An Ashen Face and Hands

An Ashen Face and Hands

after reading “Minefields” by Kyle Dargan

REMEMBER your lessons, your training. How could you forget? It began the day you became conscious. Though listening to directions versus applying them in the field is very different. You cannot let your nerves get to you. The bombs, men, will detonate faster if they see your weakness. It is good to wear a thin veil of confidence to blend in. When navigating a minefield, you must be cautious. There is never enough caution. But if you get marred it is clearly your fault. You were the one that detonated him. Silly girl, looking like Wile E Coyote blowing himself up with TNT: wide-eyed, hair standing up, plumes of smoke around you, ash smeared on your face. You never know which step, which word, which slight action will be the one that was so fatally miscalculated. You are holding live wires. You are holding gasoline and a match. You are holding a man and a detonator. Protect your soft, supple skin from being shredded and punctured by the jagged metal shrapnel that bursts out of a man in all directions. Minefields are everywhere. A seemingly innocent scene may be laced with danger. You have to navigate strategically around the men. There are no caution signs or blaring red sirens. Poke the ground gently for men and wait to see what happens. Test every inch but do not take too long. Guile and swiftness are key to making it out safely. If you find a man do not let your hands shake, do not apply too much pressure. Depending on the type of man, different procedures are required. Dismantling a man is typically easier in a group than alone. If in a group, make sure to look out for your team members, because if you do not, you can get each other all killed.

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