For Better

June 2, 2009
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Walking toward a city, he surveyed the upcoming area. The barren wasteland of a once populous city stared back at him, and the dry ground radiated heat towards him. Diverting his thoughts, he managed to focus his attention elsewhere. As he gazed upwards, he felt the intense blaze of the sun beating down on him. Scanning the pale blue sky, there was no evidence of any shady clouds nearby, but was grateful for the slight breeze passing by. As him and his comrades neared the town, the air itself seemed to change and become more hostile. The surrounding area became still and the sweat on his head poured out from under his helmet. Ignoring the change, he let his mind wander. Gazing upwards once again, he was reminded of the beach. The cool and refreshing waves rolling onto the shore and the…
BOOM!

Jerking back to the present, Captain Agustus Pierce rechecked the surrounding. To his right where a fellow soldier was standing was now a crater. Charred black and red, the crater gave no evidence that someone had been there. Suddenly, another explosive mortar landed nearby, shocking his system and reminding him of his harsh training. Dropping onto the rough surface, he peered at the lifeless city, realizing it was no longer lifeless. The loud crackling of gunfire added to the whistling of mortar as the two forces fought. Refocusing, he finally found the enemy. Wearing dull gray cloth over their heads and arms and a dirt colored body piece gave the locals a basic, yet effective camouflage. Raising his standard army issue rifle, he added his power to the fight.

As the temperature dropped and the light faded away, it seemed that the army would prevail. Rallying his squad together, they planned one last attack on the last defense of the rebels. Rushing through towards the objective, the smell rose into his nostrils. The mixture of fresh blood, raw intestines, gunpowder, and dust overpowered him. Feeling nauseated, he stopped for some water behind a rusty jeep…

As his groggy mind became conscious once more, he was aware of one thing. The screaming agony of pain in his legs. Dimly alert of where he was, he heard a call for a medic, hoping, wishing, begging it was for him. Rising in and out of the world of the living, the captain wondered how he was still alive despite the intense pain he was feeling. The town seemed empty once more, but in a different way. Some of the dull colored walls were missing, along with splashes of bright red and charcoal black smeared on other remaining walls. The air was clogged with gore and moans filled the air. Looking to his side, he found another depression in the ground, one very similar to the one that started the battle. Off to the other side he saw an incredibly familiar scene, but not in a place where it was supposed to be. Hoping it was real, he strained to get up, to crawl, to do anything he could do to reach that place. But, as he was unable to move, it got closer. The pain disappeared as he moved into the glorious beach for the last time, knowing that he was better off now.





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