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Ferdio looked up at the cloudy sky. It seemed a rain would start to fall very well anytime soon. But that wasn't the thing which made Ferdio think. It was the silence. He could not spot one bird, a black spot on the gray background. Always, when he was in doubt or when he had to think on his next few decisions he would look up, search for answers. But it seemed nobody and nothing was going to answer him, and there would be no time for that later. Maybe the birds were god's messengers. They gave the people hints, but people did wrong things only because they misunderstood them. Just like a painting. For some two faces might look like a vase, while for others only two faces, perhaps for some only a few spots.

But now god was not in the mood to help, it seems. Ferdio guessed there were others who needed help now. And since he already had his "part" throughout most of his life, not it would be time to do everything alone. A bit like mothers do at some point. First they teach and prepare, and then they let their children live... and then it all depends only on the kids.

"Ferdio! Enough dreaming, we have order to prepare.". The voice of Ferdio's comrade Bob brought him back to the real world. As his eyes went down the sky was gone, and before him appeared the giant block of flats. One of those cheap constructions, with no color or life in them. Gray. Bob waved to him from one of the windows, his uniform dirty and helmet held loosely on his head. Next to him appeared the barrel of his AK-47 rifle and unlike its owner it looked quiet neat. Just when you put a black suit next to a five year old shirt.

Ferdio picked up his own Rifle, which he lay down next to him and he ran inside the building, climbing up the stairs and then joining Bob. The 16 year old "soldier" started to assemble an RPK in the very same window he just waved from.
"I just got a message on the radio that the enemy will be coming soon, we are to hold them for as long as we can." said Bob, loading the Machine Gun with a fresh clip.
"Will we be getting any help?" asked Ferdio sitting down on the floor and taking out a packet of cigarettes. Bob somehow sensed his friends intentions and turned around.
"Don't smoke these things, they kill."
"Yeah, but slower than that." said Ferdio pointing at the RPK. Bob chuckled and when he finished his current task he sat down, opposite to Ferdio. They both sat in silence, thinking.

"Do you remember, how easy it was, before this war started?" asked Ferdio lighting his cigarette. Bob twisted his head.
"Yes, I remember, sweet youth."
"You still have a heck of a life before you." said Ferdio puffing out a cloud of poisonous gases. They sat in complete silence. Their past, like a glorious dream, which they once had but none wanted to speak of it, as if it was a nightmare or bad memory. The only sound which they both could hear was the silence which surrounded them. A thing, which was once used as a torture, was now a common thing, which all people shared. Ferdio looked at the half smoked cigarette and threw it out the window sighing loudly. But when the sound of engines and shouts of men came to his ears he wandered whether it was not a mistake.

Bob stood next to the window with the RPK, hiding it so that the enemy would not spot it, until it would be too late. Ferdio prepared himself two windows further to the right, checking his AK-47. It was not necassery, because even if any fault was detected there would be no time to repair it. He looked at Bob and showed him the sign. Bob understood and took a quick peek through the window. He then looked back at Ferdio and put up five fingers. Ferdio put on his helmet and making a small prayer, though the result of this "battle" was possibly known. The sound of engines came closer, like a dragon, hungry for slaughter.
"Now!" shouted Ferdio and the two men jumped up on their legs and started to fire. The men below them were surprised by the sudden burst of fire. Most of them took cover behind anything they could find, but those few unlucky, who were too slow, received a heavy doze of lead. Ferdio aimed at one of the men who hid behind a a Letter Box. Shot after shot he tried to kill the attacker. Suddenly he saw how the body of the soldier fell to the side and it did not move again. He quickly searched for the next target, and then the Behemoth appeared in his sight. A tank, the size of an elephant, it aimed its trunk at their building.
"Take cover!" shouted Ferdio as he ducked to try and stop being ripped apart by the upcoming shot. The explosion and flash which followed were close and he fell back. At first Ferdio heard a loud bell, and he though he was already in heaven, but as he opened his eyes he realized he was still in the building. He slowly stood up, smoke covering him from all around.
"Bob! Are you there?" he tried to say, loud enough for himself to hear. He slowly walked forward, but stopped when in his vision appeared Bob's body. Or what is left of a body when a 125mm cannon hits you. Ferdio, shocked both by the sudden explosion and the death of his friend stood up careless of the enemies still outside. He walked up to the large hole, left after the shot and he looked down. The tank commander was half-outside, looking at the place he shot at. When he saw Ferdio he quickly shouted an order to reload. Ferdio ignored this and looked to the right, at the opposite building to which he was in. At first nothing about it "moved" him. It was just another gray building, with no architectural novelty. But then it shook him. He noticed something on the wall he could not see before. His eyesight focused, still weak after the flash. That is when it appeared to it. A bird. Not a live one, but simply a Graffiti, on a gray wall.

Ferdio rubbed his eyes, but it was still there. It was not an illusion. He could not believe that the answer came. Late, and perhaps it would never be fully understood, but it came. He looked up at the sky and between the clouds he found the sun. He smiled and weakly said his last two words.
"Thank you.". Then, as if the sun became brighter, the world became bright, almost completely white. Ferdio could not see anything, or feel anything. Everything switched off and he felt so light. He could feel he was going up. Not quickly, but slowly. He was literally floating upwards. Something appeared in his mind, like a lighthouse during a storm, and the answer came, the answer came. And that once in his life, he finally understood everything.

------
Writes 24 Hours a day, 7 days a week. As long as he gets his free can of Coke.


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