldier had within his blob of organs, bones and blood was pure fear and remorse. That is the specialty of death. All your pride, actions and memories become meaningless when faced with the presence of death. Pure fear and terror inundates the body.


The soldier began begging for his life that rested at the hands of his enemy. Smith, in a fit of agitation and hatred, did not hesitate to fire another bullet through the soldier’s head. The 9mm bullet epitomized the vanquishment of the German monster. Coincidently, the title of ‘monster’ transferred to Smith from the Nazi soldier. Smith embodied the very spirit of the entity he swore to destroy. He became the true monster in the process of destroying it.


Ironically, the Nazi’s story was similar to that of Watson – an unmarried single child of a middle-class family, that coalesced the form of a monster to supposedly protect his own country. Only a monster has the tenacity to take another human life. Watson fostered and harbored that monster within himself. Alas, he succumbed to the nefarious expectations of a human in this cruel world – a monster, perhaps with justifiable intentions, but a monster.

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