No Name Face

August 1, 2010
By sweetly_broken GOLD, Garner, North Carolina
sweetly_broken GOLD, Garner, North Carolina
15 articles 0 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
We never know how big we are until we are asked to rise.


?




“No Name Face”













October, 1795
To the No Name Face,


You gaze into the barren battlefield; the frigid cold sends shudders through your spine.
Breath comes in smoky puffs through your hard pressed lungs, and the skin covering your
haggard bones is pallid and damp from trepid perspiration. Things are relaxed now, even though
that will change all too soon. Someone asks Moses to play a tune on the fife, and although oh so
quiet as to not stir the Redcoats, the sweet melody looms through the air and into your heart.
Everything is about to go on the line. Your integrity. Your courage. Your heart that is pounding
so furiously inside the cage of your ribs. Your life. The independence of continuing generations.
Everything.

You turn around to face camp, watching as the fire cackles as if in mockery of your cold.
Nightfall arrives, as one defining moment after the other approaches. Once the firewood burns
out, you and a selected pick of the patriot army will advance to Redoubt Nine, and it’s all or
nothing. The Redcoats are strong, some would say the strongest army in all of the world. It
means that you’ll have to fight all the harder to get what you’ve strived for since you set foot into
the world. The independence of the young, the success of the forefathers who established the
colonies in freedom’s name. If you had descendants, they’d be proud, but you came alone. Your
footsteps can’t be retraced to anyone in the past, and nobody will ever seek their past and come
back to you. You’re an unidentified soldier- a no name face.

The last note from the fife tune rings out long and proud, then BANG! A bomb bursts in
the air and embers fall like rejected sweets. Grabbing hold of your frostbitten bayonets, you and
your men race to the Redoubt, ready to attack. Before you dash fast and fatal, you take note of the
horse drawn wagons standing by at the gates. These will take any wounded soldiers from
Yorktown to the Palace in Williamsburg, now used as a hospital for the sick and wounded, when
establishments here at camp are filled.

“The ride will be over fourteen excruciating hours long, so be careful not to get hurt,” you
ponder silently. You usually keep to yourself, so nobody knows your name in case something
happens to you. But you’re one of the youngest men, also one of the finest. You are very
observant and put the needs of others before your own. You know Moses brings a lot of joy to
people with his music, you can’t imagine what the army would be like without him. Ezra wants
to be a preacher someday; you wouldn’t dare take that away from him by letting him lay down
his life for you. John gives a desperate cry as the British artilleries begin to shoot and the
Howitzers spit out fire that travels for yards and yards. You see the orange and yellow panels of
sky approaching from afar.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do! I’ve got my wife and three children at home that I
have to worry about! I can’t let them down. I have to make it out of the fight alive!”

You realize that all these people have aspirations and hopes, even though they’ve done
wrong too. They might not deserve any mercy, but you’re going to give it to them either way. It
may not be that you have less to live for. But right now, all that matters is what you have to fight
for. The enemy zooms in on you and your men. A Mortar shell from Lord -knows -where flies
towards John, and without a second thought you fly in front of him. You take the brunt of it, but
he’s wounded too.

Things are a mite blurry from there, kind of like panes of glass in the palaces with
innumerable raindrops descending down the surface. After the Redoubt is captured by your men,
a nurse rushes out and thrusts you and John into separate wagons. The hospitals on base have
already filled up so it’s off to Williamsburg. The commute is long and dreadful; nobody knows
who you are. You don’t know yourself. Your eyes are shut tight, however you can hear things
that are going on around you from the depths of your grueling unconsciousness.

“Horseman, slow down! You’re making these men hurt all the worse!” The nurse rubs her
hand across your heavily scarred face, barking at the horseman. You groan a little, wanting to tell
her that it really doesn’t hurt all that bad.

You wake at the hospital, laying on a straw mat atop a wood paneled floor. Candles are
burning dimly around the room, and you don’t think that there will ever be a candle burning for
your memory. You long to know who you are, what you’ve done, and what will become of you.
You don’t know it but there are many familiar faces in the room. Yours will be the only soul lost
tonight. Over to the left is John, and his crestfallen wife and three children are stooped over by
his side. His eldest son is Matthew, aged at ten. He has a middle daughter named Leah- she’s five
and loves her Daddy. You see this and support your sacrifice. His baby is Mary, who gazes over
at you with little pools of blue and manages a tiny smile. One day she’ll be glad that you let her
Pa live instead of letting him die for you. You have another realization; you don’t work hard for
yourself. While the king of the men in red may have wronged you and the others in the colonies,
you don’t have much against the soldiers themselves. You do it for Matthew, Leah, and Mary. If
you hadn’t fought so hard and sacrificed so much, they never would have become independent,
and you would have never been successful.

Just then, the endless diamond sky clears and becomes as blue as on a warm spring day.
From the white clouds comes a man scarred much like yourself. Through the window He enters,
standing by your mat and interlocking your callused fingers in His. The candles in the room
flicker and your eyelids flutter shut. But you move towards an even brighter light. All the pain
that you had is gone as He helps you exit from earth into eternity. Nobody sees you all the while
because you were hidden in the Shadow of His hand as you marched through the battlefield of
life.

When you reach the heavens, the aroma is sweet and fresh. You breathe the fresh air
much different from the stagnant odor of bombs and bullets. You don’t know what you did to
deserve to be there, but that’s just the thing. One day John will wake up in the room with the
wood paneled floor and think: “Why me?” You made many sacrifices and fought well against the
giants of life, even though nobody can identify you on earth. There are a lot of colors in the skies-
blues, greens, oranges, and golds. The sound of triumphant trumpets blaring in the distance is
rapture to your ears. You stare around incredulously, not believing that what you see is true.
There are a lot of different people wandering around- blacks, whites, Spaniards, Indians, and a
whole lot of types of people you’ve never seen before.

You know that you left an example for those to follow, perhaps even the ones coming
long after. You never asked for a face to match your name, and never did you ask anyone to make
a sacrifice for your sake, only you accepted the one that was made for you on a tree thousands of
years back. There are a lot of people that hear “Unknown soldier” and wonder who on earth that
is, but it only really matters the work that went into the life and what came out of it. For you it
was success because of your unusual effort that you put into things. On your tombstone four
things are written:













Unidentified Soldier of the Revolution





Circa 1763- 1781

Because you were so resolute and resilient, the only thing that matters to me is the dash.
Not the name, the date of birth, or the date of death, but what runs in between. To me that is your
immortality, and long lived success. I apologize if I told your story inaccurately, but I just felt the
need to thank you with the record of what my Pa told me. Here you are today, wandering
amongst the clouds that belong to me and my brethren. Aye, you have a name, and it is love,
which is so vaguely remembered in the hearts of the young.

With great respect,

Mary, daughter of John, the baby you fought and died for, fourteen years later

You are not forgotten.



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JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This article has 29 comments.


wolf3:) said...
on Apr. 18 2011 at 2:39 pm

personally, i think this is a very powerful story. it really engages the reader, and overall is written well. i like how detailed it is, but tend to agree with others that if this is all from what Mary knew from her father, it wouldnt be realistic for it to have so many details. seriously though, you should not tone down the details one bit because it is just the way you write and it really distinguishes your work. please write more, you have a beautiful way with words.

 


on Nov. 20 2010 at 11:54 am
thestorycritic GOLD, Hyderabad, Other
12 articles 0 photos 74 comments

Favorite Quote:
Live life King Size

Well, like you said messed up spacing :P

Aaand, I liked the story its really good! But too descriptive for my taste.

But, keep writing! :)


on Nov. 10 2010 at 4:05 pm
sweetly_broken GOLD, Garner, North Carolina
15 articles 0 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
We never know how big we are until we are asked to rise.

Yeah i didn't really mean to post three replies sorry the cite kept censoring them ughh! but anyway, i didn't know your background and i'm sorry if i offended u in anyway but i think it's great when people share their faith just wrong when people try to force anyone in to doing something that they're not cool with!

-Missy- BRONZE said...
on Oct. 20 2010 at 6:54 pm
-Missy- BRONZE, Ahhh, South Dakota
1 article 0 photos 75 comments

A little too descriptive at some times. Overall, good write though.

Sincerely,
-Missy-

War with no piece, hate with no love.


on Oct. 17 2010 at 8:44 am
SecretNonConformist SILVER, Marblehead, Massachusetts
6 articles 0 photos 195 comments

Favorite Quote:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of
evil is for good men to do nothing."
-Edmund Burke

"Bless the children, give them triumph, now!"
Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers

This was such a beautiful story! The beginning was a little confusing but then everything fell into place. Once it did, this was a GREAT story. Please keep writing, I want to read more of your work!

on Oct. 12 2010 at 2:48 pm
NeverCaredForKool-Aid GOLD, Elkridge, Maryland
13 articles 0 photos 531 comments

Favorite Quote:
I don't believe in hell but I believe in my parent's couch-- Watsky

Sorry I didn't respond for a while.  The site litterally just emailed me :(

Anyway, uh, the presumptuous thing was really only my opinion, and I don't think it deserved three replies.  And anyway, that's also been my main impression of the Christ&ian c-hurch.  I used to be part of it- until they started telling us to 'spread out beliefs'.  I didn't want to try to change my friends ideas about the world, so I left the church.  But even now, when my some of my friends invite me to functions, (often endorsed by my school- which is a public school) I go there and find out it is a Chr--istian event, and they all expect me to be hip and dandy with praying along with them.  That is just about the definition of presumptuous to me.  I personally still share the belief, but I don't think any Go.d who had a remote sense of right and wrong would want people to have ideas forced upon them, even if it is a matter of his existance.

And by the way, yes an author can create their own characters, but you didn't.  The unknown soldier was a realy person.  And yes, although you could make the argument that the character was made realistic by making the religion the most popular one of the time/place, one could counter that that made the character dry.  It could go wither way, just depends on who is the beholder.

And this comment probably sounds defensive, too, but again I have some unresolved issues with the chu-rch and get reaaaaally snippy when people try to strip me of my opinion.  I'm a very opinionated person.  Hence the screen name.


on Sep. 25 2010 at 10:05 pm
sweetly_broken GOLD, Garner, North Carolina
15 articles 0 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
We never know how big we are until we are asked to rise.

Thanks! and yup, haha:)

on Sep. 25 2010 at 8:52 pm
living4God BRONZE, Matthews, North Carolina
3 articles 0 photos 29 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Be content with God but discontent with how you serve God.'

Courage isn't the absense of fear, it's the ability to do what you have to do in spite of it

wow, this was really amazing! the things you wrote were so detailed. and my favorite part was the part about sacrifice on a tree thousands of years ago. :D

we're both from north carolina!! yay haha


on Sep. 25 2010 at 2:45 pm
DifferentTeen PLATINUM, Seaford, Delaware
32 articles 2 photos 332 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There’s no such thing as true love, just spurts of insanity—falling over and over again, thinking that won’t happen to me"

Pros: I really liked the ending, it was so sweet. You make a very good picture in my head of the things you are describing.

Cons: Although you do descibe very well, maybe you could bring it down a notch? Maybe put a little more focus into the actual story, sometimes I didn't even know what it was talking about becuase your details were so amazing.

Overall it was a great piece! Keep writing.


on Sep. 22 2010 at 10:11 pm
sweetly_broken GOLD, Garner, North Carolina
15 articles 0 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
We never know how big we are until we are asked to rise.

thanks!!!! and yeah, it's almost that time of the month and i about had an emotional breakdown at the end of modern family of all things haha:)

on Sep. 22 2010 at 2:01 pm
singergurl12 GOLD, Jacksonville, Florida
15 articles 0 photos 191 comments

Favorite Quote:
Fairy tales are true, not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.

okay, not meaning to be offesive at ALL.

it might be becasue Im PMS'ing or something, but i almost cried while reading this. The emotion is so great and you paint a really vivid image... you are an amazing write. this is SO going in my faves.


on Sep. 13 2010 at 7:22 pm
sweetly_broken GOLD, Garner, North Carolina
15 articles 0 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
We never know how big we are until we are asked to rise.

Thanks a lot!

on Sep. 13 2010 at 5:12 pm
Caitlyn_ilovesoftball GOLD, Douds, Iowa
15 articles 9 photos 105 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Hello Cat-i-lynn Mill-ard-o," -friends
"Stop saying that!! My name ain't Cat-i-lynn Mill-ard-o!!" -Me
"Okay, fine, Hello Cat."-friends
(GRRRRR)
----Also----
"You a turtle on steroids!"-friends
"Hahaha, I know" -ME

Good stuff, The ending is what got me. I really really like it and cant wait to rread your other work. I occasionally saw a few grammer mistakes but nuthing i'd fret about! good job!

 


on Sep. 4 2010 at 4:19 pm
sweetly_broken GOLD, Garner, North Carolina
15 articles 0 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
We never know how big we are until we are asked to rise.

well, i don't really think i was presuming anything because i wrote the story, and the author can make the character believe whatever they want. i write to glorify go.d because that's important to me. i try to make my faith as relatable as possible, and also, during the revolution, most people were chris.tians. I also meant to say tree, because the cross came from a tree, and that's what it was often, and still is called. it wasn't a typo. sorry if this sounds cranky, but it's been one of those weeks and i've tried to reply like, 6 times. Ughh.

on Sep. 3 2010 at 6:44 pm
sweetly_broken GOLD, Garner, North Carolina
15 articles 0 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
We never know how big we are until we are asked to rise.

I don't really think i was being presumptous at all, because I wasn't assuming anything about the character; i made him up, and the author of the story can make the character believe whatever he/she wants. I could have made him another religion, but i chose not to. mainly because most people were Christ.ians back then, and also i like to glorify G.od in my writing, because it's something I'm good at. You might not believe what i do, and that's cool, but i try to present Go.d's love to people when I write. Nonbeliever's have read this and been touched. I've read things by people of other faiths and been touched as well, so a lot of it has to deal with your overall  attitude towards the piece. also, i meant to say tree. Jes.us was crucified on a cross, made out of wood, taken from a tree. it was a way people said things then, and still today. it wasn't a typo:) P.S. sorry if this sounds rude, it's been one of those weeks . . .

on Sep. 3 2010 at 4:30 pm
sweetly_broken GOLD, Garner, North Carolina
15 articles 0 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
We never know how big we are until we are asked to rise.

i'm having the same problem with my replies going through . . . ughh! but anyway, i don't think it was presumptous of me to assume anything because i wrote the story and the religion of the character is the author's choice. i could have made the character muslim, jewish, agnostic, etc, but I chose a Christian because I am a Christian, that was the main religion during the revolution, and i like to convey my faith through writing because it's something i'm good at. you might not have been able to relate to this well, and that's okay; i respect that, and i'll try to make my work more relatable. but i've had nonbelievers read this and be touched, and i've been touched by things ppl. of other religions as well. And about the "Tree" i meant to put tree. Jes.us died on the cross, which was made of wood, which was made from a tree. the cross was, and often is referred to as a tree. in fact, i'm pretty sure it was closer to 2 thousand years ago when jes.us died. sorry if this sounds angry or defensive, but it's been one of those weeks . . .

on Sep. 3 2010 at 4:25 pm
sweetly_broken GOLD, Garner, North Carolina
15 articles 0 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
We never know how big we are until we are asked to rise.

i get that occasionally but really it's just my writing style . . . i'll try to make the descriptions more intruiging in the future or say more in fewer words.

-Missy- BRONZE said...
on Sep. 2 2010 at 10:46 pm
-Missy- BRONZE, Ahhh, South Dakota
1 article 0 photos 75 comments
This is a good story. Sometimes I thought you got a little bit too descriptive though. Overall, good idea!

on Sep. 2 2010 at 7:42 pm
NeverCaredForKool-Aid GOLD, Elkridge, Maryland
13 articles 0 photos 531 comments

Favorite Quote:
I don't believe in hell but I believe in my parent's couch-- Watsky

Thisis annoying- I just wrote a really long detailed comment about your story, but it didn't show up.  So here's the jist of it-

1.  Really great story!

2.  In your first paragraph, you got too descriptive

3.  Not everyone is religious, or religious in the way you are, so when you relate this to your religion, that can make this piece seem overall very foriegn and unrelateable to anyone who does not share your beleif.  I personally thought it was very presumptuous of you to assume the Unidentifies soldier was of your religion.

4.  The first time you used the ohrases Unidentified soldier and No Name Face, the sounded very confusing where they were place and I had to read their paragraph 3 times to (semi)understand it.

5.  When you said he accepted the sacrefice made 3 thousand years ago for him, you wrote 'tree' instead of 'three'

Anyway, nice job :)


on Aug. 30 2010 at 7:34 pm
sweetly_broken GOLD, Garner, North Carolina
15 articles 0 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
We never know how big we are until we are asked to rise.

thanks!! haha i had that problem when i first started writing, but keep working and it'll get better i promise!




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