The Sword

August 6, 2011
Nathan gaped in awe at the sword on his grandfather’s wall. It’s long; curved blade was wrapped in a dark olive green sheath. He’d never really never noticed it before possibly because he wasn’t allowed in the study, but he had felt brave enough to try it today. He reached out to touch it and just when his finger was only about an inch away he heard a voice behind him. “Like the sword Nate?” said the old scholarly voice behind him. Nathan spins around immediately begins apologizing rapidly. “No, it’s ok Nate no big deal.” His grandfather says. “Where’d you get that sword?” Nate asked. “First of all it’s not a normal sword. It’s called a Katana and second of all there’s a little story about that… His grandfather said


Another mortar shell exploded about ten yards away sending razor sharp, extremely hot shrapnel tearing through both the trees and Jack’s arm. He let out a small scream and injected himself for the third time that day with Morphine. He heard a distant artillery round tear through the sky and he threw himself to the ground. The others a few feet from him were not as fast, or lucky for that matter. The hot shards of metal tore clear through them sending gore everywhere. Now he could see why they already called this place “Bloody” Tarawa. He had been one of the “lucky” ones. His landing craft had actually made it all the way to the shore without getting caught on a reef or getting ripped apart by an artillery shell, not that that did him any good since he was now alone with mortars and artillery raining down and hostiles running about. It almost seemed to him that he would’ve preferred to be one of those poor souls who’d gotten cut down during the approach to the island. He checked the load on his M1Garand and started walking forward through the fauna. He dodged a few more shells and tentatively gave himself another Morphine injection. He definitely did note want to OD on that stuff. Then, he saw him. A Japanese soldier several yards away working his way through the brush in much the same way he was. The soldier saw him almost immediately and raised his large shimmering sword that was still covered in the blood of one his previous victims and charged. He was on top of him faster then Jack would’ve believed possible. He didn’t even remember bringing up his rifle as the blade cut into the wood and he was forced to the ground.


Again and again the soldier brought the sword down cutting deep gashes into the wood all the way down to the metal. Jack could slowly feel himself weakening and in a desperate attempt at survival leapt up and smacked the butt of the rifle into the soldier’s jaw. The soldier was knocked to the ground and sword landed a few feet away. Jack sprang to his feet suddenly, filled with adrenaline and within a second he was on top of the soldier. The soldiers mouth was bleeding and his jaw looked as if it had been shattered. The soldier gazed up at him and they locked eyes for a brief second and then Jack plunged his bayonet into the soldier’s chest.

It was probably only about thirty seconds but to Jack it felt like hours. Then the soldier’s head fell limp back to the ground, but his eyes remained open with a look of shock and horror still on his face. Jack removed the bayonet and unsteadily stepped back a few feet. He then collapsed to his knees and vomited.

“Wow, that’s a cool story. Do you ever think about that soldier?” Nathan asked. “Sometimes I see him in my dreams.” Jack said. “Do you still have the gun?” Nathan asked. “Yes, I do. Do you want to see it?” Jack asked. “That. Would. Be. AWSOME! Nathan yelled. “It’s in the garage.” Jack said. “Go ahead I’ll meet you there.” Nathan ran out of the den giggling madly as Jack laughed to himself. He then took the sword off the wall and found himself staring at the blade. And again, the face of that poor kid he had killed so long ago that could’ve just as easily been his friend returned to him.





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