1937
(Rodrigo Peñaloza, 2013)

The year was 1937. Minutes after the surprise attack by the local resistance, we got the order to bomb the slum by the river bank near the sea, since the rockets that hit the cruiser were fired off from there. This was a direct attack on the Empire. Racial hatred had not taken me over yet, but the strength of the Rising Sun, red as blood, had already blinded me and turned me into a Soldier of the Emperor.

I made two low-passes to throw the bombs and I saw from up there the fire spreading itself all over the wood shacks, human torches struggling against death and a burnt flesh mother vainly looking for the pieces of her dead little baby in the debris. When I was making the turn over the sea for another attack, the hostile anti-aircraft artillery hit the left wing of my fighter plane and I saw it fully burning as I was quickly heading down to the sea waters.

The fall didn’t last any longer than a few seconds, but, taken by the horror of the approaching death, my whole life passed by my eyes. At the moment of the impact, the splinters cut my abdomen and my bones were broken and torn into pieces. I was aware of everything all the time, but strangely as it seems it was physically painless. When i died, everything went dark and silent. To me, soldier of the Emperor, of the Shōwa Tennō, my mind was the remembrance of my last moment before that instant I did not understand — empty, silent, infinitesimal. My last moment was a flash and an unbearable weight squeezing me inwards.

At the sea bottom, for an unmeasurable time thereafter I gazed in horror my own flesh being slowly devoured by the fish, waiting for a rescue that never came. Broken bones under putrefact flesh, crushed by the mortar and pestler of the sea stones, flesh devoured in the mouth of fish! Immersed forever after in the repetition of my last moment, I died in front of my own blind eyes by horror petrified.

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