by Giacomo Lee

Registration for conscription in South Korea is automatic for men in the year they turn 18. Military service lasts two years. 
One young man held down another. David Kang-Ho couldn't imagine what was running through the patient's head, a fellow soldier, his curse words streaked by tears of bile from somewhere above the voice box, a rattle tinged with the aftertaste of blinding alcohol, a sermon told in tongues, ripping up one side of the jaw to show tendrils and teeth never seen. A little peek in his head would have shown a similar sound but dragged out, that of chirping cicadas nesting up a mountain in the summer, and nothing else, and no-one else, just views and plant life a little rustled by wind, and rocks in the water, 'til a purple night-time fell and tigers with glowing eyes of orange prowled the plains looking for home.

'My son here, his son here, his son here, his son here, your mother's tails!'

David tried to strap Hyung's wrists down in vain, his eyes wide as his small lips quivered like a fish's, too flummoxed to call out for assistance.

'Bare branches...smashing your mother's head, the ghost'.

One hand strapped.

'Your girl’s head'.

The other was crushing David's wrist.

'Beanpole! I’ll cut you down!'

David shushed, almost faint, his back arching.

'She’s forgot you!'

Shh shh. Still no sign of a doctor.

'I'll eat your bones and your ma and your girl! They forgot us boy, she’s forgot you!'

David's free hand threw a punch at the patient's face, and another, another, and another, and a year later he wonders what it was all for, cleaning the window of Dunkin Donuts as some blonde prick makes two sisters giggle out loud with his pig Korean.

‘I need a war’ he mouths.

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