Fueling the Fires of Hell

By , New York City, NY

Day 660


Looking at himself, he sees his dark green camo jacket, the jet black M16 strapped to his back for emergencies, and his fellow countrymen running beside him. The ground is bare, brown, and holds the memories of the horror that has occurred for the past few days. The sweet, green plains, with the occasional trees, and red flowers were no longer present after only three days of fighting. Those who dared to think of these plains that were just here risked their life on the battlefield. Whatever happened in the past is gone, live in the present, he was told. Here he is, running towards the action, through the uneven dirt land, through the loud explosions in the distance, and through the smog. Explosion after explosion, gunshots after gunshots, the medics and him continue without qualms, forcing themselves up a hill, and approaching the action. He takes his final heavy step before he reaches the top of the hill, only to again, see the horrors of war.


The gray sky loomed over the land, following with bright sparks in the sky, indicting the sky battle. The ground of the other hand, was bare, brown, and filled with dust. Fresh blood was everywhere, on the jackets of his other countrymen, the pants of everyone crawling by, and on the floor where the open wounds was left to flow freely. The yellow sparks of explosions heard before ceased, and the kicked up dirt filled the air with a wave of dust. The group stayed on top of the hill, waiting, and watching the wounded stand and help each other up.
Given the cue indicting that the battlefield was safe, his group leaves the hill to help recover and help the wounded. Approaching the battlefield, his mind kicks into a different gear, the doctor gear. After years of training to be not only a doctor, but also a soldier, his body almost instinctively moves based on the situation. He moved swiftly from person to person checking to see if the person was alive, and carefully lifts up the survivors to help them to the support vehicles coming soon.


Now, the battlefield had calmed for the day, only to set the stage for another bloody battle tomorrow. As the medics helped up the last few survivors, he walked around the battlefield once again to check for any others they may have missed. His boots crunched under the uneven soil as he walked through the battlefield. He began his walk back to the vehicles only to hear an unfamiliar clicking sound.
Stunned and shocked by the sound, he jumps backwards away from the clicking sound. But as he lands, the ground beneath him shakes, trembles, and explodes, shooting pieces of the Earth all around. The last few moments on the battlefield were agonizing pain from the explosion, and the rubble hitting and landing on top of his two legs. Motionless from both the pain and shock, he lays on the ground thinking of his family without him, his fellow peers without him, and why war had to be a thing. That was when he blacked out and his journey had ended.

 

The New Journey Begins


Now, he sits in a hospital, waiting for someone to treat him instead of himself treating others. That is his new life. The wait is painful, especially knowing that in his condition, it would take more than a few years to heal. Surgery after surgery, operation after operation, he had endured it all. But even after all that, his own effort was needed to make a full and successful recovery from his incident.  Each night, he can’t help but think about his days on the battlefield, the friends he had lost, and the lives that he had saved. Those thoughts didn’t brought any happiness or motivation, but only fear of what is happening today on the battlefield and sadness from knowing that this war had consumed too many lives.


He knows and have seen so many struggle back to life, yet he could barely get back on track. Every day he thinks of quitting and just getting life over with. Life could just disappear so quickly or very slowly as he had seen it all at his days at war. Each day of rehabilitation is monotonous and tiring. It’s the same gym, same routine, and almost same result everyday.


Everyday he wakes up to the clock’s alarm, gets up, and gets sent to the rehabilitation center. His daily routine, monitored by a trainer, is to get out of this wheelchair and place both his hands on two parallel metal bars. The bars are about waist height and supports him while he tries to walk. After about only 10 minutes of attempting to walk, he breaks into sweat and his legs can barely move any longer. That’s when the thoughts of giving up rest up into his head as after a few more minutes, he collapses on the ground, tired.


The voice of a little girl wakes him from the horrifying thoughts of death, and that voice is the voice for his 7 year old daughter, Val, who has juvenile arthritis. His daughter stands near him everyday for her daily check up and medication for her pain and swelling in her hand joints. Knowing her condition is worse, he continues through the rehabilitation to see not only himself make progress in walking again, but also to be there as a father for Val later on. Slowly, but surely, he had worked from useless, frail limbs, to a sluggish, gradual walk. So as the days pass, he and Val slowly walk the path of life, overcoming the small gaps and steps towards their shining future.






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