Scatter My Body in Nam and Other Stories of War
1. Scatter My Body in Nam: A Ghost Story About Vietnam
Nay though my body lay scattered among the valley I live on my ghost fighting the same battles over and over. I see the same comrades die in my arms, the same enemy die either bombed to hell or shot multiple times. The killing field so chocked with blood, guts and muck. My ghostly feet make loud slapping and slurping sounds in the muck humping the boonies as I did while still living. The holes from where the bullets hit me still visible. Grenades and bombs hit near me and dissipate, ghost bombs for ghost soldiers. The dead greet one another with cheers and jolting swears. Big strong men weep at their dismembered brothers in arm. I, myself shed not a tear for I know my end has been predestined since coming to this country. Vietnam such a dreadful place full of common fear; fear such as: death, enemy snipers, long days, bullets falling like rain, mortar and bombs, and facing another battle with Gooks. We, their enemies, in their eyes their masters, want only to see are homeland and families, wives, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons and brothers. But alas all of us have died. I watched whole villages burnt hooch by hooch, watched napalm flower like wild fires across such a beautiful place. Monsoons washed away men and equipment. I still hear the screams of dying enemies and friends alike. They haunt this forest same as we do. I find weapons scattered in the valley named Ia Drang. Ia Drang was a bloody place in 1968, today the ghosts re-enact the same battles with the same results. Ka-boom a bomb falls right beside me and disappears. Flicker-flash I see the snipers bullet whistle past and pick up a gun and fire and fire and fire until the clip runs dry. Mortars keep falling, a ghost Huey flies close by and the door gunner open fires on the VC.
“Red Man 1 this is Golden Eagle we have a company of Huey’s in bound, repeat Huey’s in bound hold for conformation,” a ghost radio crackles in my pocket.
“This is Red Man 1 to Golden Eagle that’s conformed bring in heavy fire to Ia Drang Valley” I conformed into my ghost radio. HHue
4 ghosts Huey’s flew in low and the door gunners fired at the incoming Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army. I saw the ghost bullets hit the Vietcong and NVA and both bullets and soldiers dissipated. We moved further into the valley the 4 Huey’s keeping a mournful vigil above us. A watchful eye for mines my squad walked into a village full of dead and rotting peasants and their dying farms. We smoked as we burned the village. A sniper bullet flew from one of the trees and Lt. Johnson threw a grenade into the bushes. We heard the whoomp of the grenade and a scream from the bush. We all screamed Hoorah and walked on toward another destination.
2. The Day We Watched Freedom Die
It was dark and wet and all we wanted to do was shower and sleep. We had built foxholes and curled for warmth. It was raining again and Lt. Freedom Johnson was watching for enemies sneaking in the night. His rifle dipped low and his cigarette burned to ashes in his mouth. His eyes narrowed to slits, but he was still watching. He heard rather than felt the bullet hit near the foxhole. His M-16 came to the ready and Srgt. Mike Limrock got at the ready. Others were firing in the general direction of the bullets. Freedom saw an enemy VC and fired. He watched as the VC died. Limrock threw a grenade and the firing died down
“Dat was a close one Sarg eh?” said Freedom in his Southern accent. Freedom was a black from Tennessee. He had been fighting wars since Korea in the 1950’s. He was scared of this war though. The atmosphere of war had changed since Korea.
“Ya Freedom a close one ‘twas,” said Limrock as he laid down again. Day came and they were marching into Khe Sahn one of the worse battle in this war. Freedom was on point when a bouncing betty’s explosion hit and killed him and two other soldiers. That day we got revenge for Freedom and the others. That day Limrock mourned for that day Freedom Johnson, Lt. once Lt. Major (Later busted down to Lt. in a fight) died on the way to Khe Sahn.
3. Limrock Goes Crazy
Srgt. Limrock held on to Freedoms dismembered body for hours. All his men watched him waiting for him to move. Tears fled from all the men but most the tears came from Limrock.
“Let’s get those F**kin Gooks,” said Limrock as he leapt up. Tears still fell. The men walked on keeping watchful eyes for either enemy or mines. Huey’s flew by on the way to Khe Sahn. Limrock’s eyes looked crazy for in the moment when Freedom died he had lost his mind. Enough is enough thought Limrock we must destroy these damn GOOKS! Limrock saw a village ahead.
“Men forward march search the village and its perimeter,” Limrock said as he ran into the village. His gun was ready for anything. A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do Limrock thought. He saw a flash and started to fire. Men and women, children and mothers, even animals died under the guns of Srgt. Limrock.
“DIE,” screamed Limrock. His mind already fried from witnessing so much he went one step further. His men watched as he lined up people and shot them all
“FOR FREEDOM!” Limrock screamed as he pulled his pistol out and shot himself in front of God and his men.