The Playground, story about war.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story about the army with a nice twist.

Submitted: April 20, 2010

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Submitted: April 20, 2010

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The Playground
It was 1800 hours and I was waiting for the lads to return in from a routine patrol any minute now. They had been gone almost five hours and with the time I had, I decided to check that all the food was ready for chow time. The casserole was simmering as hints of herbs and spices breached my sinuses with a scent that could satisfy even the fussiest toddler. I chopped the carrots as the heavy wind threw dust up into the atmosphere and the hot sun sent beams of light off my sharp blade. I remember thinking, “This truly was a meal fit for kings”.
As I stood in the kitchen preparing the feast, my boys were out there witnessing horrors that young men at that age should not see in a thousand lifetimes. I still remember the day I first stepped out of the Humvee, it was 1500 hours when I stepped onto the Afghan battlefield, which at the time we thought was deserted. It turned out to be a field rigged with C4 that we were not aware of, and out of nowhere I remember this unbearably loud noise hitting my eardrums that sent me crashing to the hot sand, the next thing I remember is seeing sand fall through my hand like an hourglass and hearing Sgt. Hammersmith screaming, “GET DOWN!”, and “TAKE COVER!”. As I turned my head I remember seeing Pvt. Upson lying next to the Humvee with his left leg completely disintegrated, along with Pvt. James and Col. Peters who had both been deafened and were curled up on the floor in excruciating pain. I eventually came around and could see nothing but anarchy and hear screams of “MEDIC!” echoing across the open crater. Although I had been waiting for this moment through all the hard work and intensive training, nothing could prepare me for what was about to unfold.
I was part of a 11 man squad that included my friend Cassius who had been my best friend since I can remember; we were told the patrol was only going to take an hour or two at the most but it ended up lasting a total of seven hours. We thought that when the first explosion happened we would just get the situation under control and we would make a move back to HQ with the wounded, but that was not the case. It was now 1900 hours and we had been in the desolate crater for an hour, we had the wounded strapped into the Chinook and was ready to take off until an Afghan ambush took control once again. There were about 20 or more of the enemy around the craters ridge that opened fire on our squad, they unleashed round after round from their AK-47’s making it their soul purpose to wipe us out completely.
I saw Cassius taking cover behind the Humvee seeing to Pvt. Patel who had taken a round to his knee cap and one to his abdomen, as I stumbled across the pebbles, legs still shaking with adrenaline, I dove to Cassius’ and shouted “How’s he doing?”, to which he replied, “He’s loosing a lot of blood man, unless we get this under control ASAP we aint making it out of here alive!” Seeing the horror on Cassius’ face as Patel lay there bleeding to a premature death, I realised I had to do something dramatic, so I climbed into the Humvee and strapped into the .50 cal to take action. Before taking aim and firing I hesitated for what seemed a lifetime and pictured the faces of the children whose fathers I was about to take away from them, I then glanced across at Cass and Patel once again and saw the pain that had already been caused. I swung the .50 around and opened bursts of fire along the crater’s ridge taking out whoever and whatever I could. As I finally ceased fire, the smoke was cleared by the Chinook’s rotor’s spinning as it took off, at that moment a sound I was too familiar with hissed in the distance and screams of “RPG!” arose amongst the squad, the RPG hit the helicopter’s tail and sent it spiralling to the Afghanistan pebbles, as the rotor’s hit the dirt they broke up and sent shards into the air catching Pvt. Michaels in the chest causing us another wounded.
After the noise and dust had settled I could hear screams coming from the boys who were still in pain, I climbed out of the .50 and walked over to Cassius to find Patel lying there still in his arms, Cassius looked at me with tears of anger streaming down his cheeks and whispered, “I hate this war”. At that moment I had never wanted to go home so much since we first started training, and no matter how much we were all angry we had to get moving and get the wounded back to HQ.
It was now 2100 hours and we had just left what we had called “The Devils’ Sand Pit”. We were then driving the Humvee to Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul because our route back to base was blocked by the Afghans. Our orders were to get to Kabul, get our wounded taken care of and take a new route back to base to avoid any more trouble. I looked over at Cassius who was sat in dead silence and twiddling his thumbs, I knew then that he was contemplating his future in the army and picturing young Patel’s face which now lay under a black blanket. I sat next to Cass, squeezed his shoulder and said “You still got me man, I know we can make it out of this cruel abyss”, he looked back at me deep into my eyes and cried “From what I’ve seen today, I might as well already be dead”. We then felt a bang hit our Humvee and everything went black.
Boys time for dinner, stop playing that shooting game and get washed up, we’re having casserole.


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