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Death: a soldier's memoir

As I burst out the door, I felt dizzy. The world kept spinning and the wobbly Earth made me sit down then and there. It helped me focus. After the few moments of disorientation, I flicked the safety of my MP5 off. That was when I realized, I forgot to put on my Kevlar. Crap! But there was no time to go back inside the building and besides the whiz of shells, I could hear the distant rumbling of B52 bombers approaching. At that moment, buildings were one of the places some one could lose his life in.

Cursing my habit of my afternoon naps, the reason why my reflex was slow and my head was dizzy, I got up and started to run. I ran straight and fast, to the fringes of the city where the paddy fields were vast with little pockets of trees within. I could hear gunfights progressing in the distance but I could not give a damn. But Matt! Matt was with me and we were supposed to stick together. I was already three blocks away but I decided to go back. That was when I saw him, lying against a burning automobile. His Head. The first waves of artillery shells must have gotten him when he was out keeping a watch for the allied forces we were supposed to rendezvous with. His Kevlar was intact though and without a thought I took it. I felt safer.

Suddenly I realized the rumble of the B52 bombers had died away but the distant gunfights were still going on, intermittently. The courage I had lacked a few moments ago sans the Kevlar vest was suddenly there and I found myself approaching the areas where the fights were going on, god knows between whom. Maybe I was hoping that it was the allied forces that were engaging the enemy. For two blocks nothing happened. I kept going, slowly, firearm cocked, and trying to make myself the smallest possible target. Something flashed by a dark window in front of me and I took the shot. Unsure if I hit the target, I burst into the building hoping to take another shot at it, and there she was - gushing out all the blood in the world from her little wound - a child.

By Hitoishi Chakma


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