I walked into our makeshift barracks. Sarge sitting on a footlocker, idle and expressionless. He’s still in his gear, vest and all. His helmet lay on the floor. His eyes gazing ahead into what could have been another galaxy. Who knows.
“Hey Sarge, whats going on?” I asked.
“Nothing Willie, nothing at all.”
“You don’t look yourself.”
“I am not myself,” he says. “I am someone else now. I’m different.”
“You’re creeping me out Sarge, what is it.”
“I killed today.” he stated matter of factly.
“So” I replied gruffly.
Sarge gets up quickly and stomps toward me, grabbing my neck and pushes me against the wall. Others in the room quickly get up and stand by with looks of astonishment.
“What the fuck you doing Sarge. This is combat man!” I yell, our faces only inches apart. “WAR!”
“War! Well war doesn’t take away the fact that I have feelings dammit.”
He lets me go and stares into my eyes, his lips quivering with either rage or hurt. He turns and walks toward his footlocker. Its quiet. He stops and looks around the room.
“I believe judgment will come when I face God,” he says. “I get that its war. That don’t mean it don’t hurt. What the fuck are you guys, soulless! Look at me, I am different now!”
“You ever kill Mackie?” he calmly ask the Wyoming native laying in his bunk.
“Why no Sarge,” he states in his country accent.
“How about you Pryor?”
The cocky Brooklyn native answers “Nah man.”
“How about you?” he says to me.
“I hope you don’t. None of you!” he yells. Then says calmly, “I have to live with this, right or wrong. Forever.”
“But Sarge, its ok man,” I say to him.
“Oh yea, tell that to that kids mother,” he says quietly. “Is that what the Marines telling your mother if you die here. Its ok?”
War gives birth to pain. Eternal pain. I now know. I learned today. From Sarge.
This work of fiction was written for Trifecta: Week Sixty.
- Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
- You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
- The word itself needs to be included in your response.
- You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
- Only one entry per writer.