War - Citizen Observation *First Draft*

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic

First draft of a short story I wrote.


I remember that day as if it were yesterday. The day my old life ended and a new one began. When all happiness turned to sorrow and the children no longer played. Instead, they sat and watched the skies. They watched the skies waiting for the bombs to stop falling; they waited for their fathers to come home so their mothers would stop crying every night. The air was all but silent except for the sounds of cannon fire and gunshots in the distance. The once blissful and prosperous town had become a destitute, melancholy wasteland. German soldiers filled the once luscious forests while the American soldiers tried to stand their ground on the outskirts of the town.

When the first bomb hit there was no chaos, there were no screams, just eerie silence.  The world stood still moments after the initial strike. Then all hell broke loose. As our military struggled desperately to recuperate, the Germans laid waste to the town with vicious mortar strikes. Destroying schools, hospitals, and major public areas, they knew exactly what they were doing. When the mortar fire ceased and the smoke died out the town became unrecognizable. The tallest buildings reduced to rubble, parks were set ablaze, neighborhoods ripped apart. Panic in the streets arose as the military tried to mobilize against the occupants.

As the Germans flooded the streets, I stood immobilized by astonishment and fear staring out of my three-story high apartment window watching the chaos below. I watched as tanks crushed the cars beneath it while the Nazi soldiers mercilessly slaughtered every unlucky soul who happened to catch their attention. My youngest son pulled me out of my trance. As he tugged at me pants leg, I returned to reality and looked down. His face was soaked wet, eyes blood shot with a look of pure terror on his face. He lifted him up by his shoulders and hugged him tight against my body. He let out a giant sob and suddenly my right shoulder was soaking wet. When the tears finally ceased he tried speaking but became muffled by my shirt. I pulled him away from my chest and set him down.

“What did you say?” I asked.

“Is….” He paused and almost started crying again. Like a tough boy, he caught himself and tried again, “is James going to be ok?”

A sudden look of terror ran across my face. I felt my heart sink below my chest and come to a screeching halt. James, my eldest son, was drafted in the military three years ago. Just last week he was stationed here. He was at the airbase at the time of the initial attack; the airbase was one of the first places to be hit. Since then I have not seen a single plane take off in retaliation, which worried me deeply. James was always his mother’s favorite child and he promised her nothing would happen to him during his service. The day he left, she died from pneumonia; before she died, I swore I would protect our three boys and make sure Jason got home safe. Now I don’t even know if he is still alive and I couldn’t do anything about it. All I could do was sit and wait hoping there would be no knock on my door. I lowered myself onto one knee and grabbed my son by the shoulders. In a stern voice I said,

“Son, you go into your room and get under your bed. You do not leave until you hear me call your name. Do you understand?”

He nodded his head and turned to run towards his room. I grabbed his arm, looked at him deep in his eyes, and said only one thing before I left.

“I love you.” Then I let him go and stood up. I slipped on my brown leather coat, put on my grey fedora, laced up my brown shoes and headed out into the warzone. I wasn’t going to sit and wallow in fear waiting for Death to come knocking on my door. It was time to take charge of my life. Little did I know that by leaving I would never see my youngest son again, I would never have my old life again. In the next few days my life would be flipped upside down and nothing would ever be the same again.


Submitted: February 16, 2012

© Copyright 2023 James Teel. All rights reserved.

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