A War Story

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
“I’m going to do it, I’m going to marry Mary”, said John, as he was driving home with his friend Stuart on May 6, 1944. “Really?” asked Stuart. “What a lucky guy! Hey, do I get to be best man?”. “Maybe”, laughs John. They pull into his driveway and walk into his house. John goes to the kitchen to get drinks and Stuart sits down to turn on the television. “Oh, come on!” complains Stuart. “All that’s on nowadays is advertisements for the war.” Before John can reply, the phone rings. “I got it” calls John. “Hello?” “Hello. This is General Shepard, US military. I have reviewed your file, and we are in need of someone with your skills for a special mission.” “Oh, well, you see General…” began John. “I’m not asking” said Shepard. “This is an order. Report to Fort Illos by 0900 Monday.” “But General…” John said. “See you there” interrupted Shepard, and then he hung up. “Who was that” called Stuart. “That was the army” said John. “They want me for some special mission. I have to be there by Monday.” “Wait, isn’t that when you were planning on proposing” asked Stuart. “Yeah, it was, but I have no choice. I have to go” said John. “I’ll just have to do it when I get back.”

When John walked into the briefing room on Monday, at exactly 9:00 am, there were already five people there. One was General Shepard, who was pacing at the front of the room. There was also a large man with broad shoulders and huge muscles, two men who were of average height and build. One was bald, with a small goatee. The other had a standard military haircut and was clean-shaven. The final person in the room was a rather small, skinny man, who had long hair and large eyes. “Ah, John, you’re here. We may begin” said Shepard. “I’ll make this brief. Now, the five of you have been called here because of your superior skills and loyal service to this country. You will be deployed behind enemy lines in Normandy. The mission is to destroy a large supply base that supplies the bunkers and other fortifications along the beaches. This is a vital part of the plan to eventually lead to the invasion of Normandy.” John now realized that he was called here for his extensive knowledge of explosives. He would undoubtedly be the one to set and detonate the bomb. “Now, our newest arrival, John, is a demolitions expert. He will also be squad leader” continued Shepard. This was news to John. He had never been fond of leadership positions. “Mike here,” indicating the larger man, “is your support gunner. These two, Fred and Rob,” the two average guys stand up and salute, “are to be your riflemen. Our last guest is Jerry, a signals specialist. He’ll call in when you complete your mission.” Shepard hands out mission report and says “dismissed.”

“We are almost at the drop-off” said Jacob, the boat driver. “About another minute or so.” “Alright, you have the mission profile” John said. “Quick and quiet, nobody dies tonight, except those Germans. Got it?” The other squad members all nod. “Let’s move.” They disembark and begin the long trek to the base.

At the base’s perimeter, they pause and survey the guard positions and patrol routes. “Okay, there is a hole right here about every five minutes” said John, pointing at a spot on the map. “We’ll slip in there and head for the site.” The squad successfully infiltrates the base and start toward the warehouse where they will plant the bomb. As they are sneaking past the barracks, however, a soldier walks out in his underwear, and pulls out a cigarette. Before he can light it, he notices Mike slipping behind a crate. Noticing the US army symbol on his shoulder, the German runs back in and raises the alarm. When the alarms start to ring, the squad stops, startled. “Well, that’s a problem” says Fred. “Come on, we have to get there before they find us” yells John. “We can’t fight off the entire base at once!” The group hurries to the warehouse, narrowly avoiding confrontation. As the rest of the team goes in to clear the building, John is the last one to enter. As he is backing in the door, a guard on a tower spots him and fires. John is hit in the chest and falls back into the warehouse. “John!” yells Mike. He runs over and closes the door. Before he could check to see if John is okay, Johns sits back up. “John, are you alright? Where were you hit?” asks Jerry. Then they notices the hole in John’s breast pocket, right where his heart is. “You should be dead!” exclaims Fred. “Thanks” says John sarcastically, “but I wouldn’t start celebrating yet.” He reaches into the pocket and pulls out the bomb detonator, with a bullet in it. “That shot still killed me” John says ruefully. “The only way the bomb can be detonated now is by manually setting it off.” Everyone looks at each other, knowing that John was the only one who knew how to do that. “There has got to be another way!” says Rob. “There isn’t. Now stop fighting over it and get out of here before the Germans find us. That’s an order!” he adds when no one makes a move to leave. “But we can’t leave you! Nobody dies except the Germans, remember?” says Mike. “I should do it.” “No. I’m the only one who knows how. Now get out of here! I can set it on my own.” John says. “I can give you guys maybe five minutes to get as far away as possible before I detonate the bomb.” As Jerry, Fred, Rob take off, Mike pauses at the door. “Mike, tell my girl back home I’m sorry” John says while handing Mike a slip of paper with Mary’s name and address. “Please” he adds. “I will. Don’t worry” Mike assures him. “Now go!” John tells Mike. As Mike runs after the others, John turns back to start arming the bomb.

The team get about three quarters of the way back to the boat, when Jerry says “hey, guys.” They all turn back to see an orange flash, and a cloud of fire rises above the horizon. After a moment of silence, Rob says “let’s go home.” The team heads back to the boat with heavy hearts. As they are reaching the boats, Jacob calls out “Hey guys! I saw the flash! Well done everybody!” He then notices that none of them are smiling, and that there is something missing. “Where’s John?” he asks. Mike just shakes his head, and boards the boat.

Back in North Carolina a couple of weeks later, in a small house, in a small town, a beautiful young lady named Mary hears a knock on her front door. Thinking that John had returned, she ran to the door with a smile on her face a mile wide, but when she opens the door, she sees a large man standing there in a military uniform. He looks at her with tears in his eyes, and her heart starts to sink, and the smile vanishes from her face. “Mary?” Mike asks. “I have something to tell you about your friend, John.”





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

Babylufin said...
Jul. 30, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Aww. :( Stuff like that always makes me cry. I'm glad you wrote this though. :) Kudos.

Can you comment/rate my story Don't Kill Me Now?

 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback