Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Little Boy in a Man's World

The blistering heat
beats down on his
exposed neck as he
hunches over the paper
he is scribbling furiously
on. His beige t-shirt
clings to his sweaty torso
and his heavy boots
rub his feet raw at the
slightest of movements.
Other soldiers walk past
the bench he is sitting at,
mostly kids, just like him.
One of them call to him
and tells him to haul a**
because he doesn’t want to
be late. The man quickly
rereads his letter, his eyes
skimming over sentences
about how hot it is and how
much pain he is in from
his sunburn and blistered feet.
How this place has reduced him
from a confident young man,
just wanting to do something
right with his life, into a
terrified little boy in just a
matter of months. How just a
few weeks ago he was playing
cards with this guy named
William, but everyone called him
Billy, and two days later he watched
two bullets rip through his
face and neck, ending his life
before he even hit the ground.
How guilty he felt because
maybe if he had shot a little
straighter instead of being a
coward, Billy might still be alive.
How every day the only thing
that can get him out of bed
in the morning is the thought
that he is one day closer to
coming home to her.
He tears the page out of
the notebook and jots something
down on the next page.

Cassandra,
Everything is fine here. It’s
hot and a lot of hard work
but I’m okay. I think about you
all the time. Tell the others
I said hi. I love you so much.
Love,
Joshua

The man neatly removes the
page from the notebook,
folds it gingerly, and hurries
off to send it, his feet throbbing
the whole way.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback