In his dreams he can feel them. They march over his ground, past his buildings, into their deaths. He feels the feet of children, of adults. Feels the fabric of worn yellow stars, ripped off of coats and carefully counted out one by one. Why do they count the stars? Or the shoes, or the fake teeth?

He honestly doesn't want them to die. But he can do nothing. How many times have I tried? Every argument he has made has slipped past the notice of his boss; the dark-haired man who sits behind the desk. The man with the shaking hands.

Tonight the dreams are particularly vivid. Tonight he can see their faces. Faces of the innocent choosing left or right. Faces of the old and young, lining up against the wall. Faces of his people; some not sure if this is right. But they believe they fight for their country, and fire anyway. No. This is not what I wanted. One hundred different soldiers fire one hundred different guns. One hundred different bullets find their way into one hundred different hearts.

In the morning he rises; body stiff from confinement he has not known. Throat burning and raw from toxic gasses he has not breathed. But either way I feel them.

Walking over to the mirror, he touches the bags under his eyes, the lines of stress and worry that crease his face. How many mornings has it been since the beginning? Sighing, he carefully counts out one hundred new scars.

One. By. One.