The soldier knew exactly what his mission was and how important . “As long as even one of those bastards is still alive, there can be no peace”, he had been told. And peace was what he longed for most, after years of fighting a war nobody wanted but that had happened anyway.
So he trudged on, through rain and snow, through rubble and mud, through bombed-out cities and trench-ridden fields. The smell of death and devastation was everywhere. Life was nowhere to be seen; there were no birds, no animals, no insects. The trees and fields were blackened by fire and ripped apart by explosives. Not even the rats had survived this desolation.
When he passed the shell of a burnt-out house he saw something move inside. Alert, his rifle ready for action, he stepped through the doorway and saw the enemy staring back at him. “What a monster”, he thought, “covered in mud and dried-up blood, his uniform torn and badly patched. Look at his filthy hair, his dirty face and hands. Look at the twisted grin on his face, the madness in those nasty little eyes. You’d almost feel sorry for him.”
But the soldier knew what his mission was and didn’t hesitate for a moment. He shattered the hallway mirror in front of him with the back of his gun and detonated a grenade, clutching it to his chest as he did so. The house and the soldier disintegrated in a violent explosion of light and sound.
After a while the debris and the dust of the explosion settled, and silence reigned again.
Peace had finally returned.