There had been fields here when he was a child. He and his brothers had run down the lane – grassy then, no tarmac or concrete – pushed through the hedgerows into the fields beyond. Ancient hawthorn, shady oaks, sheep to chase or to be ignored by, unknowing Indians to their cowboys. Point your fingers – bang! You know the Indian’s dead, even if the sheep keeps grazing.
There had been butterflies, in the summer. Elusive, flittering, jewel-like, nearly as fragile in their hands once caught as the bubbles they had blown from their mother’s soapy water. Long lazy sunny days of childhood – innocence.
He pushed a lever sideways, and the camera far above the bunker in which he sat twisted to show the landscape to the east – more dust, blowing across more devastated land, jagged shards of broken concrete and steel standing out like frozen lightning against the glowing sky, hurled to impossible positions by the shockwave of the last retaliatory bomb.
Maybe he shouldn’t have pressed that button.