The sound of his heart rings in his ears louder than the bombs going off around him. He walks barefoot, carefully stepping over the bodies of those who have already fallen in the wake of conflict. He does not look down - afraid that each of the dead will begin to look more and more like him. The paint on their bodies mixes with their blood and sweat, covering the ground in splashes of pink.
He glances at his father, who is resolute beside him, unwaveringly staring at the enemies across the battlefield. He looks cool and confident carrying his old shotgun, standing tall like the other men around him. Each step from the group is an echo of anger and pain, and they fearlessly move forward with flames in their eyes. The enemy is no longer comprised of people, for all the men can see is their own demons staring back at them.
The son looks at the club resting in his hands, they are shaking as he tries to imagine charging into the chaos with it. He imagines the rusty smell of blood in his nose and the sharp crack of shattered bones in his ears. He is not fearless like his father - he does not want to watch the life drain out of the eyes of people just like him. There are others in this makeshift army that carry the same thoughts in their hearts - people who are pushing aside the fear in their stomachs and pretending to be warriors. They just want to go home and cower under the covers of their beds - surrounded by the comfort of broken bedroom walls.
After all, behind the layers of paint, they are only children.