Monday, December 8, 2008

A short story by David Littrell

This is a short story written by my friend David Littrell for his English final. He had me look over it and give him my opinion on it, and I loved it so much that I offered to post it on here. I highly reccomend you all read this, and give David some feedback in the comments, chat box to the right, or over Myspace.

“What the fuck are you doing Meadlo?!” Captain Medina shouted over the chaos, “Discharge your goddamned weapon!” All the villagers of My Lai was runnin’ round all wildly, tryin’ to find some means of escape from the violent scene. But, as they was running away, they was just gettin’ shot in the back. Intel said this place was a hot spot for Viet-cong. Intel was full a shit. These weren’t no soldiers; these were goddamn women and children.
“Captain Meadlo! There ain’t no Charlie here! These are civilians!” I shouted back toward my commanding officer. Meadalo just glared back at me. I had already watched him take out several ‘tangos’. He had his lips pulled back in some kinda deranged half-smile, and he just reminded me that disobeyin’ orders was grounds for court-martial. Everything ‘round just seemed straight outta a nightmare. Children was runnin’ up to the limp corpses of their mamas, and then they was getting’ put out to pasture in the same manner. The ground all around us was painted with blood, and littered with all these various innards. American soldiers were committin’ war crimes, and no one really seemed to give two shits. My stomach felt real swollen, and my throat clenched up so tight that I couldn’t hardly breathe; but even through all that, I could still feel the eyes of all the other soldiers on me while I stood there all idle. I knew what they was thinking, if I wasn’t gonna to follow Medina’s orders, there was gonna be some friendly fire comin’ my way.My eyes started swellin’ up, and my vision got real blurred while tear’s starting formin’ up. I couldn’t feel the aching of my stomach or throat no more; that was replaced by a new sensation. Felt like there was this tearin’ at soul. I had never wanted to kill no one, and the only way I’d gotten myself to ever pull the trigger before was knowing that if I wasn’t gonna shoot them Charlie, they’d sure as shit shoot me. And now here it was in danger again, only these weren’t no fucking Charlie, these was just targets that screamed. But still, I didn’t wanna die, not no more than them villagers did.
So, I lifted up the weapon my government had given me. There was a young girl, cradlin’ what looked like it used to be a lil’ boy. She wasn’t lookin’ at none of us, just had her head down while she clutched them pieces of kid. And I figured if I was gonna go, I’d rather not see it comin’ neither. I pointed the barrel in her direction, and took the safety off-a my rifle. All I could think ‘bout was how she didn’t deserve none a this, none of ‘em did. I was cryin’, not a little neither, but just bawlin’ like a newborn. I closed my eyes real tight, and clenched my jaw up as hard as I could, then I squeezed the trigger, and jus’ like I’d been trained to, fired off three quick bursts blindly. BRRRAT! BRRRAT! BRRRAT! And with each kickback, I coulda sworn I felt them slugs slammin’ right into my own guts.
There was plenty a gunfire, an screamin’, an killin’ goin’ on all around me, but after I fired them shots, none of it really registered no more. I fell over, down on my knees, and held myself up with both-a my hands while I started dry gaggin’. I raised my head up in the direction that girl had been in then finally opened up my eyes. She had a few entry wounds in her torso, and 2 more in her face. I vomited between sobs, and just started crawlin’ over toward her. I pulled her lifeless corpse up real close to me, and was embracin’ it real tight. “I’m sorry!” I sobbed, “I’m so fuckin’ sorry!” bits of her brains was getting all up on me, and my army issued’s was getting’ soaked in her fluids. I just kept clutchin’ her, the salty taste of her blood mixed with my tears was runnin’ into my mouth, and I didn’t care. I shoulda just let me kill me.
I just kept sittin’ there; holdin’ her real hard for a good couple a minutes, then I felt a hand pat me on the back, and I heard Medina’s voice, “You did good boy! We’ll make a soldier of you yet son!” The gun fire was gone, and I could hear a few of the other guys talkin’ so was jokin’, some was forcin’ themselves up on survivors. There may-a been men up in my unit that felt the same way I did, but I couldn’t see ‘em. My eyes was clenched shut real tight again.
After that, the only thing I was really thinkin’ about for the rest a the whole goddamned war was how if Captain Medina was what a solider is suppose to be, then I sure as hell didn’t want to be one no more; and if this is what humans beings is capable of, well I ain’t sure I wanna be one of them neither.