The warriors whisper

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
Two soldiers wait for their impending death. Will it end on their knees or with courage driving them on.

Submitted: February 27, 2012

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Submitted: February 27, 2012

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The warriors whisper

 

A cube of concrete between life and death, the desire to flee when knowing there is no escape.  Do I die a coward, on my knees begging for my life?  Do I die a patriot with the courage to fight on till deaths sweet embrace?  To stand my ground is to meet my extinction, but to press on against the torrent of bullets flying around me, even to gain a few moments of honor, will fill my heart.

We have been pinned down by the enemy for over six hours.  Each of us taking our turn to send wave upon wave of warriors to their almost certain death.  To gain a few foot, to lose them and more in only an hour.  Then their tanks arrived.  Obliterating our line and forcing us to scatter into unsafe territories.  We were in a trench.  Now I’m in no man’s land with only the foot-wide block of man made stone as my protection.  The only other member from my squad to survive is a rookie on his first tour of duty, wet behind the ears from lack of training being replaced by soaked in claret from his new comrade’s remains.  I don’t even know if the kid could pull the trigger if needed.  Between us, what is left of our former sergeant, shredded and mutilated by the bombardment from the enemy, taking no prisoners, leaving few survivors.  Looks like I just got promoted to an army of two.

The rest of our formation fled deeper into the forest, out of range and sight of the goliath motorized beasts which had already decimated our companions.  Maybe one of them saw us over their shoulder as they ran for their lives.  Hopefully someone will come to rescue me from making the decision on how I and my young friend will die as any choice I make will lead us both to our deaths.

The barrage of bullets ends leaving an uncomfortable silence with death whispers crawling through the haze of smoke.  A sound which has crept up my spine once before and, knowing how I felt the first time, I turn my attention to the boy hiding in a very shallow ditch a few foot away.  I can see the horror in his eyes as with each breath passed, he remembers another face he will never see again.  Then I see what I expected when the whispers first arrived.

He had begun to push himself from the floor, his instinct to run controlling every fiber in his body, motivating him with a charge of adrenalin.  Instinct can be good.  It can keep you alive when you’re backed into a corner with nowhere left to hide.  But on this occasion, instinct was going to kill this boy.  I snap my fingers to get his attention, three attempts to take control of his focus and signal that he stays.  As quietly as I can I fumble for my tiny shaving mirror I keep in my pocket and angle it so I can see the enemy, advancing slowly as they search every crevice and dip for survivors as they marched onwards into yet another vicious campaign.  There is no way they are going to miss us.

Their first line is made up of machine gunners and dogs.  Two breeds designed for fighting up close.  Their snipers are already mounting the trees which are still standing, trapping us even further into trouble and a back line of tanks reinforcing the rear rendering any further retreat impossible.  If we are spotted but manage to avoid the bullets and hungry hounds, we will be obliterated by the sweep of shells as they forge further their victory.

I check my ammo, five bullets to eliminate a small army, not a chance.  The boy sees what I am doing and skids a clip across the deck, still not enough to live.  BANG, a whisperer silenced.  I point to the strap on my body where my spent grenades once lay.  He responds by rolling onto his side and showing me his last one.  Maybe he is ready to kill to survive.  We wait.  We have no other choice. We may take out a few when we spring to our death.  I dream the machine gunners bodies will block the snipers view or they could step into the line between gun and death.  If they have been as poorly supplied as we have, their dogs could be starving and slow through lack of scraps, or would it just quicken their pace to pursue flesh.  Lady luck could grant us her favour and allow us to successfully dodge the shells as we strain to get out of range. But hey, it’s just a dream.

Instead we were faced with a new dilemma.  Our saviors and our killers are getting close.  Half a dozen allied bombers, which I know are filled with napalm, are coming to blanket the forest in a blaze of fuel and fire, burning all enemies and, unfortunately, us.  Now we have no choice but to run.

BANG, a whisperer no more.  I signal the lad to throw his grenade then run and I prepare to stand.  The moment the explosion erupts I quickly jump and begin spraying death in all directions.  One, two, three drop to the floor and I turn and run, aiming behind me as I flee for my life.  As the bullets fly over my head I hear the dogs being let lose, crying havoc ahead of them as they began their hunt.  The boy is ahead of me as we hurdle the stricken trees, leap over the deep trenches and jump over the bodies of our fellow soldiers.  The barking is almost upon me, death is nipping at my heel, forcing me to confront it.  I turn and shoot, surprisingly expelling my last bullet.  I thought I had more and really couldn’t afford to have missed.  I pull the knife from my boot and drive it hard into the dog’s throat as it leapt at mine.  The second mutt gripped my bladed hand in its fangs and a third began savagely trying to get a grip on my thick thigh, pain shooting through my body with each failed attempt.

BANG, BANG.  Two bullets from the boy loosened the grip on my arm, permanently, and I crush the other with my much heavier body and stab it until it stops its struggle. He came back for me. Now I’m going to get us out of here.  He shoots at the approaching enemy as I sprint towards him and united we run.  The fight with the dogs slowed us enough for a few machine gunners to out flank us.  All targeting me as the obviously more experienced but, unknown to them, out of ammunition.  My new brother in arms squeezed his trigger until his clip was empty, vanquishing our foes in a fury of his own.  As we ran on we drop our weapons and pick up theirs. A weapon I am unfamiliar with but a weapon with ammo.

Four huge booms, as the tanks take their turn to extinguish our lives, then salvation.  We had managed to cause enough of a riot to direct the enemies’ attention at us and not our winged warriors who unleash hell in a wave of fire. The attack began from the rear of the tanks and into the forest, directly on a route to us.  I quicken my pace, adrenalin now working on my side as I push the lad on through the exploding trees.  The intensity of which scorching our already bruised and fatigued bodies.

We stop at a clearing, fearing our retreating comrades may have left devices in their wake to slow the enemy.  BANG, time turns slower. The boy drops to his knees with a thud as a fountain of blood sprays from the back of his shattered skull, his eyes already dead.  I realize our problem.  Our skin and uniform are burnt beyond recognition and we carry the enemies’ weapons. I raise my hands to plead to my brothers but my actions also travel in slow motion.

BANG…..


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