A Child Of Vietnam This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   The rain drizzled as Mike walked down the deserted street. With each step he felt the weight descend on his shoulders more heavily and the black cloud over his brain grow larger.

Mike's longish, dark-brown hair was plastered to his forehead in wet, dripping strips, and raindrops rolled down his face, mixing with the on-coming tears. His strong countenance with its prominent jaw-line was twisted into a frown of both depression and deep, deep concentration. His muscular back was arched into a slouch and his hands were shoved deep in the pockets of his faded black jeans. These characteristics had all the makings of a person who was taking his/her time, yet Mike's pace was a quick one. There seemed to be an urgency about it, as if he was trying to get away from something, or someone ...

Mike's shoulders shook with uncontrolled sobs as he pushed past the outreached branches of the forsythia and rose bushes. The neat houses lining the street paid him no heed, and although each looked lived-in and loved, they seemed to have turned their backs on him this particular day.

Mike's pace suddenly grew faster and he started to sprint. Normally, Mike was not the type to run from his fears, but he now was running harder than he would have thought he could.

POW! A bomb exploded over his head. Machine gun fire rat-a-tatted beside him. And all around was blood. And pain. And suffering. Comrades fell like flies with screams of agony. Darkness shrouded everything, with occasional bright flashes of light illuminating all and silhouetting soldiers. Shrill shrieks bounced off anything solid. And the blood! It splattered everywhere. In his eyes, on his clothes. The grit and dust and flying debris hit him all over. All color had been gone for days, everything was gray. The color of no feeling.

Mike fell to the ground screaming and writhing in pain. Pain that didn't really exist. Nothing really existed, except in his mind. Everything swirled and twirled in his head, all confused. Blood, pain, hurt, dust, guns, flashes, inky blackness, Vietnam, WHY?

Mike lay on the ground screaming and sobbing. All of a sudden he stopped. He got up, released a few last sobs, brushed the mud off his jeans and shed his leather coat, seeing that it had been ruined from the pools of water on the street. He wiped the raindrops from his brow, dug his hands deeper into his pockets and slouched his shoulders. He continued walking, looking down at the ground, as if nothing had happened. To the silent houses all along the street nothing had happened. Everyone gave him the cold shoulder. And his black leather jacket lay glistening in the rain along the roadside, the sole silent reminder of days gone by and the living, recurring nightmare of the Vietnam War. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

dancer13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 12, 2010 at 4:37 pm
this is beautiful. it's without doubt one of the best pieces i've read on TI. :) great job!
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback