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Death Follows Him


I serve in a maximum-security detention center deep inside the Middle East; a place where captured fugitives await transfer or even execution. Just a lowly soldier armed with an M16A4; a part of me would rather keep misguided fanatics in order; better than dodging potshots that come from nowhere. Things here do calm down because every detainee is so demoralized that they sit quietly and don't fight back after meeting counter-insurgency. Pro-wrestling would call them "jobbers;" an athlete who pretty much specializes in losing; as these poor suckers were on their quest for whatever their leaders promised. Taking the fall instead.

The pattern broke when the latest shipment of prisoners arrived; usually, they are herded in with their heads down in a chain gang but now, there was only one. This one was a muscular freak; big enough to fistfight a semi-truck. Not only was he bound with thick chains but a collar restraining device that was held up by 3 men while 5 more trained their rifles on his head. The prisoner, strangely enough, didn't fight back and moved along.

As the human pillar walked into his cell, I noticed he seemed to wear a military-style uniform that even had a tag that read, "Petrov."


A week has passed and not a single riot or a breakout attempt; not even from "Petrov." He just sat in his cell staring at the wall, still wearing his prison jewelry. It was quiet until a black ops psychoanalyst showed up asking for him. Luckily, Petrov didn't resist and uneventfully walked to the interrogation room. This guy really peaked my curiosity; when he was around, I felt like a whole crowd was nearby. I could swear on a stack of Bibles I also heard voices. As the interrogation room slammed shut, the voices quietened and the feeling disappeared.

I stood guard as I did every day but this time, trying to eavesdrop on Petrov's interrogation; it was as if God himself wanted me to hear all that. Secrecy be cursed.

"State your name, rank, and unit." The deep voice of the interrogator enquired.

"Master Sergeant Yuri Petrov, 345th Guards Airborne Regiment, 40th Army." Petrov replied in a calm yet deep and intimidating voice; sporting a thick Russian accent.

"Russian Federal Forces?" the black ops asked.

"Soviet Army." Petrov replied with pride.

"The Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, it is the year 2020 outside." the interrogator replied, "You are delusional."

Petrov didn't comment; he just sat in his chair and a moment later, he demanded, "Who are you, people?!"


No answer from the interrogator but, instead, loud crashing, thumping and sounds of fists impacting their targets; no scream of pain sounded like Yuri. I cocked my rifle and set the selector switch to burst fire; a wise move since a second later, the door flew out and the Soviet giant emerged; now I saw what he looked like with the chains and restraints off. The man had no facial features; his face was covered in serious burns and scars; as if he faced every method of torture imagined by terrorists and insurgents. The Soviet remnant made his move and my bravery dissolved just like the regime he fought for.

"Get on your knees, prisoner!" I commanded, training my rifle on his chest; that was the most pathetic excuse for an order, I sounded like an angry kid in an online game but not a figure of authority! Petrov came closer and I dropped him with a 3 round burst to the knees; as he fell; the black ops interrogators emerged wielding syringes; 2 of them went straight to his neck. Yuri sat hunched against a wall, bleeding profusely and slowly falling asleep as the tranquilizers reined him in. We promptly dragged him back to his cell.


That night, things went insane, our calm detention center became an insane asylum; all the prisoners screamed in terror, hammering on the doors and begging to be let out. Each fugitive screamed in languages I didn't speak but one, an Arabic-speaking former cell leader scared me into the disturbance. I spoke Arabic fluently and he was saying that a whole crowd of people was coming for him, screaming and crying with interludes of prayers.


Screaming, crying and pleads to be let out were heard all over the facility, many security personnel was mobilized and ready for a mass breakout. The only cell that wasn't noisy was Petrov's. I sprinted to check if the monster overdosed on Soviet messages was still in his cage. To my relief, he still was; laying on the floor. This was no time for relief though as the feeling of being watched came to tag team with the rioting inmates. This time, someone was watching me; I turned around and caught sight of 3 people; a man in his 40s, a woman and a teenage boy.

"This place is not safe!" I called out in Arabic, the next best thing to do since I didn't speak any other Middle Eastern language. The man's head, out of nowhere, flew off like someone stricken it with a sword; the woman started to cry as she suddenly burst into flames; flesh burning off and revealing bone. She cried and screamed as she looked at her son; who now had several bullet holes in him.

I began losing consciousness, desperately trying to hold on to my rifle; releasing the safety catch as more apparitions and images started flooding in. The riot was no longer heard. Vision upon a vision of death, gore and burning bodies was pummeling me, however, the recurring feature of said visions was Petrov. Atrocities committed by him for years, the man has slaughtered towns of soldier and civilian alike. The apparitions I saw before were killed by Yuri; butchered them and burned their house. As time went on, the visions grew more violent; this guy needs to be put down; everything went black as I finished the thought.


Waking up in a military hospital in Germany, the doctors told me I was comatose for several days with fatal wounds; that the prisoners broke out and had to be eliminated. Yuri Petrov, apparently was killed by me, the squad that found me said I expended all my ammo into him; all magazines for my rifle were emptied. A year later when I returned home, discharged with severe PTSD. Everything was back to normal for some time until a night where it seemed that a mysterious force was keeping me awake. Downing a strong dose of sleeping pills and painkillers, I lay down and as I began drifting to sleep, a vision of Petrov stood before me; he held the dead body of the squad leader who found me. Moments later, in the dark hallway of my home, I heard; "I FOUND YOU!"

The Soviet monstrosity is back, he wandered the deadly wastelands of Afghanistan all those years thinking that his regime is still alive. Yuri has more than proved that he is not only stronger than death but also, one of the most disastrous wars. Bullets won't stop him and neither would I. How much blood will he draw till he feels his duty is done? I feel he will never stop as now, I am among the souls that follow him. All I now hear is crying and lamenting, all I will ever see are the dead; all broken, beaten, shot, burned, maimed and brutalized in the name of the Sickle and Hammer.

© 2020 Jake Clawson