A Soldier's Tale

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
He made a mistake. Can he undo it?

Submitted: July 21, 2008

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Submitted: July 21, 2008

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It was snowing hard, and the ground could barely be seen. The land seemed to be a big fluff of soft cotton. It seemed as if there was a tornado of snow outside. Ali was sitting under the open tent made from two sticks and a sheet of thick tent cloth. It was very cold and he was shivering, but for Ali, this was nothing compared to how he was feeling inside. His heart was on fire, it gave him severe pain, and he regretted what he had done.

 

He remembered what had happened, and how he had shown his cowardliness. He and his team had set up their camp in a place up in the mountains, where they were sure that the enemy will not be able to find. He remembered that he was talking to his companion in their tent, when BANG! The ground shook. He had rushed out of his tent.

 

Everyone was in a state of confusion. The bang had been made by a grenade that had hit one of the poles of a nearby tent. It had caught fire and was now burning rapidly. Luckily, there was no one in the tent. Men were running to and fro throwing water at the tent trying to put out the fire. The commander of the army camp came out from his tent, and started shouting orders. Ali thought fast, somebody had thrown a grenade at them; so the enemy had found them: this meant war. Ali felt his courage drifting away and he couldn’t bring it back. He had to do something, he had to save himself. All around him the soldiers were assembling under the commander’s order but for once, Ali didn’t follow his commander’s order. He grabbed a piece of fabric from the burnt tent and ran away from the site. In the confusion created by the grenade he wasn’t noticed. His fellows were loading their guns ready for battle, not caring about whether they’ll live or not, whether they’ll see their loved ones or not. But Ali didn’t share their views. He ran like a coward, indeed he was a coward. He didn’t care about bravery, he didn’t care about his companions, he didn’t care about defending his country; he only cared about his life.

 

He would have only got a kilometer away when the enemy broke up on the army camp. The area was filled with sounds of gun shots and cries of men but Ali’s footsteps didn’t turn back to help his fellow soldiers. He just wanted his safety.

 

About a mile or so, he heard a dreadful sound, a sound that shook his heart. BANG! The camp had been made a victim of bomb. Everything ended there for Ali but he had a strange feeling, a feeling of relief and pain. He was reminded that if he would have stayed there he would have been killed like so many others. But there was pain in him, because he had betrayed his companions, his commander, and his country.

He wished that he had stayed at the camp and helped them fight the enemy and maybe then he wouldn’t have felt this bad. He would have died but an honorable death, because he would have died for his country. Ali knew he couldn’t turn back; that he was a traitor and the place for him would be prison.

 

Ali had found two bare sticks and had pitched up a rough tent with the help of the piece of fabric he had bought from the tent.

 

Now, he sat in the tent, the perfect picture of pain that even death would have sympathy for him. His mind was baffled up as thoughts swam round and round, mixing into each other. He felt sick of himself, he wanted to kill himself, the pain was so strong, and it strengthened when he thought that a free ride to death was now lost. He wanted to free himself from the bars of pain, shrieking to him that he was guilty, that he was a culprit of God-knows-what.

 

Ali tried to shut himself out but he knew it was impossible. Memories of his companions swam in font of his eyes, talking in his ears, accusing him of betraying them, of leaving them to die. Ali wanted to pull out his hair and shout out in frustration. This wasn’t what he had bargained for.

 

Ali’s hand were slowly turning blue and numb in the cold, but he didn’t care. He was used to tough conditions; it had been a part of his training – and he had run away from it all. Ali felt like handing himself to the enemy – he knew they were at the remains of the camp – but he stopped himself. No, he made one mistake, he will undo it. Yes, he will undo his mistake – but how?

 

Suddenly, the face of his late commander loomed into view. Ali remembered that the brave man had said to them before they left for the mission:

 

“Whatever happens, men, report at the base camp at once. Wait for their order, before you take an action…”

 

Ali felt a new determination erupt inside him. He will report at the base camp what had just happened. Then the base camp will send some troops and they can finish off the enemy troops at the camp remains. Yes, that was his plan.

 

Ali roughly estimated where the base camp was, then got out from his ‘tent’ and began his journey towards it. The heavy snow made it difficult to see where he was heading but fortunately, it also disguised him. The weather was chilling and very bad, but still Ali didn’t turn back. He had to undo his fault.

 

In the freezing cold and snow, without any real protection, it took Ali two whole days to get to the base camp, which luckily wasn’t that far off. Once he reached there, he told the base commander what had happened (but still Ali was too embarrassed to admit he had run off). The commander doubted whether the enemy would still be there, but he sent his troops to search the area. The enemy was found and after a very gruesome war, they were driven off. Ali had achieved his aim…

 

Now today, as he stood here on his stage, receiving his medal of honor from a very high positioned officer, he only said:

 

“This is a secret of life, men. If you can undo your mistake then there is no fear, your deed will be a better one than that you had left behind. Your mistake can only be undone, if you have the determination and, for a strange reason, regret.”


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