I Am

By Don Perry 
I am. I know the thing that I am, here buried deep inside. Dark and hostile, he keeps me tucked away, not letting me loose for fear of the things I might do. He keeps me in check even when he knows I could be that thing that is needed to make the difference. He is so afraid of me, of the horror and violence of that other time I was left unbridled and of the things he must live with for the rest of his life.

He likes to be in control, and they said he was a hero, a job well done. I know different. That was the last time, when I broke free, Free! Free! Free to lash out, to kill, to maim, free to burn, destroy and kill without remorse. Without pity. The only time I can break out of my little place now is in his dreams. Oh, the times I can have in those. The thrill of his hand tightening on her soft throat, as the life seeps out and her body goes limp. Only then am I satisfied and I go quietly back to my little place. Only after he wakes can he put me back in there. He wakes in a cold sweat, wondering if he woke his wife or worse yet, is she still alive. Was it just a dream? She tells him that he speaks Vietnamese in his sleep, even after all these years. He dreams of the hunt in the jungle, of the fear, of the fight and the sounds of gunfire. Heart racing and sweaty, he wakes and thinks of what he has done. But I want it! And I am strong! Bring it to me!

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