AJ - Izzy

Canada

How to write all of me in less than 10 seconds?

Hmm, let me think... how about DREAMER?

Yup. That works.

Message to Readers

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
- Robert Laurence Binyon (For The Fallen, 1914)

We Remember (A Remembrance Day Special)

November 9, 2019

FREE WRITING

1
“From the very beginning of their journey, they had no doubt.”

John strapped in the last of his pack, looking up at the transport plane. It was magnificent, the perfect mix of stealth and power. The line of soldiers jostled around, enjoying their last moments of sunshine. The steady thump of boots on the pavement was deafening, so loud that a cheer arose from the sidelines. He was ready.

“Hours of waiting, and yet they still smiled and laughed along with their loyal comrades.”

The plane shook violently as lights flickered red. John clutched at his stomach, determined not to let it get the better of him. “Having trouble keeping your breakfast down, John?” laughed his best friend, Andrew. He gave John a solid pat on the back, offering him his water. He took it gingerly, smiling with gratitude.

“When it was time, no man hesitated. They dived in, not for the glory of being honour, but for their hometown, their families.”

A giant boom shook them, and they charged. Huge clouds of dust gathered in the air as yelling and clanking of battle overtook the field. Cannons firing shook the ground, making John stumble. He lurched over to the nearest ditch, taking cover. The black and white picture of his loving wife and three children felt heavy in his pocket. 

“The hardest choices come when you are facing an enemy, and yet a friend. An alien, and yet a human. We thank you for choosing your country.”

John fumbled with his gun, loading it quickly. He mounted it onto a ridge, and waited. Yelling and flashes of green and yellow, overtook his vision, but just then, he saw a figure running towards him. It was an enemy, and he had a gun trained on him. John took careful aim, his finger resting on the trigger.

“And when they couldn’t, others came in to assist. The bond between these men and women was unbreakable, for their hearts were strong.”
He clenched his teeth, trying to contain his shaking hands. The enemy continued to run towards him, and John took a deep breath, shaking uncontrollably. Suddenly, a hand lay on his shoulder. “Hey,’' said Andrew, who had never left his side, “It’s okay.” John hesitated, then nodded, taking a few deep breaths. He turned back, aimed once more, and pulled the trigger. 

“Let us not forget also those who aided the soldiers, those who were in the midst of the battlefield, providing healing no matter the cost.”

Andrew pat his friend on the back, consolidating him. Just then, his eye caught something else. Another soldier, wounded on the battlefield. John saw him too, and raced forward from his hiding spot. Andrew yelled at him to come back, but John yelled louder. “Go, get a medic!” He shouted. In the blink of an eye, she was there. Her name was Hanna, and she had blood streaming down her face. Nevertheless, she raced forward and knelt at the soldiers side. “My name is Anthony,” he grimaced in pain. An enemy had shot him down as he had struggled to find cover. Hanna worked quickly and urgently, dragging him off the field. 

“True heroes were scattered around the battlefield, and those heroes were brave in ways we can only dream of.”

John stumbled to find cover, Andrew at his side. The two men, wounded and tired to the bone, slumped down, struggling to catch their breath. The ground shook restlessly as shouts and gunshots filled the air and peppered the ground. At a glance, the battlefield was beyond gruesome. Bodies and blood soaked the dusty ground and those lucky enough to be alive were struggling with blood-seeping wounds and dazed to the close point of endless sleep. Every minute thickened the sick smell of death into that dreaded place. Andrew clutched John’s shoulder, holding on. Solidness in this shifting, endless battle. 

“Bravery, courage, determination… friendship. Friendship that the soldiers had for one another, to the point of death, brought friendship to the world.”

John struggled to keep his eyes open. He was so tired, slumped over Andrew’s solid presence. Suddenly, a distant scream pierced the air, and he struggled to get up. Andrew peered over the cover, only to pull back in fear. A pit opened up in John’s stomach as he stood up, looking out. Hundreds of them, wounded, dead. Enemy fire coming in from every direction. A single soldier running for his life in the death-filled field. A single woman. Hanna. Panic closed in, blinding, and John raced out into the field. Andrew tried to grab him, but it was distance, unimportant. She was alone out there, taking the fire. John ran through the field, kicking up red dust, until he caught her. Her face was covered in dry blood and it seeped from a wound on her side. “No…” Hanna gasped… the world stopped spinning. A single shot. Staggered, falling. A red hole in his chest. Hanna cried out, reaching to him, screaming for help. Andrew yelled his name, shaking him. “Andrew”, John whispered, “Andrew, I think I’m slipping.” Pain burned deep in his stomach and red filled his vision. He winced in agony, trying to see, trying to feel. Nothing. His best friend, the woman he risked his life for, kneeling over him. He held them tightly in his blood-stained hands, as the world began to dissolve into darkness. 

“The heroes of the war… those who fought and died for us. Those who believed in a better world. Our heroes. Our friends.”

John felt the tears from his closest friend fall onto his face. He felt the shaking and bandaging Hanna was doing with shaking hands. He felt his own heart break as it slowed and his own tears fall, joining the thousands in the red sand. He felt cold, so cold. In that moment, he saw them. His beautiful wife, Wendy. His little girl Anna and his two wonderful boys, James and Peter. He loved them so much. John wished he could’ve said goodbye. With one last squeeze, his hand went limp and the broken heart slowed until, finally… darkness. The world was gone. And so was John. 


“Today, we remember them. We remember their strong, their hearts, in the face of darkness. We remember the beginning, and the end. We thank them. Thank you for your service. We remember.”
 
Lest we forget, more we remember 

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  • November 9, 2019 - 10:00am (Now Viewing)

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