“Who the hell are you?”
Cain was slouched against the wall. His hands still rattled from the near-constant recoil of his rifle, and now the lone soldier in the distance was using the lull to turn the small wall into a brutalist rendition of swiss cheese with his much larger rounds.
The woman had snuck up beside him, so silently he would have gone for his knife if his reactions weren’t so slow after 72 hours without sleep. She’d just sidled up beside him.
“You one of them? Cuz you’ve gotta tell me if you’re one of them.”
“Why?” she said. Soft and childish. She was a fucking kid.
“Cuz if you ain’t, you don’t wanna be here.”
“Why?” Goddamit. Cain swore.
“That guy, he’s gonna rush over here in about three minutes and put a hundred rounds of lead through the space between his barrel and this here wall when he realises I’m on my one.”
“What do you mean why? Because he’s the enemy!”
“Why?” This was getting pathetic Cain thought to himself, slapping in a fresh clip and pulling back on the charging handle. If she didn’t move soon he’d shoot her himself.
“He’s gonna kill me unless I kill him.”
“And if he didn’t?”
Cain peered back from the wall, taken aback she’d asked something different. He looked into her eyes, but saw everything. Her simple dress, with not a speck of dirt on it, her fresh cheeks and delicate fingers. No way could she have spent any time in this hellhole.
“Where are you from?”
She smiled and stood. Cain snatched at her wrist to pull her down, but his fingers passed right through her own. He scrambled back, until he reached the edge of the wall and his hindmind kicked into gear.
“What are you?” he said.
“Stand up Cain,” she said, stepping closer. “Stand and see your enemy.”
Cain hesitated, fidgeted, glanced all around but could hold out no longer as he wilted in her gaze. One knee first, he peaked over the top of the wall. In the distance he saw a black object, waving back and forth. He squinted. It was a gun. It was the enemy. Waving.
He lifted his own rifle, waved it similarly.
The other man stood. Cain stood.
He placed his rifle on the wall. His comrade did.
He stepped out, he crossed the no mans land. He met his aggressor.
“Have I got a story to tell you,” the man said, in stilted words, looking back at his own guardian.
Prompt originally posted by vicer97 on reddit and received 13 upvotes.