Sunday, January 4, 2009

My Call of Duty

This sounds like a title to a Scrubs episode (new season starts Tuesday on channel 7 at nine, F.Y.I.), but alas it is not, it is a description of life in the trenches on the beaches of Makin island.

I had awoke inside a Japanese bamboo hut, alone and disoriented. It was cold and dark, and I heard the waves crashing on the shore, the natural explosions of Mother Earth foreshadowing the mass chaos that was about to ensue. I raised my head to check my surroundings, deceptively motionless, never a good sign. Sudden gunfire echoed in the distance and my anxiety level jumped up, the realization I was not alone. My palms sweating as I reloaded my machine gun, everything in my body told me to run, but my mind was in total control, I waited, patiently pondering my next plan of action.

I gathered my thoughts and remembered, I must get to the extraction point, I must make my way back to Pelilu Island. Suddenly, I saw a man dart out of the overgrowth and make a run at a wooden bridge leading to an elevated hut about 300 yards away. CRACK! The man fell to his feet, his head blown in half, his body twitching, now just another worthless statistic. Another soldier emerged from the water, the obvious benefactor of the previous mans demise. I realized at that moment, to get were I needed to go, I was going to have to kill, everyone I saw.

Slowly, I waded through the water, watching men, running and killing, no remorse, no conscience. The water was ice cold, my shivering uncontrollable at this point, shooting from this vantage would be a wasted effort. I spotted a soldier making his way up the ladder leading to my haven. Now occupied, my plans for an easy ascent into the hut are now in need of adjustment. The barrel of his rifle peered out one of the northern window. If I were to make my way up the ladder, my foe would surely be aware of my presence, my options were fleeting, my inventory of death low.

Wet, tired, my pulse raced, I had made my way to the south side of the hut. Crack! Crack! An onslaught of fury sprayed out of the window. The soldier above, paranoid, waiting impatiently for death to take him. I had one chance, I would pull the pin on my grenade and hold it for 5 seconds or cooking it as we used to call it. I would have one chance to hurl it through the south window, the longer I held it, the less time my opponent would have to react and hide or pick it up and throw it back. One, two, three, four, five and I threw it with all I had. Clank, it landed right in the hut and then a SCREAM and an explosion, an arm hurled out of the window and into the water, a horrible sight but better him than me.

I climbed out of the water and hustled up the ladder, I had reached a breathing point. The hut still reeking of gun powder, was covered in blood, brain and body parts. I kept myself from vomiting as I rearranged the room on the fly. There was no telling how many were out there, but I wasn't getting out till they had all left this earth. I ransacked the hut and found a locater for an ariel strike, what luck. I inputted my cordinance and pressed the button. Fire from the sky would be arriving shortly, I had only hoped it would be soon enough.

The sounds of the attack could be heard before they arrived, like thunder signaling a lightning strike. BANG! Explosions and screams were all I could decipher in the moment of madness. If they didn't know something was amiss, they did then. I could hear barks in the distance, the had released the hounds. I wasn't going to make it to my destination with those animals roaming, I had few choices. I decided to go to the window and picked of as many foes as I could before my final descent into the jungle.

I knew the remaining forces would key in on my position, I would have to set up a booby or Betty trap for anybody that was feeling frisky. I planted the Bouncing Betty in the ground directly in front of the ladder. If some one were to come up, the grenade would bounce into the air and shred whatever came through. There might of been a chance that the device would shred me, but being on my own, that was the chance I had to take. I placed myself in the window again and started my assault on the attack dogs released to eat me.

BOOM! The Betty went off and sent me flying against the wall. Someone had tried to come up, bad idea. Covered in blood, my ears ringing, my mind, lost, I gathered myself and got to my feet. The remnants of what looked to be a human being adorned the ladder like a Christmas tree from hell. I had killed 18 men that night, so far, dispatched a dozen dogs, and it was time to make my move into the jungle. I descended down the organ soaked ladder and looked toward the jungle. Maybe I would get out of this alive.

CRACK! 18-1

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your writing is really good. Keep at it. A writer should be writing. You have the talent! Remember that a winner never quits and a quitter never wins. Continue to persevere.