The Death of a Marine

Wrote this in high school. . .another flashback.
A bomb explodes; bullets fly; a marine falls to the ground.

Seconds later he hears the words “man down” shouted amid the bombs and bullets sounding all around him. The marine feels nothing at first except, perhaps, shock. But then…pain. A horrible, indescribable pain surges up inside his stomach and fills him from head to toe like venomous liquid. The marine gazes down. A large red spot had widened over where the bullet had pierced his fragile skin. He struggled not to fall down again as he watched the redness slowly widen. The marine knew then that he was going to die.

His squad was on a routine patrol through an area that was less then welcome to the U.S. occupation. His training was supposed to have prepared him for this moment, but he was the first man down, and he couldn’t do anything. He was a sitting duck.

The medic runs over and begins to treat his wound. As he does sow, he shouts words of encouragement. “You’re going to make it, kid! Don’t give up!”

The marine can barely hear his words but what he does hear doesn’t encourage him. The marine begins to pass out, but the medic keeps him from it. The marine wishes he would. He begins to feel a strong dislike for the medic and, if he could speak, he would probably tell him to shove off. The medic might say he will live but the wound says different…and so does the cold feeling rising up inside him that makes the marine shiver.

The marine beings to appeal to God, begging forgiveness for his sins and asking to be allowed to live though he knows immediately that this is in vain. God cannot seal up wounds just as God couldn’t stop the bullets or a car speeding down the road to an ignorant pedestrian. The idea that He would or even could seal up his wounds is simply absurd. But the very fact he had been hit with a bullet was, in itself, absurdly cruel.

He has a wife and family back home. He hopes they would be okay. They were the most important thing to him, and he feels guilty to leave them behind. He thought that he would get out of the war unscathed. That was pure folly.

Suddenly the pain, slowly but surely, begins to subside. His spirit seems to have floated out of his body and the marine felt like flying. He began to think that perhaps dying was good. How could something like dying be bad when it felt so good?

The sounds begin to evaporate. The yelling and screaming of combat disappears. The marine would’ve smiled if he could. He would soon be at peace. The medic put his face right up in front of him, mouthing wordlessly, desperately. However, the medic soon began evaporate into blackness as did all of his surroundings. The marine feels grim pleasure at not having to see his face anymore.And then, once both sound and light had completely vanished from him, the marine died.


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