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H

Jeff Xilon lives in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada with his family. A recovering ESL/EFL teacher, he continues to try and pay the bills with the English language. You can find him sporadically posting at his website, jeffxilon.com, or tweeting the occasional thought as @JXilon.
Upon command, the squad members inject the H and begin the final check of helmets, armor, ammo, guns, grenades, knives--not once, but twice, three times, again, and again--waiting for the H to kick in ...I think it's... so they can storm and swarm yes, we're coming on-line the bunker-cave-fortress as one writhing, flailing, shooting lock and load, we're going in, cutting, chopping, tearing mass of warrior drones we smell them because the H subsumes the human and connects soldier to soldier with a cocktail of virus and microbe devolving them evolving us to the level of ant soldier swarms and they we strike shoot, tear, cut, kill as one multi-body human-hydra of death and I we am are here to observe shoot, tear, cut, kill and they we are baptized in their our unholy bond with blood, and bile, and worse and as we yes are slowing down our frenzy for we are victorious and they are dead, dead, dead I wonder try not to think about... how any of us ...how do I... carry the guilt and responsibility of an ant-swarm-like human-hydra when the H is gone and we are I am staring at our my ceiling...alone.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, April 30th, 2015


This story was written as part of an online workshop run by Carrie Cuinn that focuses on using flash and micro-fiction to improve one's writing skills. Given a challenge of writing a story in one sentence it occurred to me that it might be an excellent format for the idea I'd been kicking around of a near-future infantry that operated under a linked consciousness. Though I can not claim a personal connection to any current or recent military personnel "H" is also obviously influenced by the tragic stories of PTSD and lack of support facing many modern veterans. What does H stand for? I have a couple ideas of my own, of course, but I'd love to know what word(s)/idea(s) it evoked for readers.

- Jeff Xilon

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