He was a warrior in my eyes. A man who never knew the word fear. I had heard from him each month by hand written words, and had his photo sitting by my bed on the night stand. Each night I prayed that God would watch over him and guide him through the day.
My son was always a tough little boy. He was the one when you would check his jean pockets you would find baby toads still alive, screeching to get back out in to freedom. Stones, dead flowers, and anything interesting could be found in the inside of these pockets.
He was the child of the three I called my own, that would be right there at the precise moment, offering to help carry the groceries in, when you were standing at the front door, with two loaded sacks and yet trying to open the door. He helped his dad in the garage, handing him tools that were needed to fix the car. Mowing the elderly neighbor’s lawn.
He could be found selling lemonade in the front yard of our house, because he wanted so badly a new pair of skates. He was a good kid, never giving us problems or heart aches.
He didn’t care for school much, although he never missed days unless he was really sick. He didn’t want to participate in sports, choir or plays. He would rather learn life by living it.
When he became a teenager, he worked at one of the local grocery stores, bagging groceries, and even though he didn’t have to take them out to the cars or load them into the trunks, many times he did offer his help to frail ones.
Today, he is lying in pain. He can vision help. Aid to come his way by means of God or his buddies. He laid in the sand, the rays of the sun beating down upon him, trying to take the breath from his body. There was no more sweat to be released, and his mouth was dry. In his sleeping moments he could see the water and taste its coolness, splashing it over his head, but when awake, he saw nothing, but brightness and blue skies.
Bugs began their journey over his body, trying to take claim of his soul. He had walked over a booby trap, placed by the enemy, and the purpose of being left dead and unfound, was being sought. He had lagged behind, a major mistake, from his troop, stopping to try to save a friend’s life, and when he realized he was too late, and had walked six feet from him, the trap, engulfed him.
The troop did not hear the small explosion and kept moving forward. The sergeant was leading the troop to make it to the next city on the map by dusk, so they could set up camp.
After they arrived at their new location, one soldier noticed that someone was missing from chow. He went to the sergeant and told him his concerns, and was ordered to immediately return to the path of their travel and find him. He also sent two others in the group, to be of assistance if it was needed.
A sand storm had picked up and it was difficult to see. Beads of sand were hitting the faces and stinging eyes, but they were not giving up. This was a team, and although they were taught to be tough, their hearts remained soft, and they wanted their member back with them safe and well. No thoughts entered of any tragedy. They were not allowed. Weakness was not a word in the dictionary of this platoon.
It was dark and the only light offered them was the moon and their flash lights. Their ears were keen to any sounds, and their eyes were keen to past imprints. They stopped once in a while to check their map to make sure they were following the right direction, and kept moving with no breaks in their steps.
The day break of morning fell upon them, and in the skies they could see buzzards flying in circles as they were making plans to land on their prey. This was a sign to the men that they were close.
Up ahead of them lie the wounded soldier. Dried blood attached itself to skin that was showing and to his clothes. The sight was a blur, from lack of fluids and strikes from the sand. He was on his back, unable to flip himself over to protect his face, and he could make out the visions of the buzzards. He prayed in silence for his God to rescue him. Take me home Lord, don’t let me feel the bite of winged birds. Let nature have its way with me, but take my soul home Lord.
The Lord answered his prayer and with in minutes, the three troop members stumbled upon him. They checked his wounds, and told him he was going to be alright. Help had arrived. They didn’t take time to asses his injuries, for their goal was to get him back to the troop.
A letter arrived at our door, informing us our son had been injured, and was being cared for at a military city. It stated that he had been injured by a booby trap, but help had arrived in time.
The mother dropped her letter to the floor and got down on her knees, and with tears of joy streaming from her eyes, she thanked God for watching over her soldier.
Thank you Ermilia for another chance to write for your writing exercise.