WAR: BLOOD AND REDEMPTION

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
/Shouldn't have killed them/ /Hands stained with blood/ /can't go on// why do we hav eot fihgt//want to rest/

Submitted: May 13, 2008

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Submitted: May 13, 2008

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Making my way through the field of posies and wildflowers, I watched the wind play

around with the grass stalks and flower petals. The air smelt fresh and clean, a contrast of what it

had been in the war camps. God, it was so good to be away from all that warfare, no blood, no

dirt, no poison, just simple beauty.  Reflecting on what I had just thought, I realize I have

changed greatly from the ambitious and patriotic cadet, from the soldier who went eagerly to war

hoping for glory.  I thought back then that it was for the glory of the nation, I thought that any

sacrifices for the country were always justifiable.  What a folly I made! A stupid mistake! I was

wrong! There’s no glory on the battlefield, no justifiable reason to take another human’s life.

I remember very clearly the contorted faces of the people I killed, the people who I had

willingly pulled my trigger on. They’d always have this look of shock, like somebody had come

up behind them and said boo! What’s more, I couldn’t protect the soldiers who followed under

my command; I couldn’t even save one of my men’s life. How pathetic is that? All I can hear are

my men’s moans as they begged doctors to end their lives.  The memory shakes me to my toes. I

remember they would always cry to me as I held their hands.  The wounded beyond help men

would always sob to me about their children, sweethearts, mothers and fathers. I could do

nothing but whisper reassurances as their life slipped away. I always cried when they lay limp

with no life. In time though, those tears quickly dried up.  I developed an animal instinct, the

instinct to do whatever it takes to survive. Every shadow to me was an enemy, and I understood

that it was a dog-eat-dog world on the battlefield. Just about when I thought I

was going to go crazy from all the deaths, all the pain, the

war ended. My country had won the war! I was so shocked, I couldn’t believe it. When the news

was delivered to our war camp, everybody cheered, yet it wasn’t carried on with a full heart.  I

didn’t participate; I simply slumped down in a chair, letting my memories of the battles run

through me.

 

I came back to the country, the country I had once thought of as “my” country. The

president praised the commanders and showered us with medals at one luncheon after another. I

clenched my fists and felt sick to my stomach at these events. These medals and praises were

useless. These praises wouldn’t make up for all the dead on the battlefield. These medals

wouldn’t bring them back to life. In my head, thoughts raced wildly. What about those soldiers

who served faithfully under me?  What about their lives?

 

I felt so sick, I stopped eating and became thinner and thinner. To the president, we were

nothing but pawns used to win the war. I’d gladly trash the medals and praises if it would only

bring any one of my men back to life. But there was no use, they were dead. I barely held my

tears at bay during the ceremonies. I wanted to yell to everyone that winning a war isn’t anything

to be proud of.

 

When I finally went back to my hometown and tried to live normal life again, everytime I

looked in the mirror, I didn’t see me anymore. I saw a bitter and tired woman who was weary of

the world. My eyes were the eyes of a killer, the type of eyes you get after you’ve killed faceless

man after faceless man. I tried to live life again by seeing my old friends, but it never worked.

My friends and I felt oceans apart, they were civilians and I had become a soldier.

They didn’t understand what I went through, what trauma and torture it is to kill another human being.

 War was nothing short of murder, and they didn’t understand that, instead they also praised me for being brave and for protecting our country.

 Eventually, we had nothing to talk about. So I sat in my house, replaying movies in my

head, movies that showed bullets whizzing though the air and hitting a person, movies that

showed the iron stench of blood, screams of agony, and bleak devastation. I would scream

waking up from these movies in the middle of the night. It was too much, too much for me to

bear. It was at this time, I started to go crazy as the guilt and memories began to drive me to the

edge of my limits. I would always think about what I could have been if I hadn’t gone to the war,

a doctor saving lives, a teacher, an environmentalist, a normal person! Anything but a soldier!

 

As time dragged on, I knew I couldn’t bear to stay in this country any longer. It held too

many memories, too many bad memories. It wasn’t home to me anymore, it was just a country

that had killed people for the sake of winning a war.  This country was a mother to me back then,

but not now, not ever again.

 

In the spring I moved to Switzerland, leaving my past behind.  I promised myself I would

never take a human life with my two hands again. Life is too precious, and people never realize

that until they meet death head on. I know that now, and I’m not going to make the same mistake ever again.

 

So, in Switzerland, I’ve settled down and opened a flower shop. I now only want a

peaceful life, a life with happiness and beauty. Flowers help me drive out the memories, and replace them with better ones.

I know though that the memories will always be there, but they are slowly fading. Maybe in time I can overcome the guilt and tell someone.

Yeah, I like the sound of that. Someday. Someone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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