Hello, guys! I felt like I should share this short story I wrote yesterday. Haha, and that’s only because I didn’t want to take any pictures, or spend a long time on a post. Enjoy!
The heavy morning mist came up from the ground as we stood. All two hundred of us looking the same, and yet, not the same. We wore the same uniform, carried the same weight, and were on the same mission. There was a bond between us that none could break, no, not even death.
I rested the a hundred pounds of dead weight I had to carry on the ground. All together, I was trusting a parachute to carry roughly two hundred and fifty pounds to safety on the ground. Well, I didn’t like to think of it that way, and neither did my comrades. We trusted that we’d make it safe, like we had the millions of times before.
“In a brown study, eh?” Asked one of my comrades, Phil Jensen. He was briskly bouncing up and down, his thumbs slid under the straps of his gear. He was cocky, full of spice, and occasionally annoying.
“No,” I answered quickly.
“Aw, Ed, we all know that death isn’t something to take cheerfully,” Phil continued. I winced just slightly. We were the trained 17th Ranger Regiment after all, we should face death with a feeling of steel, shouldn’t we? Trained in Georgia, and sent out to all the special and elite missions, we were the top notches. Similar to the Navy SEALS.
Not only did I wince at death, but I couldn’t stand to be called Ed. My whole life I was Ned, and whenever someone shortened it to Ed…Well, it got on my nerves.
“You’re a brick, Phil,” I said, my voice heavy with sarcasm. I looked at the sun, that rose in splendor above us. The sky was streaked with orange, red, and a blush pink, and it all reminded me that we were soon to be packed like cattle into a C-119 “flying boxcar.”
“Thanks,” Phil grinned his crooked grin, before turning his attention to another paratrooper. I was dreading the flight. Once the jump was over, all was well. Perhaps you had to attack the Chinese and Koreans, but you were full of adrenaline, and you had already been trained for that. It was the long, stuffy ride that made me sick to my stomach.
At least I wasn’t one of the men that vomited. Many a time I had to ride 170 miles with someone’s lunch in my lap. We were packed so close together, that those in charge would walk on our laps to get from one end of the plane to the other. At times, the pilots delighted in make our stomachs churn with the spins they would make the plane take. By the time it was time to jump, you were more than ready.
Now, we were facing Operation Killer. I always thought that name was fitting. On this mission, there were 700 Rangers, and over 2000 paratroopers. We were to go behind enemy lines southwest of Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The village was called Munsan-ni, and we were facing not only the North Koreans, but the Chinese “volunteers.”
We were to be dropped on rice paddies, and the goal was to trap the Chinese and North Koreans. The date? Why, it was Good Friday in 1951. If we seceded in our mission, it would indeed be a good Friday.
We were marshaled into the planes, and the trip was long. Many of the men squirmed as the plane went higher and higher. The constant drone of the plane’s engine was soothing, at least to me, but the altitude was making my ears to pop.
Before I was ready, we were told it was time to jump. One after another, we were rudely shoved out the door if we didn’t jump fast enough. As I waited for my turn, I steeled my nerves. These weren’t people I was fighting and killing. They couldn’t be. They wouldn’t do this if they weren’t.
But I knew they were people. And I knew that this wasn’t the way God had intended for people to resolve their conflicts. Before I had finished my prep talk, I was rudely shoved out of the door.
For one moment, panic lurched in my throat. I reached for my parachute, and pulled the string. Suddenly, I wasn’t dropping, but slowly floating. Quickly, I shoved my gun from me, and released my pack. There, all was done, and I could watch my comrades flying around me. I would be all right…As long as I landed rightly. And the strings didn’t break that were attached to my gun.
The parachuting was all too short, and yet it seemed to last hours. Suddenly, I touched the ground, and was covered by my large parachute. The ground was wet, and my boots sank in the mud. I took off my parachute in a hurried frenzy, and followed the strings to my pack, and my gun. The relief of about forty pounds of parachute off my back was wonderful, but now a purpose was rooted in me. There was only one thing to do to get out of this alive, and that was to make sure they didn’t get out of this alive.
I looked around me and saw my comrades going through the same process. The steel in my blood spurred me onward. The battle had begun.
The gunfire started, and soon the pristine mountain air was clouded with the smokey gunpowder smell. The ritual of firing continue. My trusty M1 Garand pinged with every bullet I let fly. After so many bullets, it was time to reload. I was a fast reloader, and soon I was again in action.
During the blood boiling scene, I felt a hot searing in my left calf. Without realizing it, I fell to my knees. The shock was etched across my face as I continued to topple downward. I couldn’t catch myself. My leg wasn’t responding.
As fast as the searing had come, it left, but only to have pain that returned with a gut-wrenching quality. I lay on the ground, my comrades jumping over me, or avoiding me. I was alone, watching the battle take place from the ground. I propped myself up, and scooted myself to a rock. I must keep fighting. A Ranger always fights until death.
As I managed to get to a rock, I started to think. Why did God allow this to happen? And as I thought I remembered my mother, who always said, “Never fight a war unless you know it’s just.” Was this war just?
The pain made me see spots, and I looked down to see my pant leg a dark red, a red so dark it was almost brown. I began to think about all the wars in Scripture. Usually they didn’t seem just. What was a just war? Was there such a thing?
My mind drifted back to Sunday school, and the garden of Eden. Suddenly, I paused before I pulled the trigger. The reason we were all like this was because of sin. It was sin, and the world would always be polluted by sin. There never would be a just war, and there would never be an end to war in this world.
But there would be a world where there was an end to wars. Would I be there when it happened? Just as sharp as the bullet that had torn my leg was the feeling of guilt that pierced my heart. I was the reason that Jesus was hung up there on that tree. It was my fault.
There, in the bloody battle field, I had my heart washed white as snow. Washed with the crimson blood that Jesus shed on Calvary. I was picked up off the field later that day. We had killed over 300 of the enemy, and had captured 131, but that didn’t matter to me. I was saved, not from being a POW, but from being lost in Hell forever, where the fire burns continually.
I continued as a Ranger, but my view of death was not the same. I was purged by the blood of Jesus, and I knew where I was going if a bullet did find it’s mark. I was saved.
What did y’all think? Do you enjoy short stories? Would you like more? What is your favorite kind of post on Crazy A?