Our Footsteps | Teen Ink

Our Footsteps

April 13, 2018
By KlieneSchrieben BRONZE, Culpeper, Virginia
KlieneSchrieben BRONZE, Culpeper, Virginia
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Why is a raven like a writing desk?" -Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland

Newly promoted Captain Roger Pyrr was assigned off to go fight the Germans in WWII. Thinking that it would impress his girlfriend and family back at home, he gladly ships off to fight. However, things take a turn for the worst in an escort mission. Now, with barely a quarter of his platoon surviving, Cpt. Pyrr keeps one eye open for Germans while another focused on Sgt. George Verrat: a soldier who claims that he knows where the Germans will strike next.


Chapter 1: Cold


My breathing slowed as I took careful footsteps through the snow. My rifle hung loosely in my hands as I tried to pace myself. It was December 14, 1940 my name is Roger Pyrr. I, along with a few other soldiers, were stationed here in the Eastern Front out in Russia. Already, a majority of my platoon has died either from pneumonia, starvation, or KIA. I was already running low on ammunition as well as having to give small rations to my men. They complained, but I had no choice: they wouldn’t send reinforcements for another two weeks or so. Everything was a living hell, and there was nothing I could do about it. The ground was destroyed to complete oblivion, and bodies littered to ground to no end. Foxholes were dug up here and there, but that wouldn’t be enough for a sneaky krout to throw a grenade or two in there. My men and I were constantly on edge, so there was never a time for us to rest. So, when I heard footsteps running as quickly as they could from behind me, I turned around, with my pistol ready, but saw that it was only Sgt. O’Harrison: our communications expert. “Breathe sergeant,” I whispered as we crouched low into the bushes. “Any word back from head quarters?” O’Harrison shook his head. He wheezed and gasped as smoke came out of his mouth whenever he exhaled into the cold. “Negative, Captain,” he whispered back. “All orders remain the same.” I cursed under my breath as I fought the urge to slam my fist into the snow. My hand was freezing enough already, no need for me to have to amputate it off for something I carelessly did. I looked around with what I had so far: my men were hiding behind some trees or bushes while others crouched as low to the ground as they could. Some were grabbing onto their rifles for dear life while others looked as though they were ready to fall asleep and not wake up. “What do we do now, Captain?” I heard O’Harrison whisper. I looked over; fear and worry painted into his eyes. “If this keeps up,” I thought. “We’ll die at the rate we’re going.” I sighed as I took off my helmet. I grabbed a handful of snow and rubbed it into the scalp of my hair, hoping that it would help me calm down a little. Suddenly, there was the sound of a twig snapping and I instantly hoisted my rifle into my shoulder, O’Harrison and some of my men doing the same thing. I waited silently in the quiet frigid air to look for any signs of movement. A moose made itself known as it moved carelessly through the trees. It’s nubby legs wobbled and wiggled in and out of the snow as it brushed its side into the trees as if it were scratching a spot it couldn’t reach. I heard someone move next to me once I gave the false alarm to my men. “Captain,” they said. “Permission to shoot the bull, Captain.” I looked over and saw that it was private Riley, our loose cannon of the group. “Permission denied, private,” I whispered. He groaned as he pointed at the animal. “Please, Captain,” he begged. “It’ll take just a single round, she’s enough to feed the entire platoon.” I glared down at him until I could see him shrink down into submission. “I said negative, private,” I growled. “Your recklessness will be the reason why the rest of my men will die by the hands of the krouts.” He dipped his helmet to the point to where his eyes were covered. “Do I make myself clear?” I whisper yelled. He shook his head as I shoved him back into position. The next thing I knew, a bullet whizzed past me and I watched in terror as the moose dropped the ground. Dead. Before I knew, I heard screaming in all directions.


Chapter 2: I am Captain, now


My heart pounded in my chest as I, along with a select few, were lined up in a row to recieve our promotion. "For honor and bravery in the face of battle", I heard the Colonel whisper to the man next to me. "I promote thee, a First Lieutenant in the United States Army." The man next to me and smiled as they shared a firm handshake. The next thing I knew, the Colonel was right in front of me. I straightened myself a bit more in my position of attention as he beckoned me to stick out my hand. "For your sacrifice and valor for all the men you have served with you", his brown eyes glistened with honor as I felt the weight of my new rank in the palm of my hand. "I promote thee, Captain in the United States Army." I looked down and saw the silver bars parallel to each other. Shock over came me as I felt as though I should say something. "Congratulations, son", the Colonel whispered. With that, he winked at me and moved onto the next officer.

"Captain", O'Harrison shook me awake. "Wake up, Captain." I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes as a firmly grabbed my rifle. "Is it time for me to take watch?" I asked. Seargent O'Harrison shook his head, a look of bewilderment written on his face. "Captain", he whispered. "It's morning." That woke me up with a jolt as I crawled out of my foxhole. Many of my men were trying to make fires while others huddled together for warmth. "How long have I been out, Seargent?" I asked. "You've been out for 3 hours, sir", he replied. "You've been that way after the moose incident." Rage ran through me as I remembered what happened that night. "Where's Private Riley?" I growled. O'Harrison had on a look of fear as he pointed a shaky finger to Riley. "Please go easy on him, sir", O'Harrison tried to reason. "He's just as shaken up as you are." I ignored him as I walked over to where Riley was: he was one of the men that attempted to make a fire. "Cap-" was all he managed to say before I picked him up by the collar of his uniform blouse. "You're damn lucky we're all alive, private", my voice got low and threatening. "Next time you pull a stunt like that, I won't hesitate next time." I shoved him back onto the ground, where he was sitting, as I walked back over to my foxhole.

"Well look at you", her voice tickled my ear as I leaned on one of the walls of the telephone booth. "Newly promoted Captain Roger Pyrr." I smiled as I felt blood rushing to my face, a blush coming on. "Aw, it was nothing Charlene", I smiled as I looked at the captain rank on my collar. "The Colonel did say I earned it."Her laugh was beautiful as I laughed along with her. "So", she started after a brief pause. "When are you coming home, soldier." I ran my fingers through my shaven hair. "You know it's complicated right now, Charlene", I replied. "What with the war going on...there was talk that I might be getting shipped over to Russia to fight the Germans." There was a long pause on the other end of the line. It mad me nervous as to what she may say about this. "How long are you going to be gone?" she asked. "A month or so", I guessed. "It's supposed to be an escort mission, nothing too big to worry about." I heard her sigh on the phone. "Just...just be careful out there, okay?" I smiled as I imagined her honey colored face, the way her forehead scrunched up whenever she put on a look of worry, and her beautiful choclate eyes. "I will, love", I said. I could practically tell that she was rolling her eyes. "I want you back alive mister, ya hear?" she said. I crossed my heart as I lifted my right hand up as if I was getting sworn in. "Captain's honor", I teased. She chuckled. "You better", she giggled.

The author's comments:

I'll try to make it as realistic as possible and make sure that ii's historically accurate as well. Please, don't hesitate to correct me if I do something wrong. Forewarning, there will also be a use of minor slang that may be offending to some, but I assure you: it's only for unintentional purposes only. You have been warned.

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