English Short Story
By Thang Truong
The piercing sound of bullets, the roaring sound of heavy artillery, and the resounding terrors of war has given me another chance to serve America. It feels like my mind has escaped from what I’d thought would be an eternal darkness, as my eyes slowly fluttered open, I found myself laying along the beach shores. The sea of waves diluted in the blood of my fallen brothers, slowly crept up to collide against my face.
I tried to sit up, but my aching back weighed me down. Gritting my teeth to ease out the pain, I sat up, but only to have regrets from the sudden excruciating twinge in my right thigh. I recalled back to when the enemy’s bullet emerged from the foggy mountains in the distance and seared into my thigh as blood erupted from puncture. The intense burn of the bullet carved within my flesh increasing, as if it were like feeding small twigs to a fire.
Luckily, in front me was a backpack, as I hurriedly crawled towards it, whilst dragging the endless pain of my thigh being pressed along the dead-white, soft sand. My eyes widened in relief, as inside the backpack was a first aid kit along with some ammunition and food. Artillery fire continued to rage around me, as I could feel a slight breeze brushed over my shoulders, before realising it was our aircrafts from above, swooping into the undulating sea of smoke, only for me to hear the running chains of machine guns, and the drying screams of men.
Fear took over my hands, shaking uncontrollably I pulled out the first aid kit. I took out bandages, tweezers and scissors out of all the surgical kits needed for when you’re in an emergency. I cut off a piece of my damped clothing with the scissors. Then, I applied pressure by tying a knot around my thigh, preparing myself for the worse. An adrenaline rushed through my heart; every beat, the heavy pressure drowned in my ears. With a final blow of breath, I gently stabbed the tweezers into my wound, until it clung onto the bullet, whilst blood oozed out. “Argh!” screaming in agony, I pulled out the bullet that trickled drops of blood on the ground. In relief, I breathed in and out waiting for the pain to settle down. I applied the bandages onto the wound, as it was quick to be dyed in red.
After my mind put together all the puzzle pieces that was shattered by torment, I realised, that attending to my wound, was only miniscule to my duty as a soldier. This war wasn’t over. I quickly grabbed my Reising SMG, reminding myself that I’m no coward. I could’ve easily had the chance to turn my back and betray my own country, instead I volunteered to fight at my own will, gladly to give up my own life and to protect America.
I stood up with an immense pressure on my body, that was being pulled down by the remaining pain of my wound. I trailed behind the acrid smell of gun powder, and the bitter taste of grey smoke that devoured the clouds. There it was, the fog of war where my regiment is waiting for me, fending off...