Connect With Me On Social Media

  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Instagram
  • Twitter Social Icon

©2019 by John Knetmann

Registered with the Kamer van Koophandel (Dutch Chamber of Commerce)

KvK number: 76036626

General Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy

Genesis - A Short Story (NSFW)


"War isn’t Hell. War is war, and Hell is Hell. And of the two, war is a lot worse." -Hawkeye, M*A*S*H

Horror is a special genre and frequently misunderstood. While some write horror simply with the intention to scare or gross out, the true purpose of horror is to get you to think. To feel uncomfortable with the thoughts, and to learn something about yourself and the people around you from that discomfort.


This is a story I wrote in a horror class while I was attending university. It is meant to make you think about the themes of war, PTSD & war veterans, and drug use.


Content warning: this story contains graphic language, self-harm & suicide, and violence.

My fits grew worse. I was tens of thousands of miles away from the desert, but I was still there. I still had the rifle in my hands. I still felt the sun on my face. The dry heat was unbearable. I felt like I was on that long path to Bagdad. No aim, no cause in sight.


As a Recon Marine, I was held with the most respect after my mission in Iraq. There were large celebrations for our return. People held signs and hugged loved ones. But there were no loved ones for me. My wife had left me for what us Marines call, Jody. She fucked him in the comfort of our home, while I had my dick in my hands with nothing for lubricant but the dry sand around me.


You know what plagues my ill infested mind. You hear it on the news at least once a week. This monster has gone by many names throughout history: shell shock, combat stress reaction, post-traumatic stress disorder. This monster is under my bed. This monster is in my ears. This monster is in my dreams. This monster is me.


But there was no night light for me to plug in. The darkness crept into every aspect of my will regardless. There was no bottle with messages to find on the bottom. The monster was still to be found on the side of the street even at strangest hours of the night. There was no call to her that was answered or recognized. I was isolated. I was alone.


Was I lied to? I was told I was serving the cause of justice. That my bravery would be rewarded! But what bravery had I exhibited? What feat of strength did I prove? Was it the pull of the trigger or was that just me wrapped in the cold conceits of my own madness?


“Good to see you, Isaac,” a voice called. “Jesus, you look like the same shit eating jarhead I deployed with.”


“Hello, James,” I whispered in response. “Can I buy you a drink?”


“The unemployed generally don’t offer others drinks, man.”


Why was I still the same shit eating jarhead he deployed with? Was this just his inner marine still taunting me like we were still apart of some boys club or fraternity? I still shaved my head every week. I couldn’t bear to look at myself with any other image than that.


“I’ll have a beer. Anything on draft.” James asked the bartender.


“Another for me.”


“I take it that your new medications haven’t been working.”


“None have and none ever would,” I stared at my glass.


I felt like I tried everything. No psychiatrist and no doctor had a solution. Was I too deep into my own misery?


“You know, man, I have heard from some of the others that there is a guy that can help. A drug dealer named Abraham out in the boonies somewhere. If you would like I could figure something out for you,” James softly spoke.


Is this the fate of a country’s hero? Finding myself bargaining for the going price of some random research chemical? I spaced out. We kept talking for a few hours, but by the time of sunrise I couldn’t remember what had been said. I know he explained to me where and how to find Abraham, but all I could really recall was the phone number on a napkin in my pocket.

I rose from my bed peering around my grey apartment only to see a cigarette still burning into the carpet. I took a shower, and put on my dress blues. It was Sunday after all. I have been a regular church goer since I was young. We went as family. My mother, who died of lung cancer when I was deployed, tied my tie for me, and my father, who I am too much of a coward to contact now, would mutter curses under his breath about losing our spot in the first row. It was touching, really.


I was once a believer in God, but not anymore. Not after what I had seen overseas. The only reason I went to church anymore was to give me a brief excuse for a hiatus in drug abuse and alcohol, even if it was for a few hours.


Once I got home, I called the number. Why would I not call this number? Did I have something to lose that I had not already lost? A cold and shallow voice answered the phone. I was to meet up with him in an hour in some abandoned warehouse on the other side of town. This sounded stupid. I was either walking to my death or my immediate arrest. But did I have something to lose that I had not already lost?


A man opened the door to the warehouse, and gestured me in. I was still in my dress blues, and I don’t know why. Our exchange was uneventful, and the same as a million drug deals before me. He asked me if I had 50 dollars, I did. I asked him if he had the drugs, he did. And that was it. I walked from the warehouse feeling a strange dread come over me, as if I was walking away from my own funeral.


The night came quickly, and without a second thought to it I swallowed the pills that were given to me with a bottle of whiskey that sat on my bedside table.


I laid in my bed staring at the chipping paint of my decrepit room. These fucking pills were useless! Anger and frustration built up inside me. Was I to have these visions and hallucinations of danger until I was dead? Was there really no safety from the explosions that surrounded my apartment? What of the screams of those that were dead because of the actions of metal resting in my hands? Would they never cease!?


Fuck them! I fucking hate them as much as I hate myself! They long overstayed their welcome in my head. A welcome that was never invited in the first place. Stop the noise. Just be quiet!

I bashed my head into my wall, and there was a flash. My ears rang with a sharp and bleeding tone. I looked up to see a woman standing before me. My mother.


“I love you, Isaac… You were always my special little boy… I wish I could have seen you one last time.”


What ghost has come upon me? The woman I saw before me died more than a decade ago. But it sounded like her. It looked like her. It smelt like her. It was her. I dug my face into my hands as if to scratch out the veil that was presented to me.


It got hot, though, and there was a sudden heaviness on my body. I was in my combat armor and battle dress uniform. As I looked around I noticed something that I could not mistake in a hundred year. I was in Iraq. On the cursed highway to Bagdad. Humvees surrounded me with Marines screaming chants that would still the blood of an enemy. Guns were going off everywhere, but I was calm. In the distance I heard F-16s screeching forward to a foe that would never see them coming.


Everything grew silent. Everyone around me was gone, and I was alone in the desert. As I looked at my feet, there was a child no older than seven sprawled upon the ground. Blood ran down his face saturating the harsh ground below him. He was lifeless, and birds pecked at his eyes. Slowly tearing the thin film that shielded them from the surrounding heat. Their feast was relentless.


My mother put her hand, as if to comfort me, but when she spoke, she spoke harshly, “it should have been you, Isaac. Who knows what or who this boy could have been. But you, Isaac, we know exactly what you became. You became the murderer of this child. You became a drug addict. You became a loser.”


A slap came across my face, and I found myself in a fog. The physical weight of the armor was lifted from me, but not the weight of my soul. I glanced around with the hopes of knowing where I was.


“God fucking damn it!” A slap came across my face again. “If you look around a-fucking-gain I will drill you so hard that you would die!”


I know exactly where I am, and the slap that came across my face. But why was I here? Was I not just in the throes of my mother cursing me to my grave? Was that just a dream?


“What were you born to do, private?” The drill sergeant spat in my face.


“Sir, to kill, sir!”


“Damn fucking straight! You were born to kill! In fact, there is not another redeeming quality to your pathetic fucking existence. Just ask your wife,” he pointed to the other side of the barracks.


There was my wife. She lying on her back with nothing on but her underwear hanging from her foot. There was a man on top of her grunting with every thrust on to her, but I couldn’t see his face. She screamed out in a horrifying scream of pleasure. The man slowly rose and turned to me. His face was in shadow, but as he walked slowly towards me his face was lit up. My knees weakened.


“You are such a fucking coward, Isaac!” James laughed. “Now that I can finally see you face-to-face, I see that your wife lost absolutely nothing. Your scum. You are vile. And you are weak. You are nothing but he same shit eating jarhead!”


I fell to my face. My skull crashing into the concrete floor below me. There was only blackness around me. I was in a void. Only the sound of my own sobs engulfed me. It echoed for what seemed to be forever. My tears fell, but they fell to nowhere. What had happened to me? Has this been my entire life?


My eyes slowly opened. I was surrounded by flame and heat. Figures stood a full circle around me. Of them, I could recognize my mother, my father, my wife, James, my drill sergeant, the seven year old Iraqi child, and the rest of my Recon Marine squad. They all stared with empty, expressionless glares. Was I dead? Is this Hell? A figure slowly approached with a black veil around it.


“Behold the fire and the wood!” the figures around me chanted.


I was sprawled out on a stone slab, and tied down by an old and painful rope. My limbs pulled as far as they could stretch from each other. The stone slab under me felt like ice piercing and burning my skin. I was naked. The figure in the black veil stood over me, and undid its hood. It was the drug dealer, Abraham.


“Abraham! Abraham!” A voice bellowed above us. “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God!”


I had heard these words before. In Sunday school. These were the words of the Sacrifice of Isaac.


“You do not understand, Lord!” Abraham called up. “This is not a man a God, but instead someone who turned his back on you all while slaughtering those that were entirely innocent. He is a pathetic being inspired from Lucifer himself! He has never amounted to anything in his life, and he certainly never will. He has no one. He is a drunk and an addict. He is a murderer.”

There was silence, except for the flicker of the torches surrounding the stone and the continuous chanting of behold the fire and the wood.


“Mom! Mother! Do not let them do this to me! He will kill me!” I cried.


She stared blood dripping from her eyes without pause in her chanting. Behold the fire and the wood.


“Lord, your wish is my command. What shall become of Isaac?” Abraham laughed.

“He must die,” the voice bellowed. The chanting stopped.


Abraham raised a bloody and rusty blade high above his head with an unflinching stare into my eyes. His motioned all slow and completely though out. Then with a quick swoop, he drove the blade deep into my rib cage.


I screamed and my eyes clinched shut. The pain was everlasting. The blade felt hot but still it froze my insides to ice. I screamed and sobbed with no coherent message. As I opened my eyes, I found that no one was around me. I only lay in my apartment with a knife thrust into my chest. My hand lay on the hilt of the knife, and I cried.

Meet The Author : John Knetemann

From Denver, Colorado. Educated in Rapid City, South Dakota. Living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands


The most epic and daring content writer you will find on the east side of the Amstel... And sometimes the west side too. I am from the land of mountains, but now live in the land of very small hills and canals. Truly a native of the internet, I work with companies to build adventurous content, engaging social media identities, and addictively informative email campaigns.


I have turned comments off on my website, but talk with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.