The Dilemma

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Creative Writing Piece that I worked on for my Higher English. It focuses mainly on the idea of The Law of Civil Justice vs The Need for Revenge. The story follows a soldier facing a tough choice following an attack on their convoy.

I decided to leave the story in its original form, which I wrote over a year ago. This means that it's still within the original word cap so description is somewhat lacking. In the future I plan to flesh the story out and write a fuller, more descriptive version. Please take all of this into consideration as you are reading my story, this is essentially the bare-bones of the idea, a rough and flawed version which I will return to at a later date.

Submitted: October 13, 2014

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Submitted: October 13, 2014

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As I stand over the still figure tied to the rickety, bloodied chair I must ask myself, how did it come to this?  We were stationed in Afghanistan for our second tour – simply doing our job.  Honestly, I never saw the point of coming here – combat hardly ever arose and our “skills” were never fully utilised.  I survived the initiation to the SAS; the 40 mile trek through South Wales; the jungle training in Belize and the mock interrogation-all for this?  To almost suffer from heatstroke and patrol peaceful cities all day – unbelievable!  The only factors that had kept me sane were my squad mates, my friends. We shared countless bad jokes, embarrassing memories and boring life updates throughout our tours – they are what made our bonds so special, so unique. We couldn’t image what would happen if any of us didn’t return home....

It was just another normal day; wake up, exercise, eat and then go out on patrol.  We packed our bags and headed out in a convoy. We laughed, joked, normal banter as the military vehicles sped through the endless desert.  That’s when the “normalities” ended.  I was in the second vehicle from the front when the disaster struck.  A landmine had been planted on the road and our lead car struck it directly.  Shredded pieces of metal exploded into the sky and our windscreen.  It felt like I was in a nightmare: a few seconds ago I had been sharing a joke about football and now I could only stare into the blood-soaked windscreen as the car screeched to a halt.  My captain hauled me out of the seat and behind our vehicle for protection.  The orders could barely be heard through my ringing ears.  Looking around I could see that some others were taking it as badly as I was – men were crying others were almost in a sort of “blood rage” – getting into a frenzy and preparing to get revenge.  Gunfire could be heard from over the car as the people who set the mine were moving in for the kill.  The next few minutes were a blur as shots were traded between sides.

The incapacitating fear of death was barely suppressed by the need to survive the battle.  If I hadn’t just lost some dear friends, I would have made a joke that I finally got what I had asked for – a decent fight.  My squad cut down the enemies fairly fast – chests were blown open from shotgun rounds, screams of agony could be heard as some of the weaker soldiers were running for the hills.  By the time the conflict died down only one wounded enemy remained.  He was disarmed and incapacitated immediately as the man attempted to fire his gun only to find that he was out of ammunition.  Now the squad could stand in delayed shock as the gravity of the situation finally kicked in.  While I felt it before, it had finally dawned on me.  We had lost some of our closest friends.  Anger swept over us as we realised that we had a perpetrator lying unconscious at our feet.  I knew that we couldn’t simply let the killer escape but we couldn’t hand him in either.  If he was given over to our superiors he would be tried and sent to prison – he wouldn’t pay for his crimes.  From the looks on my friends’ faces I could tell that they were thinking the same.  Our captain radioed the base to confirm that the combat was resolved but, surprisingly, he stated that “all hostiles either died or escaped”. I could tell what he had planned for this man.

We sent some of the squad back to base with the injured and the dead while the rest of us stayed behind to “clean up the mess”.  The wreckage had to be cleared and our respects were paid as we gathered what was left of our friends.  To prevent the enemy from dying, over prematurely, I had patched up his wound and placed him into the last remaining car.  Only the captain, the medic and I remained to deal with this murderer.  We headed out in our vehicle for what felt like hours to find a building to carry out our dirty deed.  The atmosphere in the vehicle was understandably grim as we tried to cope again with the situation, multiplied exponentially by the fact that a contributor to the murder was sitting next to me.  It took near enough an hour to find a building secluded from society that we could make use of.  The time had finally come to get revenge.

I dragged the now conscious man into the dark and dingy room where our interrogation would take place.  We found an old chair to seat him in and tied his hands and legs together to prevent an escape.  Through his moans and tears he would beg for mercy from us.  He could speak fluent English so I could only wonder what other role he plays in society and what his personal motivation for the attack was.  I couldn’t hold back my rage as I drove my fist into his stomach and repeatedly struck his face – all the while my friends just stood in silence.  Now I no longer cared why they attacked us: this kind of outburst is fairly straightforward – a guerrilla strike - I just wanted to make him regret ever taking such radical action.  I pummelled him until my muscles could no longer hold up my arms.  As the man coughed up blood it dawned on me that there really was no way back – if we let him go he would either report this brutality or rejoin those soldiers and continue to kill British troops. We had to stop him before he could take action.  The others in my group gathered around me as I explained what I had just realised – they had also come to that conclusion.  We had to avenge our fallen friends no matter what happens to us afterwards.

Our group discussed our options, that if we were found out we would be court-marshalled and face prison for breaking the rules of combat.  Expectantly, none of us cared as we only sought revenge. I pulled out my sidearm in preparation – I wanted to be the one to kill him.  As I raised the gun to the man’s head he began to weep uncontrollably, begging for mercy.  Why should I be merciful to this man? If I was in his position he would not show mercy to me.  With my trembling arm I pressed the barrel to his forehead and he moved frantically, trying in any way to avoid his imminent demise.  My mind went blank as I thought of my friends and clenched the stiff trigger.  The deafening bang sealed our fates but we didn’t care – we had taken our revenge.


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