Counting the Gunshots

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
It was a homework assignment and my teacher suggested I put it out on the internet.

Submitted: May 14, 2014

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 14, 2014



September 1, 1961

I wake up to see, yet again the barbed wire that separates West Berlin from East Berlin. I don’t clearly know why it was put up to divide us, but I have had heard some rumors about people who would escape the communist life of East Berlin for the democratic life of West Berlin. The fence only sparks their desire to venture over here more. They found it easy to scale the wall.


New faces emerge in the crowd that I haven’t seen before this day. Faces that, if they were books, they could tell a tale of need and desperation. Sadness curtained their faces, for the fact that they left their families and friends behind. 


January 21, 1962 

Too many new faces to keep track of. The buses have been overflowing with the new people who successfully scaled the fence and hoped to make themselves a brand new life here. As I stand on the bus as it moves, I look outside the window to see, to no surprise, another silhouette climbing over the fence and jumping the final 10 feet down to, what they thought would be a new calmer life, but to no avail. 


When I come home, I look out my window and try to imagine people leaving behind their families to a somewhat unknown city. I wonder if they ever regret their decision and why they would even think about scaling that unforgiving fence.



June 25, 1962

A second fence has found its way 100 yards away from the first fence, as an effort to try and frighten them from trying to make their way over here. But still, people try to run and head their way over here. However, now I hear agonizing screams of pain to accompany the panicked footsteps of running. The screams keep me up at night and twist my stomach into knots as I hear innocent lives being taken. Sometimes, I peek outside my window and look down to see another body falling to the ground as it takes its final steps towards what they thought would be a new life.


September 14, 1964 

How ironic that the last thought that races in their heads, as they sprint towards democracy, is “a new life will be made over here”. That’s if they’re lucky to to die from the bullet shot from the barrel of an uncompassionate and remorseless guard whose orders overpass his basic humane conscious. If they didn’t die, they were forced to drag themselves across the gravel either to head back to their former homes, back to be forced to remember the failed attempt, or to West Berlin, where they hope to prospire and flourish. 


As I count the gunshots I hear from my bedroom, I cover my ears as to block the sound of yet another person falling down and hitting the ground as they enter their eternal rest. I climb into my bed and throw the covers over my head, the child inside of me screams for my mother to stop the noise, but she doesn’t come. And I wish I could yell at them to shut up. 


July 19, 1975

Over the past 10 years, the sounds that protrude from that godforsaken barren strip of land, that we now call “death strip”,  have only driven me closer to irrationality. 


This journal that has been in my possession for over 12 years, has been the only thing that can begin to comprehend my emotions towards this concrete piece of hell. Doctors have prescribed me bottles of Benzodiazepines to help with my restless nights, but they don’t help. I still wake up every night, in a pool of sweat, awakening from my dreams of my journey across that barren strip of gravel. Imaging every little body strewn about the dirt floor. 


July 21, 1975

I have recently acquired a Colt .45 pistol with only 2 bullets. But that’s all I need. Before I say goodbye to all this unfairness and pain, I wish for that wall to be torn piece by piece, until nothing stands of that concrete death machine.  


And as I writ-



The rest of the page was illegible because the victim’s blood splattered over the words. 

This journal was found in a citizen’s bedroom, whose apartment lies only 250 feet from the West Berlin wall. Victim’s cause of death was a single bullet wound to his cerebellum. 



(This story is fictional and any associations to any persons, living or deceased, is coincidental.) 

© Copyright 2017 EyelessJack. All rights reserved.

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