As I Cry Inside This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   A cannon cracks in the distance; it reminds me of thunder. The smell in the air isbad; my mouth fills with saliva, but I hold the vomit down, pretending I'm notafraid. The men are uneasy; there are no more jokes being passed around, no morelaughter echoing in the valley. We do not see the red wave yet, but we know theyare near. Another crack fills the air, breaking the uneasy silence and almostdrowning out the captain's trumpet. His sword slides out of his scabbard andslices through the air, cutting the imaginary rope that holds us. I try to marchforward, but my legs do not follow the command; they feel wobbly, and the salivafills my mouth again as I look at the man next to me. He is pale, as white as thecaptain's horse. He swallows hard, as if trying to choke down an imaginary apple.I wonder if I look the same way.

The red wave rises over the hill and thecannon cracks ring loud. I hear screams behind me and mumble a prayer. Myknuckles are white, and God Himself could not pry the musket from my grip. Wemarch forward; somehow my legs are moving. We are close enough now to see theenemies' faces and their expressions. Are they scared too? On the captain'scommand we stop marching. We're 30 yards apart. Their breath looks like steamrising off a lake in the summer morning. Their commander is the first to give anorder, their men rise, their guns synchronized; another order is barked and smokeclouds them.

I no longer see gray smoke, but blue, blue sky. It has neverlooked so pretty. Is this a dream? I am having trouble breathing. It feels likethe time when I was eight and fell out of the oak tree in my backyard, knockingthe wind out of me. This is an odd dream; more cracks ring loud as I come to. Ithink I have been shot; I touch my stomach and feel warm liquid start to flowfrom above my belly button . It's a constant stream. I feel that my back and neckare wet too; the bullet must have passed through. Panic sets in. I'm starting tofeel very dizzy. I liked it better when this was just an odd dream.

I havea letter to my family in my pocket. I hope no blood stains the faded paper. Ifeel liquid in my throat and wonder if it is blood or the saliva that I swallowedcatching up to me. I wanted to be a farmer. The blue sky is teasing me; I feellike I'm 12 again and lying in my wheat field staring up at the sky. It's earlynoon but I feel so tired, I will just close my eyes. My thoughts are fading. I'mso tired. I make a fist with my toes and bite my lip as I cry inside.

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

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 8 at 5:02 am
i love this !
Krissy G. said...
Feb. 9, 2009 at 4:02 pm
This is an amazing piece. The way you described this man's thoughts was brilliant. Keep at it!
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