On the Battlefield

December 17, 2009
Dear Mother,
I am fine, I’m hoping you are well. I’ve been keeping an eye on Charlie, don’t you worry. War is terrible even from 500 meters in the air. I’ve been piloting carefully, so you have one worry off your shoulders. My friends (yes, I’ve made friends) keep me up when I feel down, and I’ve met a man named Walter Mayor. I think he’s a fine person. Well, merry Christmas, I hope you enjoy your gift.
<Hero May Clark>
I finished my letter, put a stamp on the envelope, licked it shut, and put it with the rest of my mail in the flour sack I keep under my bunk. The life in war is hard, and I’m only eighteen. I’ve been let in just because of my brother and my ability at flying. I’m assigned a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter. Of course it’s the Great World War II and everyone is scared that it’s the end of the world.
War is as close as you can get to Hell. From above, you get a bird’s eye view of everything: every bomb that’s set off, every gunshot that is fired. It’s absolute torture. I never expected such violence and depression. But, I signed myself up for this, and as long as I’m up in the air, I’ve got my cool.
Unfortunately, I can’t help thinking if maybe every gun or bomb might hit my brother, my 21-year-old brother that is obsessed with photography and his love of capturing every moment on his camera. His death is the only thing that bothers me deep in my heart while everything else is a matter with my mind.
Fear gripped at my heart, squeezing it relentlessly; I couldn’t breathe! I-I-I feel compressed; my head was dizzy. I nearly lost grip of the controls, but steadied my hands just in time. I curved left, and not too soon, because bullets whizzed past my window.
I stayed high in the sky, hoping to keep safe, keep alive. Nervousness and fear took control of my brain, but I took a deep breath and cleared it of everything except: flying. Ok, I told myself, just dip low and take a few shots. I did, and felt horrible afterwards, a heard screams and more gunshots afterwards. Sobbing, I hurled my fighter plane upwards again.
But immediately, I was shot down, my engines on fire. Spiraling towards the ground, I could only say my goodbyes. The plane crashed and everything was black.

Chapter 2
I woke up with my brother’s face hovering over me. I gasped, “Are you dead too?” “No, silly. This is the temporary hospital. You’re pretty badly burned.” Only then did I feel the awful numbness all over my arms and my face. Charlie noticed my wincing, and so to comfort his sister, gave me a pat on my shoulder where the fire had not burned my skin too badly.
I smiled up weakly at him and fell back to a deep sleep where there was only blackness and fire, screaming and crying. Screaming myself, I woke up, my howling mouth stretched to the point I thought my lips would rip, but the pain was a relief compared to my nightmare.

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