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Private Andrews This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

He couldn't hear a thing. The shells and mines and gunshots exploding all around in the smokey gray air were deafening. His sight was growing foggy, his ears were ringing, and it was getting more difficult to breathe with each second.

Soon, it would be morning in Oakland, California. The air would be golden yellow, and the trees would shimmer and stretch, leaves fluttering in the soft fingers of a breeze.

His hands and face were caked with gritty sand and blood in the creases of his palms and under his nails. One hand was clutched uselessly around his rifle, and the other twitched and scrabbled against the wound in his chest from which grew a small red fountain when his heart beat.

He was dying.

When the sun rose in Oakland, Elise would wake with Pete. She would talk to him happily as they sat outside the house she shared with friends. None of them had a child, but Jessie was expecting. And all five women had husbands or boyfriends all the way across the sea, serving proudly and sending letters when possible, telling of how boring it was sometimes, and the things the men did to pass the time. Elise told Pete, who wasn't old enough to understand, about his father, who was bravely fighting the communists a continent and an ocean away.

She wished he would come home to meet his baby soon.

He imagined how Elise would look now, holding a baby boy who was faceless in his mind. She would smile toothily at him, her long brown hair curling over her shoulders.

There was no sound, and the water washed inside his government-issue boots and socks, soaking the bottoms of his dark pants and staining his ankles scarlet.

Andrews turned his head to and saw only fuzzy outlines of men on the beach falling and falling and falling. So he looked up again, and everything was gray-white and red and coldly damp. And in his mind's eye everything was warm-yellow and soft and comforting.

Later that morning, Elise sang to Pete, out of tune and melancholy, of men who were too far away, and wives who waited and hoped for letters. Her voice blossomed, a rose in the warm air, only to wilt and be washed away with the tide, bleeding into the weeping red water.

And Private Andrews choked out rose petals onto his chin and the sand, and the green sunlight in his eyes faded and was gone into the sea.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 15 comments. Post your own!

theskyowesmerain said...
Nov. 10, 2013 at 11:00 am:
congratulatins! you have successfully broken my heat into million pieces! how in the world could you wirte something so utterly amazing?  please answer! 
 
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FlashlevitationThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 25, 2012 at 7:03 pm:
i absolutely love this, because that's a situation that i think about when i think of men dying for their country during war times. thank you for writing this!
 
a.singlenote This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 8, 2013 at 11:12 pm :
oh thank you so much! :)
 
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Katia K. said...
Nov. 23, 2012 at 9:11 pm:
This is seriously amazing. Great job.
 
a.singlenote This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 8, 2013 at 11:12 pm :
thank you so much!! it means a lot :)
 
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patticakes This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 22, 2012 at 8:50 am:
this is fantastic. it's simple & very touching.
 
a.singlenote This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 8, 2013 at 11:05 pm :
ah thanks much!! :)
 
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AudreyW said...
Nov. 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm:
That was amazing and very well written! Congrats on getting it in the magazine!
 
a.singlenote This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm :
thank you ever so much!! :)
 
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TanazMasabaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 11, 2012 at 10:01 am:
This is undoubtedly one of the bests works in TI, and there are many talented writers here. two thumbs up!
 
a.singlenote This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm :
oh wow thank you for the incredibly kind comment! :) 
 
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shinegirl24 said...
Nov. 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm:
Wow, this was beautiful. Perfect word choice, awesome imagery, great job!
 
a.singlenote This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm :
ah thank you so much for the kind comment! :)
 
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CammyS said...
Nov. 2, 2012 at 7:07 am:
That was really pretty! I liked how you switched from Private Andrews to his wife. All in all, a great job. Congrats on geting it in the magazine ;)
 
a.singlenote This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm :
ah thanks so much!! wow i didn't even realize it had gotten printed... haha :)
 
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