Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Entry #39

Staying Afloat
by Canterbury Soul

A gunshot echoed the last scream in the chilly daybreak. The fighting had finally ceased. Daisuke ambled about from the house, spitting betel and pulling up his pants.

“Bitch!” He turned, raised his rifle and pulled the trigger again. “Bitch!”

I should have become numb since D-Day. I shut my eyes, attempting desperately to dispel all the grisly images.

Blood. Decapitation. Blown-up bodies. Dead naked women. Gore.

I honestly believed God had called me into the army to serve the emperor and his nation so that I could bear His witness and advance His kingdom.

But it had gone atrociously wrong since we walked into Shōnantō. Daisuke had started body-counting, and was pompous in proclaiming his twentieth victim. The rest of them were the same – bloodthirsty creatures who wouldn’t stop. They taunted me to follow suit as I struggled hanging on to my piety.

“Fumitake!” I could hardly hear my platoon commander as I laboured staying afloat in my tears not shed.

“Fumitake!” I feebly stood to attention.

“Yes, Sir!” The rest came close, smirking.

“Take this!” There was a baby of barely a month old in his hands. I was shivering.

“Kill it! This is an order!” I saw this coming, but I wasn’t ready. With trembling fingers, I fixed the bayonet to my rifle.

"May I?" Daisuke sneered, took the baby and tossed it high up into the sky. As I was taking aim with my bayonet, He appeared from the backdrop of dull red-tinted clouds.


Abhinav said...

Richly evocative! Very well done!!! The tragedy, mindlessness and bestiality of war captured in such poignant words!!!

Abhinav said...

My fav:- Daisuke had started body-counting, and was pompous in proclaiming his twentieth victim.
So much said in a single sentence!!! You are a master at characterization. Hugs and love...

Beth said...

Abhinav keeps writing "my fav" every time I see him post so it's making me giggle.

This one made me sick to my stomach. It's a hard subject to digest.

Precie said...

Perhaps because my brain is trying to shy away from the awfulness, I feel myself evaluating the language--Most of the adverbs could probably be removed without losing effect. That's about all I can say from a technical standpoint.

The horror and brutality are chilling. I agree with beth that it's hard to digest. The contrast between the narrator and the hell around him is sharp and painful.

Sarah Hina said...

Very interesting perspective. The last paragraph was particularly difficult to read, and yet so effective.

This one will linger awhile.

Anonymous said...

thank you, my friends, for your precious comments which mean a lot to me as a writer.

the pain is real and will never be washed away, not with time even.

Unknown said...

What a powerful piece of writing, CS - and such strong imagery too. Brilliantly done.

Anonymous said...

Atrocities of war. So disturbing. I do think it's important to explore the full range of human actions. That way, we are better prepared to avoid repeating the mistakes of history. We need to be reminded that humans are not inherently good (nor are they inherently evil). Brutal darkness is never far away.

I liked that you delved into the darkness.