March 30, 2012
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An Excerpt from Chapter One of "Soldier"

“They say that years ago there wasn’t a war, but I’m not old enough to believe them. Although I do remember the day things began to get really bad, that was about five years ago, on the day known as St. Saspilles Day…”

I pushed through the old cobblestone marketplace, which was hustling and bustling with the sounds of people trading, buying and selling. It was as normal as it ever gets on such a holiday, and St. Saspilles day was the most celebrated holiday of the year. I needed to go and bring back some potatoes and fish so my Mom could cook the celebratory dinner, but for some reason I never made it home. I walked over towards the vegetable store and got a couple of potatoes and then did the same at the fish store. As I began heading home I bumped into a soldier. There were always soldiers walking around patrolling the area, but this one was in a very good mood.

“Today is the day we shall win the war!” he exclaimed

“Good luck with that,” I said this sarcastically for I knew that war never truly ever ends.

“No, No it is true, come with me I have a gift for you.”

Everybody knows that you never ever go with a stranger, but this man was a soldier, and I could tell from his eyes that he was an honest man too.

I followed him back through the marketplace and came upon a crossroad which diverged into three paths. One led back to my village known as Seaport, and the other led off to the fields. The soldier, who I thought was heading to Seaport, actually took the other path towards the fields.

Don’t worry, you must remember I’ve lived here my whole life and the fields aren’t dangerous. It’s not as if he was taking me down the third path, which led out of the safe confines of our region.
The soldier led me into the fields high with green grass and some parched yellow blades of grass too. He sat me down in a patch of grass, and looked around to see if anyone else was watching. There was nobody there in the calm fields. Just me and that soldier.

He took something out of his pocket, an old gold pocket watch. He put it in my hand and closed my fingers around it. “Keep it safe” was all he said. Then he simply took out his gun, and shot himself.

I ran out of that field and I took the path into Seaport. Any moment now other soldiers would come and begin to notice what had happened. I started to turn back realizing that I would never be safe here. So I went back to the crossroads and did something I claimed I’d never do.

I took the third path.

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