Boys Clad in Green Part One

July 21, 2011
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Clad in green. Bow and arrows attached to the back. Always ready to fight. Wondering about home. Wondering when the next meal would be. Taking action when needed. Excellent eyesight. Excellent hearing.

That would be the life for me, a soldier, weak and spineless, but strong and brave all the same. Out on the field, there is no difference. You can be trembling and still have to shoot. Hard? No… Scary? Yes.

I was drafted. No choice, really. I was barely 18 when it came upon my family and me. I was the man of the house, the one that did things when my mom was busy, the one that handled the situations that were dropped on our shoulders. I was still a kid when I got my first job. I was an apprentice to a blacksmith, but I wasn’t very good at it all.

I always burned myself and cut my fingers. It made it no easier knowing that people wanted the things I had to make, the things I could barely handle without getting hurt. Caprio, the blacksmith, always laughed at me, but I didn’t really take it to heart. He had the kind of laugh that made you want to laugh, too. He always made me feel less stressed, and more needed than I really was.

I knew I wasn’t needed there. I could take days off, and he could make nearly the same amount of weapons as he did when I was there. Sometimes, I thought I just slowed him down, but none the less, I did that. So I was making decent money, but my mom still had to get a job.

My youngest brother, Martin, always did house work, but he mostly did it to make my mom happy. He was afraid he would lose her, like we had our father. Martin was very insecure of himself and didn’t have very many friends. When I left, he was only 8, but I grew worried anyway. He had screamed and fought for me to stay, but I couldn’t. It hurt me, and him, for me to go. I never turned my back on him though, even as I walked away. (I had walked backwards.) At least I made him smile one last time before I left. That made all the difference in my mind.

I kept in touch, though. I wrote letter as often as I could, even if I didn’t get a response the time before. It didn’t matter. They always sent pictures, of Martin, Sarah, my youngest sister, Claira, my 16 year old sister, and my mom. I kept them in a box, a metal one, that I took everywhere, except the battle field.

I never took a chance to get anything on them, no way. No blood, no water, no tears. (Even though I constantly cried when I saw them. I mean, how can you contain all of that? It isn’t fair!)

I pretty much became an expert archer within the first few weeks of training. I excelled quickly, not wasting a single moment. I always found myself practicing with my bow all day, up until I couldn’t see anything. Sometimes I continued anyway. (Only when I was angry or upset for some reason.) I often practiced too much and cut my arms, my fingers. I was still as klutzy as before.

Everything else I did was pretty easy, seeing as how I did it at home as well. I cooked, every night almost. I had made a few friends, made up of: Laurance, James, Roy, and Eric. We’re all pretty close, especially Eric, Roy, and me.

We were all drafter, except for James, who had signed up only weeks before. He was the youngest, but also the most reckless. (Most likely because he’s the youngest.) Laurance is the oldest out of the five of us. He towers at the age of 35. He’s really much more cunning then the rest of us. He’s just smarter in general.

The boys always say I look good in green, the way it just gets along with my blond hair and green eyes. They all wished they looked better. The thought of looking good while fighting just made me think of them as idiots sometimes. What does looking good matter if you die? (They’re so dumb!)

I’ve never killed anyone. I always flinch when it comes to shooting at people, and it always makes me miss. (Which only makes me feel better. The idea of taking someone’s life makes me sick.) How could anyone just shoot without thinking about taking that person away from their families? Their friends? Their homes? How much sadness they may cause by taking a single life. They could have wives, kids… lives. They aren’t all just mindless killing machines…

I always hope that the one arrow that comes in my direction will just miss, by chance. I always hope that the person shooting will think the same way as I do, but… so far, it hasn’t really made anyone hesitate at shooting.

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